Lot Grading – Rough Grading & Final Grading

Lot grading and drainage are among the most critical stages in constructing a new home. If surface water is not properly controlled, it can lead to costly damage and endless headaches for the homeowner.

At MAC Land Works & Consulting Ltd., we specialize in Residential Lot Grading. We will grade your lot to ensure proper drainage away from your home, following specifications set out by the City of Edmonton’s Surface Drainage Bylaw (or the corresponding regulations in your municipality).

While the home builder is responsible for Rough Grade Approval, the homeowner must get Final Grade Approval – and maintain ongoing lot grading.

Both the home builder and the homeowner can count on MAC Land Works to do the job right. You can trust our skilled crews – backed by more than 40 bobcats and 7 tandem trucks – to create a properly graded lot for you to work with. We recommend that homeowners pay particular attention to the slope away from foundation walls as well as drainage swales along the property lines. When these areas are created properly, water from downspouts and/or sump pumps can be directed away from the home and the basement can be kept dry.

Grading Requirements

The City of Edmonton’s lot grading standards require that all lots in new subdivisions conform to an approved Surface Drainage Plan (Lot Grading Plan). Approval for grading must be obtained at two stages during lot development. Generally, the homebuilder is responsible for obtaining Rough Grade Approval, while the homeowner must obtain Final Grade Approval.

Buying a Home?

MAC Land recommends that home buyers check that the home they are considering – whether in a new or existing subdivision – has received lot grading approval. The city’s Drainage Services will only release this information upon receiving a written request from a law firm or real estate company.

In new subdivisions, developers often require a refundable deposit to ensure conformance with the lot grading plan and architectural guidelines. Contact the homebuilder or developer for details about this fee.

Inspection fees are also levied, but only cover the cost of inspection requirements. These fees are collected at the planning and development department when you apply for a building permit.

Minimum Grade Requirements

A sloped surface is required to effectively drain water away from all foundation walls – including areas under steps and decks. This will greatly reduce the risk of surface water entering the basement during rainfalls or snow melt.

  • 10% for the first 2 metres, with a minimum 20 cm drop for final landscaping.
  • 15 cm drop on side lots that are less than 2 metres.
  • 0.75% for concrete, asphalt or other impervious surface treatment, to within 15 cm of the property line.

Applying for Rough Grade Approval

This stage includes backfilling the foundation and shaping the lot to conform to the design of the approved Surface Drainage Plan.

The Rough Grade Approval procedure should occur within 60 days of initial site grading. It is the builder’s responsibility to ensure that down spouts and weeping tile are installed according to the approved engineering drawings.

  • The builder or home owner has the lot surveyed by an Alberta Land Surveyor (ALS), engineer or architect who prepares a plan of Certification of As-Built Grades.
  • Once the certificate is complete, it is submitted to Drainage Services for approval.
  • A lot grading inspector does a visual inspection to ensure the lot is graded in accordance with the approved plan. This is usually done within 5 working days of receiving the certificate – depending upon the inspector’s workload and the weather conditions.
  • An inspection report is sent to the builder or applicant indicating whether or not the rough grade has been approved or if there are deficiencies that need to be addressed.
  • If there are deficiencies, the builder must have them corrected within 60 days and ask drainage services for a re-inspection. There are fees associated with the additional inspections.
  • Once Rough Grade Approval is issued, the builder notifies the homeowner that lot grading has received approval. The builder must then provide the homeowner with the lot grading inspection report and information regarding the Final Grade approval process.

NOTE: If the builder or the applicant does the landscaping, they can bypass the Rough Grade approval procedure and apply solely for Final Grade approval.

Contact Us today if you have any questions or to discuss your project.