When you hear the term “grading” in construction, the first thing you think of is probably tests and schoolwork. However, this is a different type of grading! It refers to the shaping of the land on a construction site.

Take a look below to learn more about what grading means in terms of construction and landscaping, as well as some of the different kinds of construction site grading out there that you may come in contact with. 

What Is Grading In Construction?

When we talk about grading in construction, this refers to the process of reshaping the land of a construction site to better fit the needs of the build. This is often done not only to make it easier and safer to build the structure to code, but also to protect the machinery being used for the project. Land grading can include levelling off the land as well as adding or removing slopes.

Types of Grading In Construction

Read on for the main types of construction land grading that you may see and need to be familiar with should you have to put a grading plan in place!


Regrading is one of the simplest types of construction grading. Essentially, it is when you either raise or lower the level of the land. This helps large projects because it ensures all of the buildings or structures are on the same level. For smaller projects, you may also see regrading used. It can help in these cases by creating proper drainage and removing the issues of pooling, which could cause damage.

Landscape Grading

Landscape grading is another type of construction grading, and refers to the process of reshaping the land to accommodate different kinds of landscaping elements. Some examples of these landscaping fixtures include water fixtures or planters. In landscape grading, you typically have to remove the topsoil and install irrigation, and then level or slope the land to help encourage and guide water to ensure proper drainage.

Landscape Grading - Seko Construction

Architectural Grading

Architectural grading is another of the many different types of construction grading. This kind of grading refers to when you remodel or reshape the land of a site for the preparation of a home or construction build. Some of this could include leveling the construction area, digging a hole for the structure’s foundation, reshaping the area for drainage elements, or removing unwanted slopes and elevations.

Rough Grading

Another type of grading is known as rough grading. Rough grading is the term for construction grading that involves forming or creating the basic shapes and basic elevations of a landscaping or construction project— hence the term “rough”. Rough grading often involves the use of heavy machinery, like mini excavators, to get the job done. It usually involves removing large sections of land on the unwanted elevations, as well as adding topsoil when necessary so as to create a level top layer on the land.

Finished Grading

Finished grading is a step and a type of construction grading that takes place after rough grading has been completed. Finished grading establishes the final elevations and shapes of the construction project. For instance, in terms of landscaping, this means preparing for planting, while for construction, it could be preparing to lay gravel. 

Final Grade

Last, but certainly not least, comes the final grade! This is the final step of the construction grading process, where you can place sand and topsoil that can then help to promote growth. Workers can then seed the area so that grass may grow on the property. This will really help the property to look finished and professional once it’s all done!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process of grading in construction?

If you are in the construction field, or are doing research in the construction field, then chances are you have heard of the term “grading”. What does grading mean, then, you may be wondering? Grading refers to a process that is utilized in order to reshape the land at a particular construction site. You could either raise or lower the ground level in grading. Levelling the ground surface or adding or removing slopes is also included underneath the grading umbrella. Site grading can be used for different purposes when it comes to landscaping and the type of construction projects. For example, the grading process can be used to modify a property for aesthetic purposes. It can also be used to achieve more functional things, like modifying the water runoff patterns on a site. 

What do you mean by grading?

When you hear the term “grading”, there are a few different definitions. For example, in apparel design or construction, grading is when you make a pattern of a garment larger or smaller. You “grade up” or “grade down” per size. However, there is also grading as it applies to landscaping and construction for commercial property. In these cases, grading is the process of modifying the land of a construction site and reshaping the land in some way. This can include levelling the land, and can also include adding different slopes or levels to the land, too. By definition, grading is “the act of classifying something on a scale by quality, rank, size, or progression”. 

Why is grading important in construction?

The next question is why grading is so important in the commercial construction field, anyway! You may be wondering if it is truly necessary, or may want to save some money by skipping this step in your new build. However, that is not always the wisest course of action. Not all construction or landscaping projects will require grading, but if they do, it is smart to stick with it because there are definitely some benefits to the process! A grading strategy can be essential for preparing a site for a structure, as some sites will need to be levelled out to construct a building safely and properly, for instance. With site grading, you can also sculpt or mold the land to fit the individual needs of a construction project as well as get the land prepared for drainage systems. The main goal of grading on site is to prevent the damage of the machines that are being used or the structure that is being built.

Is it important to have a detailed grading plan in place for grading land in construction?

es, having a detailed plan in place for grading land in construction is essential. Grading refers to the process of shaping and leveling the land’s surface to achieve proper drainage, stability, and site preparation for construction. Here are some reasons why a detailed grading plan is important:

  1. Proper Drainage: A well-executed grading plan ensures effective drainage of surface water away from the construction site. It prevents water accumulation and potential flooding, which can cause damage to structures, compromise foundation integrity, and create water-related issues during and after construction.
  2. Site Stability: Grading helps create a stable foundation for the construction project. By properly contouring the land, grading minimizes soil erosion, reduces the risk of landslides, and provides a solid base for buildings, roads, and other structures. It ensures that the land is properly compacted and graded to support the weight and load requirements of the planned construction.
  3. Regulatory Compliance: Many jurisdictions have regulations and codes related to grading to ensure safety and proper land use. A detailed grading plan helps demonstrate compliance with these regulations, permits, and environmental requirements. It ensures that the land is graded appropriately to meet local building codes and regulations, preventing potential legal and compliance issues.
  4. Cost and Time Efficiency: A well-thought-out grading plan can help optimize the construction process by minimizing the need for excessive earthwork or corrective measures during construction. It helps avoid costly delays, rework, and additional expenses that may arise from improper grading. By having a detailed plan in place, construction can proceed smoothly, saving time and money in the long run.
  5. Environmental Considerations: Grading plans take into account environmental factors such as erosion control, preservation of natural features, and protection of nearby water bodies. It helps minimize the impact on the environment during construction and ensures responsible land development practices.
  6. Collaboration and Communication: A detailed grading plan serves as a blueprint for contractors, engineers, and other stakeholders involved in the construction process. It facilitates clear communication and collaboration among the project team, ensuring that everyone understands and follows the intended grading design.

Overall, a detailed grading plan is crucial in ensuring proper drainage, site stability, regulatory compliance, cost and time efficiency, environmental considerations, and effective communication during the construction process. It helps set the foundation for a successful construction project by addressing land grading requirements in a planned and systematic manner.