Although it may seem unnecessary to hire grading contractors for your property and home, a properly graded yard is essential to maintain your home and property. Proper grading can prevent water damage to your home’s foundation and help to maintain a healthy lawn and landscape. After the removal of unwanted landscaping items and debris, grading and leveling may be necessary.
Yard leveling and grading can be as cheap as $500 for small jobs that do not require heavy-duty equipment. The average cost of yard leveling or grading is in the 2500 to 3000 range. Prices for major property reconstruction work can reach several thousand.
You can see the difference in price between grading your driveway, yard or other areas. Also, take a look at how each service ensures that your lawn and home are in top condition.
What is property grading?
Your property’s grade refers to the slope. The slope of residential lots is not always level. They need to be slightly sloped down, away from houses, garages, and driveways. This grade or slope will allow water to drain from the ground towards your home and away from other structures.
Water should be directed towards the street in this manner. Otherwise, water could collect near the foundation of the structure and cause concrete cracks and softening. The water can seep into your home, causing dampness in the crawlspace or basement, as well as future mold growth. The driveway may crack or buckle if it has moist soil underneath.
What is property leveling?
Property leveling can be slightly different from landscape or property grading. A residential property may need to be leveled by:
- After large landscaping features have been removed, fill in the holes.
- Too much or too little moisture can cause soil to become soft, and eventually collapse, creating small valleys. The process of leveling will smoothen these areas, as its name suggests, so that the property’s surfaces are more consistent and even.
- You might need to level before planting certain landscaping features. For example, leveling will ensure the tops and sides of shrubbery or hedges run in a straight line.
- Retainer walls require a level and flat surface. Stone steps and patio pavers placed on uneven ground may shift, making them dangerous for pedestrians.
What are the best times to clear your property?
A leveling and grading contractor might be needed to clear your residential property for a variety of reasons.
- Clearance contractors can remove large objects such as large logs, boulders and fallen trees that are too dangerous to remove on their own.
- After a storm, fallen tree branches and other debris may need to be removed.
- Before a driveway or above ground pool can be installed, it is necessary to remove any rocks and gravel.
- Clearing a property may involve pulling up a grass lawn to allow for new sod to be installed or removing any weeds or other unwanted vegetation.
- To remove old stumps and dead trees, a professional contractor should be called.
Once a property is cleared, it will need to be leveled or graded.
What causes a property to be incorrectly graded?
Incorrect drainage is not always the fault of construction workers. Here are some reasons why a property may have been improperly graded.
- A garage, shed or pool can be used to compact your lawn so that water cannot escape from your home.
- Animals can dig up property areas, causing soil to loosen and water to drain too fast. Your lot may need a lower grade to allow for more slope towards the street.
- Shade trees can expose soil to more sunlight, which could cause it to dry out. To protect the soil, it is possible to correct the slope if a shade tree was removed by you or another owner.
Warning signs your lot must be re-graded
A grading company can tell you if your lawn has an uneven slope. But, there are some signs that you should be looking for:
- If your lawn has uneven cut areas, it could be a sign that your lot is covered in soft or collapsed soil. This soil can often block water flow to your lot.
- The presence of dead patches on your lawn could indicate that the soil has too much water and should be re-graded. Brown spots indicate that your yard isn’t getting enough water. The lot might need to be re-graded away from the street.
- Pools of water can indicate that your yard needs to be regraded.
- If the basement is damp, it could indicate moisture seeping in from the outside. Proper grade will allow moisture to escape from the home.
How is property graded or leveled?
It is important for homeowners to understand that property leveling and grading are not DIY projects. Grading contractors don’t simply rake down a property to create a slight slope. The soil must be properly compacted and leveled during grading. The angle created by grading depends on several factors.
- To retain moisture, the slope or grade may be lower if the soil is too dry. To allow for water drainage, the grade might be higher if the soil is very wet.
- The roots of trees or other vegetation can hold more water in the soil. A property’s grade may then be affected depending on how greenery and landscaping is done.
- Properties in areas that receive a lot of rain may require a higher grade to ensure that the rainwater flows towards the street instead of pooling on the lot.
- To keep your landscaping elements healthy and well-watered, a grading contractor may grade your property towards flowerbeds and other landscaping features.
Sometimes, improper grading can be corrected by moving soil towards the house to correct it. This will create an elevation. This work can be more involved than you realize. Simply stacking dirt against a concrete foundation could invite termites into your home. Sandy soil is porous and water flows easily through it, so if you use the wrong dirt, moisture could build up around your home’s foundation.
Grading with grading contractors can also cause property damage. This process may tear up your lawn or require you to remove certain landscaping elements. A professional contractor will then level the soil to make it suitable for new sod and landscaping.
How to improve a lawn’s irrigation and drainage
Although grading lots can improve the drainage and irrigation, homeowners can also maintain the soil health of their properties. Here are some suggestions for grading companies to consider:
- Plant vegetation will absorb moisture from the soil if it is too moist. River reeds and willows are some examples of grasses that might be suitable.
- To protect the soil from the scorching sun, plant tall shade trees if the lot is too dry. Shade will ensure that the grass on your property can absorb as much morning sun as possible before it evaporates.
- Set up rainwater extenders underneath your downspouts to prevent water from pooling on your property. These funnels collect water from the downspouts and direct it away from your home. They also keep it from being absorbed into the soil.
- Sandy soil allows water flow through it quickly as clay retains and clumps up water. Mix clay or sand into the soil to control the amount of water that drains from the dirt, depending on its current condition.
- French drains are a type of underground trench that is filled with gravel and covered. Gravel is more compact than soil, and allows moisture to quickly drain from your home.
- In areas that are subject to constant flooding, create a rain garden or pond. This feature can be made more attractive by working with a landscape engineer. A rain garden or pond keeps water concentrated in one place, and not accumulating around the foundation of a house.
Other than grading and leveling your lot, Greenbar Excavation’s grading contractors may also suggest other ways to drain your lot properly. This will ensure that your yard stays in good shape and protect your home from any potential water damage.
Greenbar Excavation has been providing quality excavation services to central Oregon for over ten years. Our grading contractors understand the importance of knowing your project. Greenbar Excavation is a fully licensed, insured, and accredited Excavation company based in Prineville, Oregon. Greenbar Excavation is one of the top Excavation companies in Central Oregon. Don’t look any further, go with the company with your best interest in mind! We offer a multitude of services which include:
- Septic pumping
- Drainage Services
- Landscape prep
- Site grading
- Foundation excavation
- Concrete/ prep finish
- Utility trenching
- Septic tank replacement
- Complete septic system replacement