Lot grading is a crucial step in any residential land development to shape and grade the surrounding landscape, so that surface runoff during any storm event can be directed away from the building and towards the City’s right-of-way. For all residential properties, the City of Edmonton has an approved drainage design that must be followed, with some acceptable margins of error. After the lot grading is completed by either a landscaper or a homeowner, a Lot Grading Certificate must be submitted to the city. The Lot Grading Certificate must include design and as-built elevations, as well as other information of the property. With the help of the Lot Grading Certificate, the city inspector will visually inspect the property and determine whether the lot grading is acceptable to be within the tolerance range.
With summer right around corner, many landscaping companies have begun their work of preparing residential properties to be inspected by the city. Over the years, we have seen numerous landscapers struggle to meet drainage requirements on their first try, with the most common issue being areas that are out of tolerance from design elevations. Other lot grading deficiencies include design points that are in the wrong location, absence of internal swales, incorrect high points and many more. Whenever a lot grading is failed by the city, additional time and effort must be devoted to fix the lot, and more money must be spent to apply for re-inspections. That is why we at MR Geomatics & Engineering strongly recommend all landscapers to invest in a lot grading stakeout service from us before every job.
During each lot grading stakeout, our experienced surveyors will install stakes at all design point locations based on the drainage plan by the city. These stakes will act as markers to help direct attention to the areas that are critical for an effective surface drainage. In addition, we will measure the existing elevations of the installed stakes and inform landscapers exactly how much soil they should add or remove in order to meet the design elevations. With the help of lot grading stakeouts, landscapers should find it much easier to follow the city’s drainage plan.
For properties that are more complicated, such as walkout lots where there are drastic elevation differences, or infill lots where retaining walls and internal swales are required, lot grading stakeouts become even more crucial. In some cases, an existing drainage design may no longer be applicable due to the restrictions imposed by the neighbouring properties. Stakeouts prior to lot grading work could identify these possible complications and help landscapers avoid the need to regrade the lot.
From the plethora of lot grading and legal survey services we offer here at MR Geomatics & Engineering, stakeouts have often been overlooked, especially by more experienced landscapers. However, even experts can improve their efficiency by simplifying their work. An accurate and informative stakeout can do just that by eliminating the factor of uncertainty and providing a clear guideline for the most effective way to regrade a property.