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Old 08-02-2016, 09:47 PM   #16
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


I have a similar problem with my yard. I did some research. There is a tractor attachment called a "box blade" that is designed to do exactly what you are trying to accomplish. I haven't tried it, but it seems like just the thing.

http://incomingbytes.com/landscaping...vel-your-yard/

A tiller, in my experience, will make everything loose and then it will settle unevenly and just be all lumpy again.
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:14 PM   #17
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


Would filling in the low spots instead of taking out the high spots be possible? I can't see the bad spots in the pictures very well to tell how bad it really is
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:49 AM   #18
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


Would a Harley rake help in your situation, here's a link.

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Old 08-03-2016, 12:04 PM   #19
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


Filling in low spots isn't an option as that would affect the grading closer to the house where the low section is. I snapped a couple pictures from right in front of the deck facing the back lot. It's hard to see the grading but you can get an idea how it slopes from the pictures since I tried the hold the camera level.

Pictures are left to right, top to bottom.
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How should I flatten backyard lawn?-yard1.jpg   How should I flatten backyard lawn?-yard2.jpg   How should I flatten backyard lawn?-yard3.jpg  
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:10 PM   #20
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


Regarding equipment.. I don't doubt there are better options besides a skid steer but I'm skeptical that many tool rental places would have them available. I can certainly ask. I also don't have a tractor so tow behind options aren't a good option for me.

Ultimately I'll either rent the skid loader or just hire someone to do the flattening part for me (shouldn't be much more than ~$1k I'd imagine). At this point I'm leaning towards hiring someone to do the flattening with a skid loader as it's the more difficult job. I guess I'd need to rent a sod cutter or buy new sod to lay down afterwards. That's certainly DIYable just involves a lot of manual labor.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:40 PM   #21
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


I guess it depends on your local availability but up here most rent-alls and even box stores rent tractors as well as skid steers. The rental availability of attachments and implements depends on local demand. I live in farm country so renting this type of stuff either from a rent-all or a willing farmer with some time is relatively easy.

You might as well resign yourself to re-sodding or re-seeding. Unless your lawn is golf-course quality it won't come up well and a skid steer or tractor will chew it up.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:30 PM   #22
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


i have an identical problem. from what ive seen, using a tiller and a york rake along with a lawn roller seem to work. thoughts on this
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Old 08-04-2016, 06:31 AM   #23
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


That's a nice looking back yard. Before you go changing the grade, take into consideration the roots of the large trees. If you are lowering the grade in that area, it may expose the roots, which is more of a problem than what you think you have now.
I would think, with what you want to do, it would be about a $7k dollar job.
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Old 08-04-2016, 11:12 AM   #24
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


I had my front, side, and back yard graded and seeded/blanketed for $3k... might depend on where you are..

my biggest hassle in work like this is often disposal of the sod/clay/crappy dirt that i dig up... there always ends up being more of it than I anticipated...
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:02 PM   #25
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


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Originally Posted by rygar View Post
i have an identical problem. from what ive seen, using a tiller and a york rake along with a lawn roller seem to work. thoughts on this
I'd say it all depends on the size of the area. The area I'm thinking about regarding is probably a good ~1k sq ft. I imagine that would be pretty brutal to do with a tiller. If you have a tractor with some attachments it's probably def doable.
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:06 PM   #26
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


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That's a nice looking back yard. Before you go changing the grade, take into consideration the roots of the large trees. If you are lowering the grade in that area, it may expose the roots, which is more of a problem than what you think you have now.
I would think, with what you want to do, it would be about a $7k dollar job.
Thx, and ya I've definitely thought about the roots. Fortunately I'm not looking to cut into the grade too close to the old trees, but I was planning on renting a stump grinder as needed and grinding down some remaining roots that the tree removal guys didn't all get when they removed the trees. Stump removal isn't too hard. I can rent one for $150/day or less I believe, and they aren't too hard to operate. They were some very large oaks trees removed so I'm sure I'll run into some roots. Thx for the heads up.

Ya, $7k is too darn much for what I'm willing to pay. I'm still talking to some friends to see what they say regarding the skid steer. Maybe I can get someone to come over and operate the skid steer and pay them a decent sum to do the grading. Worst case I'll just delay the project a couple years till I have more time to tackle it. Good thing is it's no rush.
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Old 08-04-2016, 01:23 PM   #27
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


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I'm doing this purely for cosmetic/my personal preference to have a nice flat area to play on for myself and the kids.
That's exactly how my backyard started out.

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Worst case I'll just delay the project a couple years till I have more time to tackle it. Good thing is it's no rush.
Still need to level the yard now it's for the grandkids.
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:08 PM   #28
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


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Still need to level the yard now it's for the grandkids.
Ha, no grandkids. We got a 9 month old and almost 2.5yr old so my time to escape from watching them and play/flatten the yard is limited. If I could get a couple weekends to not deal with the kids I think I could get it done, but no such luck.. :p
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:37 PM   #29
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


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Ha, no grandkids. We got a 9 month old and almost 2.5yr old so my time to escape from watching them and play/flatten the yard is limited. If I could get a couple weekends to not deal with the kids I think I could get it done, but no such luck.. :p
That's what I thought too. They grow up so darn fast. Good luck and have fun with them.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:50 AM   #30
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Re: How should I flatten backyard lawn?


If you rent a skid steer, particularly a wheeled machine with a bucket, and try to do this on your own . . . you are going to make a very big muddy mess of what is currently a pretty good looking lawn. Wheeled bobcats are pretty brutal on lawns when they make turns. Buckets are great for moving loose material, but it takes a fair amount of skill to use one to cut down hills and make a nice looking surface.

My advice would be to not let the "badass" factor of renting a bobcat and having a go at it on your own lure you in. It sounds way cooler in your head than it will be about 30 minutes in. Things looks pretty good right now. A first timer in 3,000 lb machine could leave things looking way worse than they started.

Bobcats in general are not well suited to fine grading work, since they are so short. They just sort of follow the contours of the land that is already there. A longer piece of equipment is better able to cut/fill spots that are out of plane. With something like a harley rake or box blade attachment, a bobcat essentially doubles in length.
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Last edited by red92s; 08-09-2016 at 09:54 AM.
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