What is Grading Excavation?

Improper grading can cause road flooding.
A site must be graded and batter boards placed to mark the corners before a foundation can be poured.
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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2015
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Most building lots and roads are built on a carefully planned slope and elevation. Grading excavation is the process of leveling a road or building site to ensure the ground has appropriate slope to manage erosion control. This excavation process typically requires large heavy equipment, tractors, and excavating tools to assist operators in creating a well-graded area.

Special design techniques are used when a construction company builds roads. This includes special leveling equipment and hardware that helps to measure the slope of the road. Historically this was done with leveling sticks and measuring devices known as grade rods and survey equipment.

Grading excavation is a skill that takes special training and experience. This requires measurements devices and markers to identify the amount of ground to be removed at specific locations on the lot. Once the lot has been marked, the equipment operator can begin grading the area.

A grading excavation project requires a qualified grader operator to run the grader tractor. This special tractor uses a large shovel to level the dirt. The shovel is located between the front and rear wheels of the tractor and enables the operator to shave the dirt to a specific measurement from the surface, which creates a graded area.


Driving a grader tractor requires special operator training. This tractor is considered heavy equipment in the construction field and can be dangerous for novice drivers. Grading excavation is a skill that requires the operator to cut the dirt into a slope, which enables water and sewage to flow properly off the building site.

Building a road requires proper design and grading excavation. These road projects typically start with tree and shrub removal. After the large debris has been removed, the road can be cut with grading equipment and prepared for hard service material. The road must be cut to a specific grade before additional material is added to the surface. This reduces future flooding issues on the road area due to improper grading.

A building lot requires proper grading to ensure rain water runs away from the home. This slop design is based on a predefined grade, which reduces the chance of standing water throughout the lot. When building a home, it is important to hire a qualified contractor who understands grade requirements. This will reduce the likelihood of basement flooding in the future.


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