The first part of the finishing stage of any land development project, whether commercial or residential, is the finish grading.
Finish grading services are the last step for turning barren land into a construction site that’s ready to have a building or home built on it.
This minor grading work, which happens in a number of steps throughout the construction process, takes care of the imperfections left after all previous land development steps and throughout the completion of the building project.
Step 1 - Rough Pulls
Rough pulling is the grading process of bringing in soil to backfill the ditches and trenches dug at the development site for the installation of utilities and building of the foundation.
These excavated areas are filled with dirt brought in with heavy equipment, any leftover fill dirt around the site is removed, and the site is then gently sloped from the foundation to allow for proper drainage away from the structure.
During the rough pull, grading services must match the building pad to the planned typography of the finished land and ensure any necessary swales are graded in before construction on the structure and other finish work begins.
Step 2 - Fine Grade Before Flatwork
Once the home or building has been constructed on the foundation, the next step in the finishing process is the fine grading work to smooth out the plot once again.
This step is done using smaller equipment like bobcats and tractors before any flatwork is started, as the various ground surfaces must be correct and level for the flatwork to be put in.
Grading levels for walkways, driveways, patios, and other surfaces is done around the building so they can then be framed for pouring the concrete.
This is usually the point at which any perimeter fencing would be installed.
Step 3 - Grading After Flatwork
After all the flatwork has been completed, grading services come in a third time to finish up to and around the flatwork once all the frames are removed and check the overall slope of the grade so the final plot around the structure and flatwork improvements is complete.
At this stage, any finish grading necessary for landscaping would be done as well and excess soil hauled off from the building site.
Step 4 - Final Rake
The last step in the finish grading work is the final rake to finish the lot and ensure it’s fully completed and presentable.
This step is usually done by hand with actual rakes and involves removing any remaining debris on the lot, tidying around landscaping, and sweeping off the flatwork.
Finish Grading Finishes Land Development Projects
Although the 4-step grading process is a gradual one that happens simultaneously with other parts of the whole land development process like flatwork and landscaping, it marks the final stages of the construction project.
From filling in behind utility installations to smoothing and leveling the top surface, grading services play a critical role in finishing a lot so it’s finally ready for its final use.
Learn more about the installation of the flatwork in the next segment of this article series.
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Land Development Series:
Land Development – Part One – Overview
Land Development – Part Two – Rough Grading
Land Development – Part Three – Web Utilities
Land Development – Part Four – Dry Utilities
Land Development – Part Five – Fencing
Land Development – Part Six – Finish Grading
Land Development – Part Seven – Flatwork
Land Development – Part Eight – Landscaping