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Why Grading Matters to Your Profit When You Are Buying a Building Lot

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When you are buying a lot that is for sale, you are probably more concerned with the location and the price rather than serious details. However, the grading of the lot is very important and shouldn't be ignored if you are interested in trying to make as much money as possible on the lot. Here is why.

Grading Is an Important Part of the Lot

Few people who are looking at a lot really pay attention to the slope of the grading, but this is one of the most important aspects of buying a lot. In most areas of the country, a minimum slope of two percent is allowed in the direction of the drainage field as a way of removing water from the foundation of a building. Any more than that is not allowed.

Unfortunately, this means that you may not be able to build a building on your lot if your grading is more than two percent. That's why it's so important to know how to gauge the grading and understand whether or not it needs to be changed. This simple lot-grading test is something that just about anybody can do.

Calculating Grading

Gauging the grading on your lot is simple and requires this process:

  • Place stakes in the dirt around your lot or use stakes with legs if there is concrete instead of dirt; place a stake every eight feet along the boundary of your lot.
  • Tie a string from stake to stake and use a level to ensure that the string is level before tying it off.
  • Measure the length of the string from the highest stake to the lowest.
  • Use a sextant to gauge how high the rise is from the lowest to the highest stake.
  • Divide the rise of the stakes by the length of the string to get your grading.

If your grading is two percent or less, you are okay. However, if it is higher than that, you need to pay a landscaper to level the lot to an appropriate level. This isn't typically a major problem, but it is one that might cost you a little extra when you are investing in a lot.

The Cost of Leveling Your Lot

Unfortunately, if your lot lacks proper grading, you're going to have to pay someone to level it before you get the chance to build on it. Otherwise, your investment will be for nothing. Unfortunately, leveling the grading in your yard can cost a lot of money.

While leveling may cost as little as $500, it can cost up to $6,000. This will eat heavily into your potential profits, especially if you are trying to maximize your profits by building more on the lot. However, leveling will be absolutely necessary if you want to make any money at all.