How To Grade A Yard Away From House


One of the main purposes of yard grading is to make sure that water flows away from your home's foundation, but grading is also important for the health and appearance of your lawn and garden. If your foundation is high enough, you might be able to regrade your lawn so water runs away from your basement.

Yard Grading 101 How To Grade A Yard For Proper Drainage Yard Drainage Yard Grading Backyard Drainage

The grade should go away from your house and should descend at a rate of 1 foot for every 50 feet from your foundation.

How to grade a yard away from house. Many drainage issues stem from improper grading techniques during a home or building’s construction. The first rule of grading is that the ground should slope away from your house in all directions dropping at least two or three inches every ten feet. Site grading involves changing the landscape to encourage water to flow in the desired direction — away from the house.

According to, the minimum slope away from the foundation should be 2 to 3 inches for every 10 feet, or about 2 percent, to prevent drainage problems. To determine if you have proper drainage, check the slope from your foundation. Ideally, your house is elevated a bit from the rest of your landscape so that water can be diverted away from it when it rains.

If you must add soil from an exterior source, use top soil or grading soil. You will next take stakes and drive them into the ground one foot away from your house’s foundation, as well as a foot away from the end source of drainage on the property. Hammer a stake into the ground next to your home’s foundation.

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Use slopes to achieve optimal drainage conditions. You can change your yard, from negative, to positive grading, by building up soil around the foundation. In most cases, home owners regrade the yard in order to get the lawn to slope away from the house so that it doesn’t pool next to the foundation and potentially cause flooding and water problems in the future.

It’s super important to have water drain away from your property! While this is not always possible, the ground should never be sloping upwards as you move away from your house foundation. The following posts gives you the basics of grading a yard so you have good drainage.

Pull the string taut, and tie the end around the second stake. This is an important step as simply raking and leaving it could result in additional settling over time, ruining the grade. Bad yard drainage can be a home or business owners worst nightmare.

In order to divert water away from the walls of the house, the soil must be dense and must slope. Place the line level in the center of the string. Tie one end of the string around the stake at ground level.

If playback doesn't begin shortly, try. Positive grading is when the angle of the slope goes downward from the foundation, draining water away from the house. Do not use sand, because water flows through sand very easily and can turn a bad situation worse.

Use a line level to ensure the string is level. Dig dirt from along the foundation wall until 8 to 10 inches of foundation is exposed below the lowest course of shingles. Even grading your foundation planting beds so they have a gentle slope could be enough.

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Your yard should have the proper positive grade to keep water from pooling up. Using a metal rake, pull soil away from the house to achieve a gradient with at least 1” drop for every 20”. We always suggest you hire a professional to help you grade your property correctly the first time.

The reason for grading your yard is to move the water/runoff from where it’s currently traveling to a different location. Stretch a nylon string along the foundation wall, 2 inches above the surrounding grade. The final grade must be sloped away from the foundation by 1/2 inch per foot over a minimum distance of 10 feet.

When surface water has no place to go, it pools and floods. These soils will keep much of the water at grade level until it has a chance to move away (or toward) your house. The maximum slope in a lawn should be twelve inches for every four feet.

With a little sweat equity this yard grading project can be done in a weekend. Measure out 10’ from the foundation, and hammer a second stake into the ground. During construction, the grading adjacent to the home is often installed to slope away from the home, but as the backfill settles, the grading becomes flat to negative.

You must spray paint each stake in order to properly mark it, so that you are able to recognize your boundary markers from some distance. Any successful lawn needs proper land sloping to direct water into. The grading should be installed with enough slope that even after settlement, there is still positive grading away from the home.

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