flattening yard

Hi,
My wife and I bought a house back in 1996. We had no kids. We then had two kids, boy and girl. Now they are 7 and 5, the boy loves baseball and football.
But our yard is quite sloped. There is no flat spot anywhere to play. Except for the spot designated for our future garage (we had MANY loads of fill brought in over a two year period to just get enough of an area to build a garage on). I know it's hard for you to picture how sloped our yard is but it's maybe 20 or 30 degrees. ??
One area of our yard that has no trees, it's just grass, is where they play now. But being that it is sloped it's hard to play anything, you hit a baseball and it rolls to the bottom of the hill. No fun.
This area is about 50 yards long by 25 yards wide. Give or take a few yards. If I stand at the bottom of the hill, the top of the hill is maybe 6 or 7 feet above my head.
Are my wife and I nuts for even thinking about hiring a guy with a big bulldozer to come in and take half of the high part of the hill and push it to "fill in" the lower part of the hill, therefore flattening it out?
We're even thinking of moving. But we really love the house and area and would rather not move.
Any thoughts?
Thanks Steve
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Will it be safe? How high will the retaining walls be at each end. I'm assuming you will need them to avoid cave-ins. Will it effect your resale value. Any buried utilities you will dig up or cover up on either end?

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Actually, there is a bank at the low end of that yard. Overgrown with sumac, thorns, etc., basically unusable. So I just pictured the dirt being pushed over this bank and falling where it may. Sadly creating a steeper bank.
Because of this, I pictured having to put some sort of fence on that end of the new flat yard. As it will be pretty steep for a few feet. The top end may need a retaining wall.
No utilities, but there may be an underground spring that could be uncovered.

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x-no-archive: yes
You wouldn't believe some of the areas people build on in my location, very steep. And the solution for your problem seems to be a retaining wall. If it's only 7 feet high, you could get away with landscape ties, but they have a limited life span of about 30 years. Concrete is a better alternative. You also need to consider drainage at the base of the wall to allow ground water not to build up, but to escape to the other side of the wall. You also need to consider cost.
Here are some ideas:
http://www.themillpond.net/sitepages/pid18.php
http://www.askthebuilder.com/037_Retaining_Walls_-_Take_Your_Pick_.shtml
http://www.consumersconcrete.com/products/hard_scape/retaining_walls/retain_walls.html
I am not sure how much you pay for a yard of concrete in your area, but up here it's about $110.00 per yard. Calculating your concrete volume, first, is the best way to go to find what cost you are looking at. If you want to do this yourself, you can rent concrete forms, etc.. Which ever way you do it, it's a big job.
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assuming you are roughly 6 feet tall, that's 13-14 feet rise over 150 feet run. 14 / 150 ~= .09 = 9 percent grade (I think that's how it's done)

Aside from these excellent points, you should consider drainage, topsoil/sod removal/replacement, reseeding, etc.
Do you know how deep bedrock is in your area? tops of hills are typically worn away by erosion... which means it might be too shallow.
Is your soil know to contain boulders? What are you going to do with these if you find them?
Personally, I'd use the chance to also put in some sort of water feature (at the upper end., with a waterfall and such... good place for any large rocks. ;) Mind, you need to teach your kids not to drown if you put in a proper pond (you might even make it big enough in which to swim... or at least spash around). but once educated they should be able to learn alot from it (biology, ecology, etc). You also might have to obey some "attractive nussance" law if you do that though, to protect the kids of idiot parents who don't teach their children to stay off other folks property without permission, or who don't watch them like they should if the child is too immature to obey that rule.
Perhaps you could make an underground/grotto playhouse/shed on the upper end. (I wonder how much a 10-20 foot section of 8' diameter concrete pipe is. ;) I almost had this as a kid... it was an old concrete block pump house near the well... we had a blast in/on it. ;)
Lots of things about which to think. sounds like a fun project though. Lucky kids!
Good luck to you.
--
be safe.
flip
Ich habe keine Ahnung was das bedeutet, oder vielleicht doch?
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Better start with the local county agent or building department. Ask some general contractors in the area.
I went to school at ISU. Some loon bought a piece of property next to the fire department. Changed the grade and when it rained as it does in Iowa. The fire department building and engines slid into the new lot. The restaurant that eventually opened in the new building was called "The Cave-Inn"
I would think fill would be cheaper. Bring in truck loads of fill and level it out. Then wait a few months while you water it. Let it compact and settle then bring in some more. Keep the levels of dirt down to less than 24 inches at a time. You say 6 feet, then you sure do not need top soil. Check around some construction sites close to home and see if they want to get rid of the excavation materials. You might get the stuff for free and if you strike a really good bargain they might do the in-between leveling so that they do not have to drive farther to another site.
As a kid we had a creek that flooded and was eroding the hell out of one of our fields. When they put in the new highway we got 100 trucks loaded with broken concrete dumped where we wanted it and leveled for nothing. Saved the contractor a 30 mile one way trip to dump the stuff.
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You know what that say about "location, location, location"..
I had an estimate for rock for an erosion problem 2-5 ton loads with leveling was $2000 US... I couldn't imagine how much you saved...
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Yes, let him go (or take him) to a park
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