How Can I Level a Sloping Backyard?

To level a sloping backyard, remove the vegetation and topsoil, mark the utility lines, add fill, measure the new slope and replace the topsoil. This one-week project requires a track loader, a rake, a shovel, fill, a lawn roller, a measuring tape, a hose, a board and a carpenter's level.

  1. Remove the vegetation and topsoil

    Remove all vegetation growing in the yard. Use a mini track loader to excavate 8 inches of topsoil, and mound it on one side of the yard.

  2. Mark the utility lines

    Contact the utility companies and inform them of the project. Ask the companies to mark the location of all utility lines beneath the backyard.

  3. Add fill

    Add fill soil to the low portion of the yard, distribute it with a rake, and compact it with a lawn roller. Inspect the yard, and shovel additional fill into any remaining depressions. Rake the soil again.

  4. Check the grade of the new slope

    Lay an 8-foot board at the highest point of the yard, extending lengthwise down the slope. Set a carpenter's level on the board, and lift the board until it is level. Measure the distance between the soil and the end of the board. Repeat this process until you have measured the entire slope. Remedy discrepancies by adjusting the soil level, and measure the grade again.

  5. Add topsoil

    Cover the yard with 4 inches of topsoil, and tamp it down with the lawn roller. Reserve the remaining topsoil. Saturate the yard with water, give it several days to dry and check for depressions. Fill the depressions with reserved topsoil, and compact the yard with the roller. Do this until no depressions remain.