December 19, 2018
  • Information is Everything

Leveling and Grading Standards in Construction

Grading refers to the process of removing dirt, rock, and debris from a construction site to bring it to a desired level or slope. This leveling of the ground is typically one of the first steps when a construction project starts. Regardless of the type of construction project—be it a landscaping plot, a new building, a roadway, or a new drainage sewer line—the land must be level for the construction to go smoothly.

Balance Concept

Leveling or Mass Grading

The initial steps in ground prep for a construction project is leveling, or mass grading, of the ground. This ensures a solid base for the foundation. Mass grading usually includes using a piece of heavy-duty construction grading equipment, such as a backhoe or tractor, to remove dirt. Over the years, various leveling and grading standards have been put in place to maintain safety.

  • Winter or rainy season restrictions
  • Emergency work
  • Drainage and terracing
  • Erosion control
  • Cuts and fills
  • Dust control

Each of these areas has specific standards that must be met. These measures have been adopted to help maintain the highest level of integrity and safety for any new construction project.


Safety standards are important for any construction project, but they are especially important for leveling and grading. Without these safety measures, the foundation could crumble, or the project might collapse. Strict safety measures have been put in place especially for commercial sites, as they experience a higher volume of traffic compared to a residential site.

These standards include provisions like grading in phases to prevent corrosion, using filter fabrics, employing access roads, and the proper disposal of cleared vegetation. Other standards pertain to the allowed steepness of a cut slope or the compaction of a fill. Standards vary by area, and a professional can help determine the proper safety measures to employ.

Office building front

Fine Grading

Fine grading construction refers to the process of finishing the ground once a project has been completed. This is important for the aesthetic look of the project. Once the construction of a new building has been wrapped up, fine grading will be performed to smooth the land for landscaping or other projects, such as a parking lot or sidewalk. In a way like mass grading, the fine grading crew will use heavy duty machinery to restructure the ground around the buildings or site.

Fine grading allows for a smooth, level parking lot, sidewalk area, or landscaping plot. This allows for secure bonding of concrete to the ground in the case of a parking lot or sidewalk. It ensures the best plot possible for landscaping to make the grounds pleasing to the eye.

Leveling and grading in construction is a necessary step in the process. Working with a professional crew can help ensure all safety standards are followed and met.