I have recently been contacted by the contractor who won the bid on
a project to expand the road that runs outside my lot. I live on
about 5 acres in Virginia. Currently my front lawn area runs uphill
about 15-20 feet across a large patch of 400x400 foot land. The
contractor is interested in using my front lawn as a fill area to place
around 25,000 cubic yards of fill dirt that they have to move from a
few hundred yards up the road. In exchange for this they will
completely re-level my whole lawn, reseed it, lime it, make sure the
drainage is not affected. It would all be done to the same
specifications as the county part of the project. This seems like a
win/win to me... contractor gets to move dirt just down the road
instead of miles away, and I get my lawn leveled and re-seeded with
actual grass (it's all weeds now). They are also paying for a fill
certification to ensure that the fill is done correctly if we ever are
able to sell the land to a developer.
Is there any reason why this wouldn't be a good deal for me to do?
It's going to take 6 months and we'll have trucks outside, but it would
be nice to have a level yard at the end of it all. Any thoughts
Sounds perfectly reasonable, just get everything in writing first and
run it by your lawyer. Take pictures daily throughout the project so you
have documentation of it either being done right, or of any problems.
Be sure to get a timeline, and particularly a commitment on the time from
removal of the fill to the time it is levelled and seeded. Insist on a
minimum amount of topsoil to be spread before seeding, I have seen projects
where they leave the area mostly gravel and heavy clay and try to seed over
it. Hydroseeding probably will be the best way to go as it is sprayed over
the area with a mulch that protects and moistens the seed until it has
Everything should be spelled out in a contract, nothing said verbally will
be done or can be enforced.
A road crew did a good job by me in restoring the area in my lawn after my
agreement to run part of a storm drain into my property, as well as the side of
my property which was under an easement. My uphill neighbor complained loudly
of the trees removed (the ones in the easement!) and got the highway department
to plant some spruces AND connect his driveway to the storm drain to drain his
pavement area, although that had nothign to do with highway drainage. In my
area, the highway department head is an elective office. So, they may be very
motivated to please you.
I'd consult with an engineer though since the work is on your uphill side and
you'll be changing your grading, just to be knowledgable and on top of things.
On 8 Jun 2006 07:54:01 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
If it were mine, two considerations come to mind quickly. Are there
any utilities in that 400x400 area? 400x400 is nearly 4 acres of your
five. The fill will raise the 400x400 by more than 4 feet. Place
several stakes in the area with survey ribbon tied at the 4' level.
Look out your front window. Can you live with that view? Or lack of?
Everyone recommends getting a contract and a lawyer to look it over.
Why do we never get a contract to spell out the services and fees of a
--Andy Asberry recommends NewsGuy--
You don't mention if you have kids, but if so, keep an eye on what's
dumped in your yard. My neighbor made a similar arrangement and while
the final outcome looked good, for many months he had big piles of dirt
riddled with old, broken glass, chunks of rusted, broken metal, etc.,
in his yard. Needless to say, the new "mountains" were very tempting
to his kids. He did find some interesting old bottles in the piles,
Pete C. wrote:
Contracors probably even mean what they say when they first negotiate a deal
like this but at the end they just want to wrap up the job and you will be
last priority. Dont expect a profesionally landscaped yard when this is all
over with. By the time you get a lawyer involved to draw up a contract it
will probably cost you as much as having your yard done. On the other hand
it may look like a golf course when they are finished and a hand shake is
all you need.
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