Improve your property value with these grading tips

Land Grading is the process of leveling the ground or moulding the slope for proper water drainage. In the Grading process, dirt from the high areas of the yard is removed to the lowest places to eliminate a slope.

The slope correction is done so that water can drain away from your property’s foundation rather than towards it. 

grading improves property value

These activities are involved as a part of land grading:

  • Setting up a level line or determining the correct slope
  • Leveling the area or creating the required slope
  • Compacting the soil
  • Trucking in new fill dirt or topsoil
  • Digging and removing dirt to reduce high spots and fill in low spots
  • Removing excess dirt/debris
  • Fine grading
  • Excavating

Land Grading increases the property value, particularly for homes prone to floods or homes with steeped sloped yards. Any landscape design project that involves grading can increase the value of a property by 5% to 12%. In some cases, proper landscape design can up the value of your home by as much as 20%.

For potential home buyers, particularly when small children are involved, the preference will be to buy homes with level yards. It makes sense why people upgrade their landscape before they list their homes for sale.

For homes in flooded zones, grading is much more than curb appeal, but peace of mind that security brings. A property that has been graded and water drainage is no longer an issue is a key factor in selling property in areas prone to flooding and heavy rainfall.

How to improve property value with grading

Landscaping can up your property value tremendously. The best part is not the immediate value increase, but the value of your property will keep on increasing down the line. A 5 to 12 % increase in home value translates to an additional $5,500 to $12,700 for a home that is valued at $100,000.

Remember, there is nothing like the first impression! How much attention you have paid to landscape is an indication of how well you have taken care of all aesthetic, maintenance and safety aspects of your home.

Create a proper plan for landscaping

Improper planning is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. It's an art, but there is also math and science involved. Your landscape grading should enhance the overall appeal of the building. It should improve both the aesthetic and functional appeal of the building.

The right tools will be handy in grading your property accurately. You may need shovels, rakes, stakes, lawn roller, wheelbarrow and sand/topsoil. Equip yourself with all these tools before you begin grading.

Follow these tips to enhance the look and feel of your landscape.

1. Allocate plenty of time

Grading should be performed a week before planting crops. Otherwise, the soil will not be set properly and this could result in an even soil bed. Plant growth then becomes a problem.

 If you are in a bit of a hurry, then back the soil with plenty of water and line out the surface to make it even. Then toll out the soil once it dries. This will ensure the soil is all set and plant growth is fast and healthy

2. Take care of any drainage issues

Take stock of your landscape to figure out in which manner the water flows. The elevation cannot be changed later even if you wanted to, so for sloped landscapes drainage is a concern you need to address right at the start. For patios and decks, the slope shouldn’t be more than 2%.

You can prevent mold and other water seepage issues from damaging your building and its foundation by understanding and resolving any drainage problems.

You need to locate the drainage area as well, so you have thorough knowledge as to the direction in which the water is flowing.

3. Source plenty of topsoils

Yard grading needs a lot of topsoil and dirt. You will need plenty of it to fill in low spots, so before grading your property, source plenty of dirt and topsoil.

4. Mark the utility lines and spots where trees are present

You need to inspect where the utility lines are and have a professional mark the lines for gas, cable, telephone, water etc. You should mark it on the ground. This way, all the pipes and lines around your property will be intact during digging.

During grading, keep all equipment away from trees so that they survive the grading project. This means all filling, digging, cutting and grading are done away from the dripline of the trees you want to stay.

5. Make the area you are going to level

Once all the basic details are out of the way, you need to mark the area you are going to grade. Determine the highest and lowest points, and then curate a 90-degree angle from the lowest to the highest zones.

6. Never grade too high

Grading at greater heights is one of the basic and worst mistakes you can make. When grading around buildings, you must leave 6 to 8 inches below the sliding. 

Just as important, you should never just heap dirt around the house to resolve drainage issues. If you are trying to put up a slope in this way, you will end up with too much dirt too high up on the building. You may have to deal with negative grading issues, which may even end up ruining  your property.

Establish the correct elevation and then pitch away, even if it means tearing out the shrubs and existing bushes and regarding the property. 

Once all the digging work is done, rake the ground to ensure a level finish. 

7. Add the dirt/topsoil to the low points

When it comes to putting the topsoil, always add them at the low points. You must pile in enough dirt here, so they go on to become high/top points. 

8. Fill Up

This is the step where the pile of dirt you added will be pushed down. One easy trick we have for you is to lay out the plywood on the dirt and then walk over it. The idea is to ensure there are no holes.

The next important step will change the slope’s overall angle. Take a sturdy rake and with it, pull out the dirt from your newly created high zone to the new low zone.

For filling the low zone, you should use topsoil. This will be good for plant and grass growth. If you must use sand, however, ensure you follow the 50:50 rule, half sand and the remaining half is high-quality topsoil.

9. Plant your grass and trees

Once you introduce the new slope, you can instil fresh grass. Toss some seeds randomly on the newly graded topsoil. Churn and then spread the seeds with a rake to set them in the soil. You should then water your seeds and cover the area. Not only will this help retain moisture but also keep them safe from birds and other insects. You should water the grass every day before you can see stubs popping out.

You can also add shrubs, trees and flower beds once the grading process is over. The best spot for shrubs and trees is the boundary line. This will greatly enhance the aesthetics of your yard.

10. Ensure there are no grading issues

When everything is set, you need to ensure there are no grading issues. Standing water or water pools in the middle of your yard or the edges is one of the giveaways that there are still grading problems you have to deal with. 

Standing water is bad news because it will destroy your building’s foundation, look downright unattractive and destroy your property’s foundation. If there are signs of water standing in your yard or collective pools of water anywhere, it means you will have to regrade your yard from scratch. 

Wrap up

Grading is an art as much as it is a science. Proper grading will ensure that your home and its foundation is safe from water seepage. Proper grading can help you reap functional and aesthetic benefits.

We hope the times we outlined today will come in handy and make your grading work simpler. Just follow them to a T to deck up your property how you want.

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