How Much Does Landscape Grading Cost?

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How Much Does Landscape Grading Cost?

Landscape grading and site preparation are essential aspects of construction, providing important foundational structure to your home’s buildings, systems, and landscape features. The scope of your project and the condition of your land and soil contribute to costs for earthwork and grading.


New Drainage Grading

Grading a site for proper drainage is an important step in construction and landscaping. Diverting storm and ground water away from buildings and high traffic areas can prevent erosion and water damage, preserving the structure and beauty of your home and yard. Grading is typically done with earthwork equipment and costs between $140 and $686 across the U.S. Prices for new drainage grading projects vary with the size of the site, the amount of material to move, and the equipment needed to accomplish the job.


Drainage Upgrade for Existing Grading

Often, improvements to grading are needed to correct settling or inadequate drainage around a home. The extent of work and amount of material needed to build correct slopes will affect project prices, which range from $183 to $895. Disruption to your existing landscaping may require repairs that add to overall project costs.


Grading for a Deck or Foundation

Deck and foundation projects require ground preparation that provides an appropriate surface to build on. Basement foundations require extensive digging with heavy equipment, while surface preparation for a deck or slab foundation may be accomplished with smaller, less invasive machinery. Grading for decks and foundations typically costs between $225 and $1100 with prices affected by the size and scope of the project.


Septic Tank Preparation Grading

The installation of a septic system requires excavation, backfilling, and finish grading. Preparation for an underground tank requires careful attention to depth and level, and is typically done with an excavator or other large equipment. Topography and site size may affect prices for grading for septic tank installations, which currently range from $489 to $773, nationally.


Driveway Preparation Grading

Proper grading for a driveway prevents water collection that can cause damage to pavement or nearby structures. Grading is an essential part of driveway construction that must be completed prior to paving. Soil conditions and the size of your driveway may affect costs for building a foundation layer and providing correct slope, but overall prices for grading in driveway preparation are between $228 and $1111.


Pond Preparation Grading

Building or enlarging a pond on your land can enhance your property in a number of ways. Some excavation is typically required for pond construction, but the scope of your design is the primary influence of project costs. In the U.S., prices for pond grading range from $77 to $378 and will vary with the application and size of your project. Small-scale landscaping features may require less excavation but more finish grading than large livestock, irrigation, retention, or recreational ponds, which often demand substantial changes to a landscape.


Grading with Landscape Drawings

Professional landscape plans enable your contractor to complete your grading with minimal preparation. Grading projects from landscape drawings cost an average of $299, since plans prepared by a landscape architect provide your contractor with a clear guide to the excavation, build, and final grading requirements of your property. Without drawings, grading prices average $296, since your contractor is responsible for planning as well as execution of earthwork.


Landscape Grading Service

As you budget for landscape grading, properly planning can help you anticipate the scale and expense of the project. Earthwork performed during construction has little impact on landscaping finishes, since it provides the foundation for hardscapes and planting. While grading projects performed on existing properties may affect lawns and gardens, the benefits of proper drainage and site preparation are usually well worth the disruption to landscaping features.

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