Skip to Main Content

Yard Grading 101: Take Your Land To The Next Level

Not all yards are created equal, and if you’re a homeowner, you need to pay attention to grading to keep your house from becoming a money pit. 

Grading is a big part of what we do at Sunbelt Rentals, so we put together this guide to lay the groundwork for your beautiful yard. 

Download the Sunbelt Rentals app to rent lawn tools and equipment near you.


Make Mother Nature work for you

The slope of a lot, and the drainage that comes with it, can be a boon or a catastrophe for your property as a whole. 

Grading is your chance to take back control of your land. By rearranging and supplementing your terrain, you can level out your yard to make it easier to landscape and manage runoff, so your home stays structurally sound. 

Get your tools together

The equipment you’ll need for a grading project will largely depend on the scope and the obstacles. If your project consists of just a few square feet, you might be able to get by with just some work gloves, a shovel and a wheelbarrow

If you need more power but still need some flexibility, a mini excavator could do the trick. However, if you’re looking at serious trenchwork over extended square footage, you may need to source a backhoe and learn safety tips on how to operate it

Plot it out

It’s important to think through your approach before you start moving dirt around. For one thing, digging often turns out to be more arduous and time-consuming than we think it will be. 

Sometimes, the answer is much simpler. If all you’re trying to do is fill a ditch, consider buying topsoil in bulk and dumping it versus digging it from elsewhere. 

Also, be sure you’re sloping away from your house rather than toward it. The latter can ruin your foundation.

Check before you dig 

Before you begin any excavation, you need to know what’s lurking underground. Utility lines and pipes are frequently buried, even on private property. 

The risk of disturbing those lines can be deadly. Even a minor breach of a gas line is enough to cause an explosion. Don’t find out the hard way. 

Governments and utilities do everything they can to prevent these accidents from happening, so check with local authorities first on utilities, as well as any required permits. Depending on where you live, there could be an agency or a hotline that can point you in the right direction. 

Pack it in and smooth it out

Once you have your dirt and you’re ready to spread it where it needs to go, it’s important to monitor how you’re doing. You don’t want to make your yard more misshapen than it already is. 

Because soil is porous, make sure it’s packed well when it’s placed. Otherwise, wind and rainfall can compromise your results. With a hand tamper, you can make sure your dirt stays true to form. 

If your ultimate goal is a level surface, don’t try it to eyeball it yourself. That almost never works. Use a laser-grade level instead to keep things straight. 

Above all, remember that grading is a gradual process. Keep it up and you’ll have a lawn worth showing off. 

Every home is unique, and when you’re fixing one up, the tools you’ll need will be, too. Sunbelt Rentals has them all, plus the knowledge you need to grade your yard. Whether you’re planning some grading or it’s already underway, our specialists will do everything they can to make sure your project goes off without a hitch. Reach out today for more information, or download the Sunbelt Rentals app on App Store and Google Play to easily rent lawn care tools and equipment and schedule delivery to your home.

Return to Home Page