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Old 01-21-2010, 01:54 PM   #1
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Raising property level with existing lawn


This is probably a really dumb question but here goes ...

My property lies about 1/2 a foot below my right neighbor. Also, the grading sucks, plain and simple. So I want to raise the property level and have a nice positive grade away from the house into the woods. I'm going to lay down a drain tile on the left side of the property so excess water does not flood that neighbor since he is sitting about 1/2 a foot below me.

My question is: Do I need to have my lawn removed before adding soil to elevate the property? (I am not going to be putting a new lawn in per se, rather, various gardens and paths with sporadic "clearings with a little lawn).

What would be the drawbacks of just grading new soil over an existing lawn?

Thanks in advance and cheers all!
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:18 PM   #2
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Raising property level with existing lawn


No need to dig up the lawn
But if you are putting gardens in then you will likely want to remove the grass
You do need at least 6" between the dirt & wood at the house
So keep that in mind for grading
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:59 AM   #3
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Raising property level with existing lawn


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
No need to dig up the lawn
But if you are putting gardens in then you will likely want to remove the grass
You do need at least 6" between the dirt & wood at the house
So keep that in mind for grading
Thanks Scuba_Dave

Do you mean 6" between the dirt and where the siding starts? I'd like to keep at least 6" of foundation exposed and just seal it with that special paint you can buy.

Yea, wherever I choose to make raised bed or berms, I'll dig out an outline by removing the lawn.

This brings up another point. Once I do a rough grade, make sure its positive, do my final grading and all is good, I essentially have built a "canvas" to work with. If I start placing raised beds, gardens, berms, ect... won't this just mess up the grading all over again? I know they say to have the grading drop 1 foot for every 50 feet. I only have 60 feet to work with so should I be weary of creating too many beds? Or will drainage still occur properly?

Thanks again.

Last edited by earthad1; 01-22-2010 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:24 AM   #4
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Raising property level with existing lawn


Yes, 6" of foundation before wood

I only worry about grading right near the house
Most of my lawn is already sloped, front is fairly flat
Gardens could be slightly raised, fairly common
Do you currently have any standing water on the property after heavy rains ?
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:34 AM   #5
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Raising property level with existing lawn


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Yes, 6" of foundation before wood

I only worry abourt grading right near the house
Most of my lawn is already sloped, front is fairly flat
Gardens could be slightly raised, fairly common
Do you currently have any standing water on the property after heavy rains ?
I've never had any standing water in the front with heavy rains.

The backyard has substantial standing water during heavy rains. more so away from the house but its a problem overall.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:04 AM   #6
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Raising property level with existing lawn


The berms you create for the raised beds... you might consider using an edging or pavers to prevent the grrass from creeping in and taking the berm over. It saves work anyway.

You also might benefit from using a stringline and a stringline level to find out about where your standing water spots are... Then you could use a flatnose shovel to peel and roll back the sod/lawn and drop in and level out the soil addition... and then put the sod on top of your new graded area. (It's a lot of labor.)
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:51 AM   #7
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Raising property level with existing lawn


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The berms you create for the raised beds... you might consider using an edging or pavers to prevent the grrass from creeping in and taking the berm over. It saves work anyway.

You also might benefit from using a stringline and a stringline level to find out about where your standing water spots are... Then you could use a flatnose shovel to peel and roll back the sod/lawn and drop in and level out the soil addition... and then put the sod on top of your new graded area. (It's a lot of labor.)
Thanks for the tip...
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:09 AM   #8
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Raising property level with existing lawn


Might want to look at a plat for all the properties around you. And I would get a civil engineer out to figure out the changes you should and can make. Your municipality may provide a free or cheap consult to get you started. While your solution may not effect your immediate neighbor, raising and sloping the grade six inches and then also rapidly draining off the water (would not be allowed to do so where I was in Central Illinois without filing a grading plan and getting permits. A community notice would probably have to be served as well) is going to have to effect something or somebody "downstream" of it. I would hate to see you slapped with EPA fines or a lawsuit later on down the road.

Where are you by the way? Could you please click on your username next time you are signed in and update your basic location?

Last edited by user1007; 02-09-2010 at 04:14 AM.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:43 AM   #9
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Raising property level with existing lawn


You could just dress the lawn with sharp sand over the next couple of years. This will improve drainage, raise the lawn and help the grass roots get deeper, which also means it does better in the summer or when its dry. Most golf courses in the UK dress the lawns with sand every spring and autumn.
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:53 PM   #10
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Raising property level with existing lawn


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You could just dress the lawn with sharp sand over the next couple of years. This will improve drainage, raise the lawn and help the grass roots get deeper, which also means it does better in the summer or when its dry. Most golf courses in the UK dress the lawns with sand every spring and autumn.
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind...Is that the term I should be looking for at the Hardware Store? Sharp Sand?
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