Who does a lot grading plan and how much does it cost?

Grading refers to the shaping of land on a certain property in order to direct water away and keep it from pooling in lawns and near structures. Back in the earlier days, people may have found it difficult to shape their environment for their specific needs. Nowadays, with the help of professionals, this is possible and totally achievable.

Lot grading allows us to keep our lawns aesthetically pleasing. It also keeps away water, which is the nemesis of many construction materials. If left alone, surface water can degrade our foundations, basements, and even increase the soil runoff in our area. To prevent this, a well-thought of lot grading plan is necessary. Since there are a lot of guidelines that need to be followed and some techniques are best for certain properties, only the people who are trained and knowledgeable to create a plan should do them, which are civil engineers. In some cases, a licensed architect could also develop a plan, but usually, only a civil engineer can prepare grading plans when it exceeds 2,000 cubic yards.

How do I find a good civil engineer?

Hiring an expert civil engineer increases your chances of having a functional and reliable lot grading plan. However, finding a good one may feel like a tough task. No worries, here are some tips to help you find the best engineer for your very own project:

1.    Ask for referrals from your acquaintances

Just like what many of us say, one of the wisest things you can do when searching for a good worker is to rely on the experience of your acquaintances. Usually, word of mouth can be highly reliable, especially if they come from the people you know and trust.

Do you know anyone that has recently had their property graded? Did you notice a neighbor that has hired a couple of contractors to fix their area? If this is the case, you may want to knock on their doors and ask them about their experience. Were they able to hire a civil engineer for their lot grading plan? And the most important thing to clarify is: were they satisfied with their engineer’s services? If yes, then politely ask for their engineer’s contact information or their website.

2.    Look online for companies that offer grading services

Do not have any friends or acquaintances who recently had their lot graded? If you are in this situation, then searching for help online may do the trick. However, be very thorough with your search.

 Make sure that aside from their general contractors, they should have a civil engineer that has the degree and experience that is necessary to create an accurate lot grading plan. The reason for this is not to undermine other professionals but is mainly because of the laws and regulations in some states. According to several states, a lot grading plan will only be valid if it has been made and approved by a qualified civil engineer.

3.    Do not hesitate to ask them questions

Do you have a list of companies you would love to know more about? To see which civil engineer is the perfect fit, do not limit your search to one company. As much as possible, it would not be bad to have three companies you can choose from.

Once you already have three (or more) independent engineers or companies, you can ask the following:

a)     Do you have a license?

As mentioned earlier, the qualifications of the civil engineer you hire will highly matter once they start working on your project. Because of this, we recommend looking at the rules in your area and seeing the necessary qualifications they must have in order to make a proper lot grading plan.

b)    Are you familiar with my project?

There are many types of grading projects. In this particular case, you need a lot grading plan, which will be great for engineers that are familiar with topography and landscaping. Because of this, asking your prospects to see if they have worked with similar things will be essential for your final decision.

c)     Do you have certifications and insurance?

Asking for certifications and insurance is recommended for both independent and civil engineering companies. Since you want to make sure that you can trust their skill, having some proof of it will not hurt. Also, you may not want to get the help of an engineer without insurance.

d)    How many years of experience do you have?

When it comes to this industry, experience is highly important to determine the qualifications of the engineer. Although it is not always the case, seasoned engineers are often more knowledgeable about the important tasks and techniques that are essential during the making of the grading plan.

e)     How long have you been practicing in my state/city?

Aside from the usual qualifications of a good civil engineer, their experience in practicing in your particular state or city is also a crucial part of the hiring process. Since the laws and codes are constantly changing, it would be very helpful to get the assistance of someone who recognizes the federal and state land developmental laws.

f)      What type of technology do you use?

There are many tools that engineers use to create their lot grading plan. However, since many clients find it hard to recognize the important features, they may often want to decide the tool that the engineer will use, if possible. One of the most popular ones is called the AutoCAD Civil 3D.

g)    Will you be able to visit the site at times?

Nowadays, it is common for civil engineers to be present on-site. This allows them to inspect the progress and see if there are any violations or if the grading is according to the approved plan. If you want this type of service, you should know if the engineer you will hire is amenable to this setup or if they will only focus on creating the plan for you.

4.    Request to see a copy of their portfolio

Portfolios allow you to see some samples of the engineer’s past work. With this, you can get a gist of their work and their experiences with other projects similar to yours. Whenever possible, always ask for copies of their recently completed work.

5.    Get a quote for your project

Finally, we will always believe that a good engineer will be someone that you can afford to hire. Of course, your budget estimates should always be reasonable. After all, you want to hire a civil engineer who was required to study for years to be qualified. Ask your prospects for a price quote and compare them along with the other qualifications above.

Unfortunately, finding the right fit can take you a lot of time and may need you to do a handful of interviews. However, do not get disappointed. It would be better to spend all that time hiring the best one for your very own construction project.

How much should a grading plan cost?

On average, it costs around 1,000 to 1,500 dollars to get a grading plan. However, there are many factors that will influence the total costs. Here are some of them:

·       The land surveyor

For most land grading plans, a professional survey of the property is essential in order to assess the area and to prevent damage to the surrounding properties. Because of this, hiring a land surveyor is essential.

·       The dimensions of the property

Bigger yards require more soil to fill and move. Also, it will take more time to complete the work. Hence, if you have a large yard, prepare to pay more than what your neighbor or friend has paid for their grading plan.

·       The type of technology used

What type of technology is essential to complete the plan? The more advanced the program is, the more detailed the outcome will be, which would also be a factor in the total costs.

·       The required erosion and flooding control

Depending on the current soil and drainage conditions of the property, the civil engineer will propose various measures to fix and regulate the issues surrounding the area.