Methods For Leveling A Bumpy Front Yard

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Does running across the front yard sprain your kid's ankle and qualify you for a hurdles competition? Leveling out the yard cuts down on injury risks, increases your home's curb appeal and can involve a play date with heavy machinery. Here are a few methods for making your bumpy yard wonderfully flat.

Best, Expensive Route: Rent A Skid Loader

Skid loaders resemble small bulldozers but have powered boom arms in the front that can attach to a wide variety of helpful tools. A skid loader with a toothed bucket attached can scoop up your existing grass along with a healthy amount of soil. This method ensures that enough of the yard is removed to get rid of even deep depressions. The yard can then be fixed with a new level of top-soil followed by grass seed or sod.

The trick is that you really want someone qualified driving that skid loader so that the yard is leveled properly and the skid loader doesn't end up inside the kitchen. If you don't know anyone qualified to operate heavy machinery, contact a landscaper, like those at California Sod Center, who has both the qualifications and the skid loader. That will save a lot of time and hassle in the long run. Note that hiring heavy machinery doesn't come cheap, but this provides the best results overall.

Decent, Difficult Route: Lawn Roller

Lawn rollers are essentially large horizontal barrels attached to the end of a long arm with a handle. The barrel is filled with over 200 pounds of water or sand and then pushed across the uneven grass to force down the peaks to join the depressions. This is a decent approach if you can't afford a skid loader or are working in a relatively small yard space. But the roller won't do a perfect job of leveling and there might still be visible bumps even after you've put on topsoil and more sod.

Another problem with lawn rollers is the weight. You need to be fairly strong to roll it repeatedly and evenly across a yard, and graceful enough to avoid sprinkler heads, small animals and your own feet.

Bare Bones Approach: Grab A Shovel

This method is cheap and requires no specialty tools. You simply take a shovel and try your best to replicate what a skid loader would do. Shovel up enough grass and soil to get the remaining layer as even as possible. This will take longer and be less precise than a skid loader, but it can still get the job done. This tactic is fine if you don't need perfection, are working in a small yard or simply need a short-term fix until you can hire a landscaper next year.

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