Reslope for Landscaping Cost

In this guide

Soil and soil quality
Erosion
Yard size and damage
Labor
Enhancements
Additional Considerations

How much does it cost to reslope for landscaping?

Resloping or regrading is often necessary for yards that don’t have even terrain. Some homeowners may not be bothered by the appearance, but this unevenness can cause problems with water drainage. If the terrain is shaped so that water accumulates around the perimeter of the home, it could lead to costly damages like cracks in the foundation or basement walls.

You should reslope or regrade your yard when you simply want your yard to be more flat and even, or when the current level presents a water damage risk. To prevent water from flowing down toward your foundation or basement, your yard needs to be graded so that it tilts away at a 2%-5% slope.

Several factors can affect the cost of resloping landscaping: soil quality and amount, erosion control, yard damage, yard size, and drainage needs. In this guide, we’ll examine the cost of resloping a 1,000 sq. ft. yard.

Soil and soil quality

Soil is needed for resloping/regrading if you need to add bulk to your land to create new slopes or evenness. It is also needed if your current soil quality is poor and needs to be replaced. Some resloping projects only require the removal of land layers, and old topsoil can be put back after the land has been re-leveled.

Soil is sold by the cubic yard (anywhere from $8-$18 per cubic yard), but it can sometimes be gotten for free in variable qualities from construction sites. Keep in mind that in some areas, soil may be more expensive ($20-$30 per cubic yard).

The average 1,000 sq. ft. space needs 10 cubic yards of new soil ($80-$180 or $200-$300 in more expensive areas). Soil delivery fees range from $15-$60 per cubic yard. Some companies may deliver large loads for free.

If your yard’s soil is very hard or rocky, it can take more time for landscapers to reslope it. This will increase labor costs. Especially hard soil may require the use of a backhoe or excavator. It typically costs $60-$150 per hour to rent both the machinery and the services of a qualified operator.

Erosion

Like all soil, newly added soil from a resloping project is at risk of erosion. Landscapers often install erosion control structures like metal braces and edging ($10 per 4’ section). New plants with strong roots can also help prevent erosion. Adding plants and natural elements usually costs $11 per sq. ft.

Yard size and damage

Larger yards require more labor and more soil. At least 6 hours of labor are needed per 1,000 sq. ft. If your yard is very damaged, that can also call for extra soil. Average soil costs are $8-$18 per cubic yard. Rocks and gravel cost $26-$60 per cubic yard, while mulch 1 costs $6-$30 per cubic yard.

French drain 2

Installing a French drain 2 can prevent water from accumulating around your home, preventing damage to your foundation or basement. They are usually built into a dug trench to redirect water away from the structure. The average cost of installing a French drain is $1,000 to $1,500.

Labor

Landscapers usually charge $45-$75 per hour. You should expect at least 6 hours of labor per 1,000 sq. ft. of land that needs resloping ($270-$450). Labor costs include preparation, setup, and cleanup.

Getting a consultation can help you figure out your specific needs and start the planning process. Consultations generally cost $100.

You may have to pay an additional amount for equipment costs, which averages $160-$230. Extensive resloping may require the use of a backhoe or excavator. It can cost $60-$150 per hour to rent both the machinery and the services of a qualified operator.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Adding landscaping

After resloping your yard it will be primarily dirt. You will likely want to have it re-landscaped. The average cost of landscaping a 1,000 sq. ft. yard is $11,000. You can also just add sod over the newly resloped land. Professional sod installation for a 1,000 sq. ft. yard typically costs $1,075.

Additional considerations and costs

Permits and regulations

Permits may be required for resloping and other deep landscaping projects. Average prices are $100 or less, and depend on your city, county, or state.

Resloping land often has an effect on public property and the property of neighbors. Because of this, it’s likely you will be required to have a land survey done by a licensed professional. The average cost of land surveys and resloping assessments are $200-$450.

Vegetation removal

Prior to resloping/regrading, you’ll probably need to clear your yard of vegetation. This typically costs $300-$465 for 1,000 sq. ft. of land.

Power and utility lines

Since the resloping process often involves digging, you should check the locations of any underground power and utility lines. You can do this by contacting your utility providers and asking professionals to come out and mark the line locations. Notify your landscapers so that damage can be avoided.

If you do hit a utility line, your home’s utilities may be interrupted until it can be fixed. You will likely have to call your utility company to perform the repair. This type of repair can cost as much as $1,000, or more if there is extensive damage.

DIY

DIY resloping is possible, but not recommended. The work is very time consuming, and if done improperly, can lead to extensive water damage in your home and on your land. Also, even moderate resloping projects can require the use of heavy equipment, such as excavators and backhoes.

Rain garden

Building a rain garden can be an alternative to resloping and regrading. It’s best for yards that don’t have slopes toward the house, but just accumulate too much standing water after rainfall.

Rain gardens are built in a depression that enables water to soak there and be absorbed into the ground. Their placement should be beneath gutter rainspouts, or other places where water tends to accumulate. They average $3-$5 per sq. ft. just for materials, so a 50 sq. ft. rain garden typically costs $150-$250 to DIY. Including professional labor ups the cost to $10-$15 per sq. ft. ($500-$750).

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Mulch: A natural substance derived from plant, animal, or mineral matter that is added to soil in order to make it more fertile
2 French drain: An outdoor buried drain line that leads water away from the house. Water runs through a trench filled with gravel into a perforated pipe underneath, which leads the water downhill to a safe area

Cost to reslope for landscaping varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Arlington, TX
+6%
Aston, PA
+26%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Cary, NC
-5%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Citrus Heights, CA
+6%
Clemmons, NC
+10%
Clermont, GA
-31%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Concord, CA
+30%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Daly City, CA
+51%
Decatur, GA
+9%
Destrehan, LA
+29%
Edison, NJ
+36%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Gilbert, AZ
-2%
Houston, TX
+24%
Julian, NC
-9%
Katy, TX
+63%
Lake Worth, FL
-2%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Livermore, CA
+35%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Madison, WI
+13%
Mechanicsville, VA
-3%
Menifee, CA
-6%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Michigan City, IN
-4%
Mill Hall, PA
-34%
Milton, PA
-22%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Montgomery, AL
-10%
New Baltimore, MI
+13%
New York, NY
+77%
Olivehurst, CA
-3%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Racine, WI
-7%
Raleigh, NC
-3%
Richmond, VA
+4%
Sacramento, CA
+8%

Labor cost in your zip code

Last modified:   
Methodology and sources