Why Must Grading Be Your First Step For Any New Hardscape Project?

Construction & Contractors Blog

Hardscaping refers to the outdoor parts of your home that don't grow naturally. In other words, your hardscape includes everything from your sidewalk to your patio to the fountains in your water features. Since these landscape elements include constructed features, it's important to do everything you can to ensure they stand up to time and weathering.

As a result, most hardscaping elements begin with their base. A poor foundation or drainage can lead to significant problems and may even negatively impact other parts of your landscape or home. While hardscaping features can vary substantially in purpose, design, and size, proper land grading is almost always the first step.

Why Does Land Grading Matter?

There's no such thing as a perfectly flat yard, and having one would rarely be desirable. Instead, most residential properties slope subtly away from the main structure. Slopes can vary between houses, and some areas may have local building codes dictating minimum grades for new construction. However, some slope is nearly always necessary to allow water to drain away from your house.

Of course, hardscaping features are themselves smaller structures on your property. Patios, retaining walls, garden pathways, and even fences can all suffer from drainage issues. For example, the concrete surrounding fence posts can easily retain substantial moisture if installed in a low part of your yard with poor drainage.

Other hardscaping features are even more vulnerable to poor grading. Drainage issues can quickly cash patio bases to wash out or pathways to sink and shift. In a worst-case scenario, installing a large hardscaping feature without considering your yard's grade can allow water to run back towards your house, potentially threatening the foundation.

How Can You Address Grading Issues?

Eyeballing the grade of your yard is much harder than it seems, especially since relatively small slopes can have a large impact on water drainage. While pooling or running water might be obvious signs of grading problems, you may not notice slightly soggy sections of your lawn in otherwise unused parts of the property. Intermittent drainage problems also tend to be challenging to notice.

If you're planning to install a new hardscaping feature, the best option is to contact a professional grading contractor. They can evaluate your yard for potential problems and locate any grading issues that may affect your new construction. Once you know the problem spots, you can easily regrade that section of your property or adjust your new hardscaping project to account for the slope. 

Contact a local land grading contractor for more information. 


27 July 2022

Build It Better

Construction contractors have a very important job. They literally build the structures we live in, work in, and entertain ourselves in. They have control over how these spaces look, and also over how safe these spaces are. Some contractors lay flooring. Others install flooring. Some are generalists and do a bit of everything, from roofing to painting. When you start to understand the nature of a contractor's job, you start to really appreciate all of the buildings around you. It's that appreciation that we really hope shines through as we write this blog to share with you all, our loyal readers.