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Finished Grade



   It seems to be impossible to estimate. The challenge is to establish the building elevation, meet compaction requirements for the parking lot, dig out for the required water detention areas and then hit the two inches at all hard surfaces required for the sod placement.

    Most contractors want to work to six inch specs, and leave the rest to someone else. If this is not discussed in the early phases, you get a big surprise at the end when the budget is all used up. You discover it is going to take many -18 yard truck loads- of medium grade fill, and additional truck loads of topsoil. For the landscape to look professional, the grade has to be smooth and contoured seamlessly.

    The finish grade is probably best done by the landscape contractor. They have the artistry and understanding of what is required to get that professional look.


The following is the order of final installation of the Landscape...


  • Add medium grade fill, if required, in low areas to allow for proper drainage and detention.

  • Add Finish grade topsoil as required for bedding areas.

  • Grade and contour to within two inches of all hard surfaces.

  • Trench and install irrigation system

  • Install all large container landscape items, trees, palms, etc.

  • Establish bedding areas, till, prep. and edge.

  • Install planting materials.

  • Install sod areas.

  • Install Hydromulch seed areas, fertilize and begin watering plan.


    Have all other subcontractors complete in their operations. Electrical line installers, gas line installers, sign installers, concrete workers, lighting installers and pavers must be finished before the landscape contractor can go to work. The landscape installation is the last operation before the certificate of occupancy is issued. Having to rip up the lawn to install a pipe is only added expense.

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