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
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.
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?
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
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
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:
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.
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.
Good luck to you.
Ich habe keine Ahnung was das bedeutet, oder vielleicht doch?
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
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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