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Is your yard in need of grading to prepare it for your outdoor area improvement project? Are you wondering if landscapers can do this job for you and how much it would cost? That's what we will talk about today in this article. We asked experts if landscapers do grading and the costs involved and here's their reply.
Landscapers can grade your yard since they have the expertise and equipment needed for the job. The total cost would vary depending on the size of your yard, steepness of the slope, type and amount of fill dirt needed, labor rate, and other required services before and after land grading. It typically ranges in price from $973 to $3,018.
Keep on reading to know more about land grading and the factors that influence its total cost. We'll also share with you the benefits of grading your yard and the equipment that you'll be needing in case you decide to make this a DIY project. Let's get this started!
How Much Does It Cost to Level Land or Regrade a Lawn?
Before anything else, let's define what grading is and when you would need to do this on your yard. Grading is leveling the land in preparation for your outdoor improvement projects such as landscaping and installation of patios, pathways, and driveways. It involves sculpting the land, placing or removing soil and dirt where needed so that it will be smooth and even.
This is done so that you can make better use of your outdoor area. Level does not simply mean a flat surface. There has to be an optimum slope to manage the movement of water so that there's proper drainage and erosion control.
When you realize that your yard needs grading, the next question would be who do you contact for this kind of service?
There are leveling experts who provide grading services. But professional landscapers can also do this job for you. They have the equipment needed for this project and the expertise to identify problem areas and what kind of soil to use as filler. They can help prepare your yard so that it's ready for your beautiful landscaping and hardscaping projects.
Factors Influencing Overall Cost
The total cost though would vary depending on different factors that include:
- The size of your yard. The bigger the area to be graded and leveled, the higher the cost. Your contractor might need bigger equipment and specialized tools to get the job done.
- Steepness of the slope. Some slopes are deep while some are shallow. Shallow slopes are easier to correct and thus wouldn't take so much time to do.
- How much dirt is needed to fill low spots in your yard. Although dirt is relatively cheap, it will still add to the cost of your land grading. Its average cost is $15 per cubic yard. Soil testing is also needed so that you can buy fill dirt that's compatible with the quality of your soil.
- Other services needed before and after grading. Sometimes the contractor would need to clear rocks or uproot trees prior to grading the land. Or it could be that you would need to have a drainage system installed and a retaining wall to prevent erosion. The cost for these services would be added to the grading fee.
- Labor cost. The current average rate is $50 per hour. The rate would vary depending on your area and the level of expertise of your landscaper.
Taking the above factors into consideration, the average cost of grading a yard is $1,995. The usual range could be between $973 and $3,018 but it can also be as low as $400 for simple jobs or as high as $5,900 for high-end land grading.
Benefits of Land Grading
Let's delve deeper into the advantages of having your land graded for those who need convincing that it is a must.
Use of your outdoor space
Land grading can help you maximize your outdoor space and extend your living area. For example, you can have an outdoor kitchen, a patio, and a garden. You can connect them to each other through a pathway which won't be possible if there are steep slopes in your yard.
Safer pavement construction
When the land is uneven, it is not safe to use for any of your intended outdoor improvement projects.
Imagine building a walkway over ungraded land. It would be hard to construct a smooth and flat surface for you to walk on. And when your pavement isn't flat, it would be a safety hazard for everyone who passes by it. They can trip and hurt themselves and who knows what other accidents can happen, right?
Prevent water problems
When there is a proper slope of the ground, water will be directed away from your house towards your drainage system. This will prevent the pooling of water which could lead to flooding when there are heavy rains. Frequent accumulation of water on one portion can also cause cracks and disintegration of the structure. In other words, water can cause damage to your home and property.
Prevent soil erosion
If your topsoil sits on sloped land, it will be washed away by the rain together with your plants. By diverting water to the proper drainage, land grading will help prevent soil erosion.
Graded land is a lot easier to maintain. For example, you can mow the lawn effortlessly without having to steer it away from steep slopes. Since the land is level, your lawn's moisture requirement will be relatively the same all throughout. This means you won't have to worry about dry patches here and there that you have to reseed to make your lawn look nice and well-kept.
By having your land graded, you get to enjoy your outdoor space to the fullest.
What equipment is needed to grade a yard?
While it is always recommended to get a leveling or landscape expert to do the job, there's no stopping the avid DIY homeowners from embarking on this task. This is alright when the slope is not deep. By this, we mean that the land is almost even or there's just a need for slight re-sloping to be done.
Of course, you have to be armed with the right equipment. These would include a string level, shovel, and stakes that you can buy from the hardware store. You would also need a sod cutter and grader. Check if local contractors have them for rent because these are rather expensive to buy.
Check out this link to find these stakes on Amazon.
But be mindful of the risks involved in using these tools and equipment. You might hurt yourself if you don't know how to use them. You might also damage the pipes and wires underneath the ground which can be problematic. But you can always ask a professional landscaper for advice especially in assessing the needs of your yard and the type of soil that you need to buy to make sure that you get it done right.
It's best to seek the help of professional landscapers when grading your yard. You get your money's worth because they have the knowledge, expertise, and equipment to get the job done effectively and efficiently. This way, you can enjoy your outdoor space and make the most out of it!
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