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How To Level Out Backyard

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Should You Level A Lawn Using Sand

Sand is oftentimes used to level lawns, but putting sand on lawns can cause problems. You should never use pure sand to level a lawn. Most lawns contain a lot of clay, which already makes growing grass difficult. However, adding pure sand on top of the clay only creates further problems by turning the soil into a nearly hardened cement-like consistency, as drainage abilities are worsened.

Sand also dries out rapidly in summer, causing any grass that may be growing to suffer in the heat. Grass growing in the sand is also more susceptible to drought and cold injury.

Avoid putting sand on a lawn by itself. Using a dry topsoil and sand mix is much better for leveling uneven areas than putting sand on a lawn without mixing.

What Is Included In Land Grading

A land grading job includes:


  • Measuring the area and establishing a level line or determining the ideal slope
  • Digging and moving dirt to cut down high spots and fill low spots
  • Hauling in and spreading new fill dirt or topsoil
  • Leveling the area or creating the desired slope
  • Compacting and raking the soil

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How To Flatten Out A Sloped Backyard

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Sloped ground in your backyard may cause water runoff, soil erosion, uneven moisture retention and difficulty when mowing your grass or tilling your flowerbeds. The area at the bottom of the slope is likely to catch water runoff and remain too wet for healthy plant growth. Sloping backyards are often unsuitable for decks, patios and play equipment. Leveling the yard to decrease the slope will remedy many of these problems, allowing your backyard to become an inviting space.

Why Level A Backyard

Pin on Backyard Hardscaping and Outdoor Living

There are many reasons why you might want to level your backyard.

  • Preventing water damage. When rainwater collects in the lowest spot of your yard, it can cause water to seep into the ground around your house and potentially damage your foundations. You may also notice that certain areas of your yard get overly soaked while other areas stay dry all the time. An uneven yard with standing water can attract unwanted pests like mosquitos.
  • Increasing usability. Your lawn is most likely one of the most-used spaces on your property and an uneven surface can prevent you from using it for entertaining, playing sports and games, or simply enjoying nice weather outside. When your yard is sloped toward one side or there are large dips in low-lying spots, those areas become unusable or dangerous.
  • Improving property appeal. An unlevel lawn can look unsightly since there are vast differences between low-lying and high-lying areas. An unleveled lawn detracts from landscaping efforts as well since plants often appear out of place when grown on a slope or in sunken areas.

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How To Regrade A Yard

If you’re thinking of installing a swimming pool, you’ll need to regrade your yard first. Before grabbing a shovel, you want to find and mark the location of any underground utility lines. You may think youre only removing the top layer of grass, but its better to be safe before unearthing a power or gas line.


You should also check with your local municipality to see if you need any permits for this job. Blythe Yost, landscape architect and CEO of Tilly , an online landscape design company, says that ‘most municipalities have a soil movement permit requirement,’ depending on the extent of the job. For example, if youre changing the grade enough to require a retaining wall, you probably need a permit.

Redistribute Or Add New Soil

Its time to redistribute or add new soil to your backyard. If you have enough soil, this part is fairly simple and can be done by hand with a shovel.

However, if you need more soil, you will have to buy it and possibly get it delivered. You dont want the soil to be too dry, so add water as needed.

Distribute the soil into the sections of the yard that look like they need it. you may need a small earth mover for this step if you have a large section.

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Fill With Sand Make It Compact

After making the retaining wall, fill the hole formed with sand till it reaches the level of the highest point. You can purchase soil or use the one from your yard if youre lowering part of it.

Use a compactor or lawn roller to go over it in rows to make the ground compact and firm. Fill the topmost part with compost and topsoil ready for planting.

Topsoil After Flattening Lawn

Leveling Bumpy Lawn

After flattening, topsoil is the organic nutrient-rich top layer of soil for flower beds, gardens, and lawns. Topsoil costs $10 to $50 per cubic yard, depending on the type and quality. One yard of topsoil covers 81 square feet at 4″ deep. Many grading contractors charge separately for fill dirt and topsoil.

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How To Level A Backyard: A Diy Step

Today we are sharing how to level a backyard using the simple step-by-step process we used on our our property. Fixing a bumpy or uneven backyard is easier than you think well show you how.


Leveling your backyard can increase its overall appearance, reduce potential accidents and foundation costs, as well as making it suitable for structures and activities.

If you are looking to tackle this project on your own, youre in the right place. Depending on the size and the current condition of your yard you may not know where to start.

Luckily, despite how daunting it might appear, it is relatively easy to level your backyard with the proper steps.

Read on to learn the step-by-step process of how to level your backyard. Not only will we detail what to do, but well also cover what tools you will need to have on hand to get the job done properly.

How To Level Dirt

This article was co-authored by Ben Barkan. Ben Barkan is a Garden and Landscape Designer and the Owner and Founder of HomeHarvest LLC, an edible landscapes and construction business based in Boston, Massachusetts. Ben has over 12 years of experience working with organic gardening and specializes in designing and building beautiful landscapes with custom construction and creative plant integration. He is a Certified Permaculture Designer, is licensed Construction Supervisor in Massachusetts, and is a Licensed Home Improvement Contractor. He holds an associates degree in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 255,241 times.


Leveling is the first step in many lawn-improvement projects, such as building a deck, paving a patio, or putting in a vegetable garden. Level isnt the same thing as flat, however, which is why its important to ensure that youre building up the soil in your work area evenly. One tried-and-true way to do this is to drive a series of stakes into the ground around your planned leveling site and run string around them to create a consistent level-grade line. You can then snap on a line level for a useful visual reference that will tell you exactly how much soil you need to add or take away from each area along your line.

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Water The Levelled Yard Evenly

If you are unsure about laying grass alone, call in the experts from AncoTurf to level and lay your new turf. The turf installation process can be a lot smoother with professional assistance. Grass installation cost can be a deterrent, but you may be surprised at the affordability of having your lawn professionally levelled and laid.

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How To Level A Yard

A free

If you have the drive to undertake this project, set aside a weekend to make sure its done properly. You may need to repeat portions of the project to ensure the lawn is properly leveled, so its best to have two consecutive days to do it. Heres what youll need to gather:


  • Garden hose or sprinklers

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What Is The Difference Between Leveling And Grading A Yard

In this article, Ill discuss both leveling and grading your yard, since a lot of weekend warriors use the terms interchangeably.

While these words are often used as if they mean the same thing, there is a difference between the two.

Grading is a landscaping term used to refer to the sloping of a yard away from the foundation of a home.

Leveling is the process of creating a smooth surface in a lawn or yard.


Both are important pieces to the puzzle when creating a beautifully landscaped yard.

How Much Does It Cost To Level A Backyard

The total cost of leveling a backyard is going to depend on many factors:

  • Size of the yard
  • Is the yard sloping or flat?
  • Is the yard just dirt or do you already have a lawn?
  • Do you have the tools necessary on hand or do you need or purchase them?
  • Is your backyard easily accessible?
  • Will you need to re-grade the entire yard or are you just filling in small bumps and divots here and there?

Depending on your exact situation the total cost of leveling a backyard could range anywhere from $100 to a few thousand dollars. The higher end being a job that requires heavy equipment and professional excavators.

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How To Use Fill Dirt To Level A Backyard

For just about every project you might be starting in your backyard, it is almost always necessary to have a level yard. For the majority of people, a level backyard is going to have to come from a little hard work and fill dirt. To level your backyard, you are going to be implementing a process known as land grading.

How To Level Uneven Backyard By Hand

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If you want to know how to level it by hand, it will help if you have some equipment and materials ready for this task.

Here is what you need:

  • Wheelbarrow or garden cart
  • Now that you have everything thats needed, lets start straight away with the instructions on how to level our backyard manually.

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    How To Level Your Lawn

    While some homeowners can DIY this project, it comes with certain risks and costs for beginner DIYers and landscapers. Here are some tools youll need:

    • String level: $1$3

    • Grader: Can be rented for $500$600 a day

    • Sod cutter: $200$2,000, depending on the size

    • Stakes: $5$10 for a six-pack

    Even with helpers, DIYing this project could take up to four days on a medium-grade slope, averaging $1,500 for this project. But some of the risks associated with this project for amateurs are:

    • Improper equipment usage which could damage the yard

    • Improperly removing the sod, which could require the lawn to be reseeded

    • Inexperienced homeowners can harm themselves on heavy machinery

    If this DIY project is within your abilities, here are some rough steps youll take to flatten your lot:

  • Stake out the area you want to flatten

  • Set up a string level

  • Remove the grass and any small bushes or shrubs

  • Lay down a ground cover

  • Spread the topsoil evenly

  • S To Level A Backyard

    In this tutorial we are assuming that your lawn is now properly graded, but has some high or low spots that need to be corrected.

    This method works great for most grass types including cool season grasses like tall fescue, rye grass and Kentucky bluegrass. If you have a bermudagrasslawn its best to simply level using sand and a specialized leveling rake.

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    Yard Grading : Everything You Need To Know

    While having a perfectly flat yard may sound ideal, flat lawns can cause drainage problems that may damage your lawn and the foundation of your home. Even worse, a lawn sloped toward the house can cause water to roll downhill and collect around your home. The best case scenario is a lawn that gently slopes away from your homes foundation.

    If thats not how your yard is set up now, you may consider lawn grading. While this can be a large project depending on the existing conditions of your yard, it will ultimately be worthwhile to prevent serious problems from water damage. Well explain the process of yard grading and outline the steps to doing it yourself. Well also give our recommendations for the best lawn care services to help you maintain your newly-graded yard.

    What Is Land Grading

    DIY Floating Ground

    In terms of construction, land grading is a construction process in which land is leveled or sloped to form a base, typically called for when a foundation is needed for a building. Land grading can also be used to correct drainage problems, prevent flooding, level backyard space so the area is more useful, or terrace a propertys hillside yard.

    The two types of dirt that most people choose for their projects are Virginia fill dirt and topsoil . Both have very different compositions and therefore have very different uses. Topsoil is essential for gardening or farming because this type of nutrient-rich dirt helps plants thrive. However, if fill dirt is used for a farming project, plants would have a very difficult time growing because fill dirt lacks the necessary nutrients.

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    Why My Backyard Is Uneven

    The unevenness of a backyard may occur due to natural reasons or by accident.

    For instance, the water level could have caused this type of problem in the first place before human intervention occurred.

    If this is so, dont worry as there are ways to even your uneven starting from manually leveling up other areas to using machine power.

    In this article, we will talk about:

    How you can even or fix uneven backyard using:

    Leveling Out An Uneven Lawn

    Carlos G. Lopez / Getty Images

    Areas of a lawn can become uneven over time, due to settling, drainage issues, and various natural and unnatural causes. In the least extreme cases, you can solve the problem by topdressing with a thin layer of leveling mix . This is a good solution for widespread unevenness that does not run too deep. More extensive variation in level may require multiple applications of topdressing or, in more extreme cases, filling in deep depressions with soil and reseeding over the filled areas. If unevenness appears near water pipes, along with drainage issues, consult a professionalyou might have a damaged pipe causing the issues.

    One trick for leveling small depressions or holes covered with healthy grass is to cut out a patch of the turf and add the soil mix underneath it, then lay the patch back down. Known as sweeping under the carpet, this is a handy technique for leveling localized depressions without having the unsightliness of exposed soil on the grass, which happens with the other methods.

    Whichever method you choose, spring is the best time to level your lawn, as the conditions are mild, giving the lawn a chance to recuperate before summer’s heat arrives.

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    Is It Worth It To Level Your Yard

    The Benefits of Ground Leveling Leveling the ground leads to easier routine lawn maintenance. The mower doesnt get stuck on lumps, and you can more easily rake leaves. Of course, an even, lush lawn looks pretty and is easy to maintain, and leveling your grass will greatly improve curb appeal for potential buyers.

    How Do I Know If There Is A Landscape Grading Problem

    How to Easily LEVEL a NEW LAWN – New Build – Garden Renovation

    The most simple way to look if you have yard leveling problems is to look for standing water. If you dont have proper drainage, you know that you have a problem.

    If you want to be more precise with your landscape grading, you can measure your yards slope. To do this you will need the following tools:

  • Two 3 ft. long stakes
  • 100+ ft. string
  • Carpenters level
  • The ground around your home should slope away approximately 1/4-inch down for every foot away from your home. This comes to around 2 ft. per 100 ft. So at 100 feet from your house, the ground should be 2 ft. lower than at the base of your home.

    To accurately measure the slope of your yards landscape grading grab a 3 ft. long wood stake. Drive it 1 ft. deep in the dirt at the bottom of your house. Then measure a 100 ft distance away from your house. At that spot drive a second 3 ft. long stake into the soil.

    At ground level on the stake by the house attach a string. Run the string to the second stake. Attach it to the stake with the string level. Use a carpenters level to achieve this.

    With the string attached to both stakes, measure the distance from the ground to the string on the far stake.

    If you measure a drop from 3 inches to 2 feet, you may be able to do the leveling yourself. However, if the drop is greater than that, or it slopes upward, it is recommended that you hire a professional to grade the yard.

    For very steep slopes you may consider planting ground covers or building terraces.

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