Milwaukee Landscaping Company on Lawn Grading

Lawn in need of regrading
Sunken areas in a lawn fill up quickly with a heavy rain.

Lawn Grading: Do-it-yourself or Hire a Landscaper?

Lawn grading is all about contouring the earth around your lawn so that water doesn't pool up on any one spot or get into your house. If your lawn doesn’t slope away from your house, it's inevitable that water from rain and melting snow will accumulate on the foundation walls and eventually find it's way inside your basement.

While an uneven lawn is visually unappealing (especially with puddles of rainwater in the low areas), a lawn that slopes toward a house is a serious concern. The issues that arise from this range from dampness in your basement to damage to the cinder block walls and mold growth. If you have a finished basement, you may not even realize the extent of the damage until your drywall is rotting and your flooring is ruined.

If any part of your lawn slopes toward your house instead of away from it, lawn grading should be priority #1 your list of things to get done.

Is Lawn Grading Something You Can Do Yourself?

Yes, absolutely. Often, there’s an area of a yard that has sunken down a little and collects water. Areas like these are easy to spot by the puddles that collect in them. You just need to remove the turf from the sunken area, add topsoil fill dirt, grade it so it’s level, then replace the turf and water until the roots are established.

A more pressing issue is if you have low spots around the foundation of your house. This is also a more involved process than filling in sunken areas in the lawn. Here’s a general overview of how to go about it:

  • Mark the high and low areas in your lawn, then run a string from the low spot to the high spot. Your goal is to make the low area around your house as high or higher than the high spot in your lawn. This involves removing any turf around the affected area (or mulch/landscaping gravel) and grading the area with additional soil.
  • You’re probably going to need a lot of topsoil…more than you might think. And you’ll have to get it deposited in your driveway because it will kill your grass if it’s left on the lawn. This means you’ll be living with a mound of dirt in your driveway until you can get all the grading done.
  • After you’ve finished building up the low area around your house, you’ll need to put down grass seed. If you don’t, the soil will just wash away over the course of a few good rainstorms. You’ll also want to cover the newly seeded area with hay or grass clippings to keep birds from eating the grass seed you just put down.

Grading Can Be a DIY Project, But It’s Hard Work

If it’s a small area that needs regrading, you can probably tackle it solo in one Saturday. If you need to regrade the entire side of your house, you’d be well advised to have a helper or two. Even then, the project can end up taking several days. There’s a lot of shoveling, pushing heavy wheelbarrows, and spreading dirt around—the kind of work that can really take a toll on backs and leave you with blistered hands. Which is why so many homeowners end up hiring a landscaper.

Benefits of Hiring a Landscaping Company to Grade Your Lawn

We can’t tell you how many grading jobs we’ve taken on when frustrated homeowners give up on the DIY approach. Re-grading isn’t rocket science, but redirecting water can be a much trickier business than you might think. All too often, homeowners put a lot of work into a grading project only to find out it didn’t completely solve the problem.

Consider, too, the amount of time you’ll spend working on this project—especially if you’re doing it solo. If the project drags on for three weekends or more, you’ll be dreading Saturday mornings worse than Monday mornings. A big project usually requires a large mound of dirt to be delivered to your driveway, plus a Bobcat dozer and a crew of workers to get the job done in a timely manner. The typical homeowner just doesn’t have equipment like that or workers at his disposal.

When you hire a professional landscaper, you can count on having the grading done properly. Brennan Landscaping has years of experience grading lawns throughout southeast Wisconsin, and when we finish a job you can rest assured that water isn’t going to drain into your basement anymore. We also get the job done quickly, so you don’t have a car-sized pile of dirt sitting in your driveway for weeks.

How Much Does It Cost to Regrade a Lawn in the Milwaukee Area?

It all depends on the scope of the job. If it’s a small job, it could be a few hundred dollars. If it’s a major regrading project on a large lawn, it could run into the thousands. The website looked at the cost of 1,842 projects across the country and found most homeowners spent between $931 and $2,558 to have the grading of their lawns redone. The median price for the work was $1,711.

Get A Quote On Having Your Lawn Graded

Lawn regrading services throughout the Milwaukee area.The only way to know what it’s going to cost for your yard is to get a price quote. Brennan Landscaping will come out to your property to get a clear picture of what needs to be done. From there, we’ll prepare a quote and a proposal for when we can start and when we expect to have the job completed.

In addition to grading, we can also put in a French drain around the perimeter of your home to keep water at bay. This involves digging down to the foundation level and putting a drain pipe around it so rainwater collects inside it rather than in your basement. We can also handle the reseeding or planting of shrubs and other plants to help retain the soil around the perimeter of your house.

If you’re going to have all this done, we’d recommend getting an irrigation system installed, if you don’t already have one. An in-ground irrigation system is a far more water-efficient way to ensure your plants and lawn thrive and will also spare you from the chore of hand watering or moving a sprinkler around. And, yes, we install irrigation systems, too.

Request a quote on lawn grading at your Milwaukee area property


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– Cindy, Green Bay

You did a great job, Tim, we could not be happier. We also enjoyed working with such a nice and professional person.

– Michael, Fox Point

Thank you for the beautiful landscaping job! So many people have commented on how nice it looks.”

– Marie, Wauwatosa

Thank you for all your hard work on our project. We are thrilled with our patio and are very excited to complete the backyard landscaping this spring.”

– Jay, Fox Point