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Differences Between Rough and Finish Grading

When most people think about landscaping the property around their homes, they envision planting trees or flowers, laying down nice-looking mulch, and maintaining the grass. Landscaping is more than those surface things, however. Sometimes landscaping means reforming the land—in this case, grading it. If you’re in a situation where you’re considering having a professional help you grade the land, it will help to understand the differences between rough and finish grading.

Differences Between Rough and Finish Grading
If you’re considering grading your landscape, it will help to understand the differences between rough and finish grading.


Grading land or a yard is the process of changing the slope, usually to make everything more uniformly smooth and level. People most often find that they need to grade their land because of a project that they want to do (like adding a pool or a garden) or in response to a problem (like flooding in low areas).

Rough Grading

Rough grading is the process of achieving the right overall shape and slope. Often grading involves flattening the land, but it should always be done by a professional who understands slope and drainage. You don’t want to accidentally slope your land too much towards your home and end up causing basement flooding. Rough grading often includes using heavy equipment, specialized tools (like lasers for slope), and occasionally bringing in new topsoil to fill in space. Rough grading is vital if you have any drainage issues around your home that need to be corrected, since that indicates a lack of proper slope to begin with.

Finish Grading

Finish grading is the second part of the process, after rough grading establishes the overall shape and slope. Finish grading includes working with the top 2 inches of soil at most, not working as deeply as rough grading. This doesn’t mean it is unimportant, however. Finish grading achieves the final necessary contour and elevation, and focusing on preparing the surface for its intended use, such as readying it for sod or planting. In most cases, finish grading will also focus on removing rocks and clumps so the top level of soil is uniform, smooth, and ready for whatever you want to do with it.

All of Your Landscaping Needs from Atlantic Maintenance Group

Atlantic Maintenance Group is a full-service landscaping company, providing maintenance, design, and construction, as well as snow removal, and asphalt and concrete services. We are your source for complete landscape and facility maintenance for commercial and residential properties throughout Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. We are a self-performing landscaping company, meaning we don’t hire subcontractors, and senior management is involved with every project. Our highly trained team of professionals receives constant, ongoing education on the latest industry trends, updates, and safety measures. This ensures we can deliver outstanding customer service and results to our clients, regardless of the size of your job.

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This entry was posted on Friday, October 9th, 2020 at 5:38 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.