Tips On How To Grade A Site By Hand

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During those times when you don’t feel like spending even a single cent on different equipment and you simply want to gets your hands to work, here is a full guide on how to grade a site by hand. Don’t be afraid of putting your hands to use because any site that is not too large can be graded without the use of equipment. Yes it may require effort but there is absolutely no doubt that grading by hand is such a money saver as it is completely free, you don’t need to spend money as it is with other methods. For all the hard workers out there that are looking up to trying this amazing trend out, below are the instructions on how to easily grade a site by hand.

Necessary equipment:

For any process to come out successful the very first thing you need to do is get all your equipment ready so that when you start on the actual procedure you will already have everything in place and not waste anymore time. Therefore here is the list of thing you need to grade a site by hand;

  • Spading fork
  • Working gloves
  • Shovel
  • Mattock/ pick
  • Wheel barrow
  • Hand tamper
  • Laser level


  • Select the grade; but there is no way you will get the job done without grade therefore you will have to choose your grade before proceeding to anything else. You have three options to choose from on this particular point. The first one being using the area in between high and low rise of the slope which involves putting a lot of retaining wall behind the structure and all round it however you will not have to spend on trucks of dirt and wasting time waiting for it to settle for an entire month. The second is cutting directly into the hillside and holding the structure firmly with the help of retaining walls and lastly being filling up the field with build up and putting retaining walls only on the lower side of the area. So you can select whichever is most convenient for you of the three.
  • Put up some sort of shade; in case you have a structure is already in existence you will need to put up some shade just to make sure that the job doesn’t become even more difficult than it already on those days when the sun gets too hot. Since grading is not simple work you will need to work under the most comfortable conditions. Make sure the shade is well attached to prevent strong winds and any other such object from sweeping it off.
  • Get rid of the sod; the best tool to use for removing the sod is a spading fork, it will dive down to the bottom of the sod with ease. For the bottom pull and spread the sod. You can then put it away into a wheel barrow and deposit it on any part of your site that is free. Later on you will use the sod to build the soil all over again.
  • Measure and mark the grading area; use a laser level for measuring and defining which area of the site you will be grading. And there after you can use masking tape to label the part where the final grade will be. This will even make your job easier and quicker.
  • Begin cutting out the back; find the perfect mattock or heavy duty tool that you can use, it is much recommended that you pick a tool that will not be that difficult for you to swing around. You will need a very comfortable tool in order to get your job nicely done and achieve really excellent results. Break up the soil with the sharp end of your mattock and later start pulling dirt in your direction until it is all out of your working area. To maximize efficiency try to swing the tool in various direction because every swinging pattern comes with different results.
  • Get all the loose dirt out of your way to the low side; with the help of a shovel remove any loose dirt and put it away to wherever you dump your waste. If you will be grading the whole yard, you have to tamp too much which is the opposite for those who would like to grade only the lower part of the site. If you are lucky enough and get a heavy down pour in this period, your fill will settle in faster. This is not the final tamping, it will be at the end of grading.
  • Hold the fill back with a retaining wall; in case you have fill inside the structure it will be necessary to support it with a retaining wall, at the same time it can act as a stem wall. The retaining will therefore greatly help in holding the fill back.
  • Spread the grade out evenly and tamp; use a rake to spread the grade out all over the site, if you will be expecting it to rain any time soon then you have no reason to spend too much of your effort tamping. Your site will get the best tamping effects after it raining several times therefore don’t fight so much with tamping. After this you grading will finally be finished. I guess it is not so such a difficult process.


Make sure you have all the necessary equipment with you before you start on the procedure, don’t start looking for tools in the middle of the procedure to avoid wasting time.

Leave your sit exposed after grading for sometime because rain provides the best tamping results, no matter how much you tamp it will not be as good as the rain results.

Follow instructions as given above, you will not have any mistakes to regret when you follow all the steps in their correct order. So it is that simple, just follow the steps as given and you will be good to go.

Vanilla Farmer, Amazon Retailer & Tech Researcher. Yosaki is my personal blog but I'm working on some big tech project back doors. I will keep on posting various topics on things I have knowledge about.

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