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Help Estimating Job for leveling ground and sod.

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  • Help Estimating Job for leveling ground and sod.

    Hi There. My name is Brad and I am looking for help for estimating a job for a lady. Her front yard has sunken over the years and as you can see in the picture, on the right side, beside the sidewalk, the yard is low and the water pools there in the low area. She does not want a dry creek bed of rock and wants the area filled in so the slope runs into the sidewalk so the water does not pool on the lawn.

    The area is about 15 x 20feet. 15 feet from the rock to the sidewalk and about 20 feet from the place of photo to the edge of the property. The low spot is about 6-8 inches below the sidewalk.

    Can I just fill all that in with topsoil and pack it down as much as possible and the re-sod? Or is there another suggestion out there. Also, I have no idea how many man hours this would be.

    I have attached a photo for your viewing pleasure.

    Thank you very much for your help!

    Attached Files

  • #2
    well the right way would be to get a sod cutter and get the area you are regrading clear of grass set you grade then re-sod. most expensive in my mind but correct way.

    So cost dirt, sod cutter, disposal old sod, new sod, and labor. Given the condition and size I would just resod the whole thing so it matches.

    Easy way would be your top soil idea but toss seed down and let the old stuff grow thru. You can't really lay sod on existing grass without problems.
    Mountain View Greenskeeper proudly offering yard care in the East Valley of Arizona.


    • #3
      As noted and what we do is cut the old sod out, if seeding we use Garden Soil, sod would be top soil. Not knowing your costs, you need 7 yards of soil, 300 sp/ft of sod. It is important to ensure the soil is rolled and when you lay the new sod it ties in to be perfectly flat with the current sod and of the same type of grass.
      Halifax, Nova Scotia


      • #4
        try this:

        The way we do these is to rent a sod cutter. Cut the sod out of the area and set it aside to reuse. Fill the sunken area with dirt and pack as you go. You can use a hand tamper as the area isn't too big. By the look of the picture, it looks like the point where the tree is planted, is higher than the sidewalk. So you could slope (grade) from the tree down to the sidewalk.

        We use pulverized black soil to fill (it's grinded up soil) and lay the sod back in place. make sure to leave the area a bit higher than the grade to allow for settling as the dirt will still settle a bit even after being tamped. Make sure not to tamp the top 2"-3" of soil so the sod has loose soil to grab onto.

        Pretty simple job. costs:

        sod $40- 4 hours
        pulverized black soil....$20 per yard

        Estimated time:
        30 min to pick up and return sod cutter
        30 min to cut sod and reload sod cutter
        30 min to roll up sod and move out of way
        4 hours to pick up and unload 4 yards of soil
        (using a shovel and a wheelbarrow to unload)
        1 hour worth of hand tamping
        1.5 hours to properly relay sod & water

        total time about 8 hours: so 1 day to complete
        I would charge about $400


        • #5

          I had a whole reply set up but it felt like i was attacking you and I dont want to do that. I think your over estimating you time but better safe then sorry.

          to each his own....
          Mountain View Greenskeeper proudly offering yard care in the East Valley of Arizona.


          • #6
            Bringing THIS thread back from the dead, but I was thinking about this the other day... I wonder if that type of regrading would even work in our area. It rains literally 10 months out of the year. There are rarely any completely sunny days** maybe two in the past month or so. Wouldn't the water end up pooling *somewhere* anyway?


            • #7
              Well I am sure it does somewhere, but ideally, it's good to get it not to pool on the property.
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