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Rough Grade Vs Final Grade

 
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:25 AM   #1
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Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


Does anyone have sample pictures that show rough grade vs final grade on residential?

As part of our waste haul off contract for a production builder, they asked us to include rough grade in our scope (including concrete spoil haul off), since we already have a skiddy on site. It has been a nightmare from the start: foundations are post tension, so we have to wait until the bars are cut in order to get close to the foundation. Framing starts before the bars are cut, which means scaffolds are up, again, preventing us from getting close to the foundation. We have also had to work around the A/C and elec whips coming out the side of the framing (the houses are about 8' apart).

We have been very frustrated, and the PMs have not been satisfied with our level of rough grade. The builder had the landscape company perform the "rough grade" after we did on one house, and showed us what he expected. To me, it was a final grade. Hand raked out perfectly, swale cut between the houses, and he had a string line set from front to back with a slope dictating drainage.

I told them that was a final grade, not rough, and maybe we weren't the company to perform their grading. They agreed, backed that part of the scope out (.07/sf) of contract, and the landscapers are now doing all grading.

I have been thinking too much about this, and am wondering if I am way off base. I have tried to Google examples of rough grade vs final and can't find good side by side examples. Anyone got pics?

God, I hate long posts, thanks for reading!
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:51 AM   #2
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


Stop thinking about it and don't offer grading if you are not set up to do it, certainly not for a bid price. Only offer to "backfill" foundation if needed.

Rough grade has most of what you describe w/o the hand raking. Tolerance is greater, but the slopes and swales should all be in place. Of course, he likely purposely omitted the details to get a cheaper price from you.

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Old 01-13-2015, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


I know you already had a machine there but can you even make money at that price? Are these lots huge? Is the landscaper charging the same?

I think rough grade includes the string setting etc. everything but the hand raking. If it has to be done with the skid, its rough. Finish is when topsoil and laborers get involved
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:18 PM   #4
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


Back in the day, when I worked new home construction for tract home builders, we would backfill and rough grade with a track loader. I was blessed with running a Cat 977L and would backfill and grade around the new building.

When I left the site, grade was slightly above what the proposed final grade to allow for soil settling, the drainage swales were tuned in, and the driveway was roughed out.

A final grade, we would come back with a small dozer and maybe a skid loader, the soil would be graded to the proper slope, driveway would be graded to, as well as any walkways, other features....patio, A/C pad etc.

When complete, the seed contractor would follow in the next day or so. They would have a tractor with a grading box or york rake, and a few guys. they would tiddy up and hand rake, then Hydro Seed the lot.

It was rare that I would get off the loader while completing a rough grade. Usaully it was to move some trash left by other contractors.

I see no benefit of doing a "Fine Grade" at the backfill stage of the project as there is plenty of work to be done after the backfill, and the lot will be pretty stomped up by the time it's ready for seed.

Now, that said. I no longer do tract home work and I spend quite a bit more time doing a backfill and grade on a custom home or the additions I typically work at. We will backfill in lifts and compact soil as it goes in and leave the grade pretty much spot on at the completion of the backfill.
It will still need an additional visit before seeding.

I can't recall maybe one or two times in my life that we set up strings to grade a lot.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:51 PM   #5
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


Probably not the same on every job.

Rough grade after backfilling foundation to me is making sure you are graded away from foundation and having swales roughed in if needed. We also include graveling driveway to keep site clean. Most sites we work don't have the best soils. The framers with lulls, concrete trucks, sheetrock delivery trucks put a hurting on the site so we don't get to fancy with rough.

Final grade to me is making sure yard is draining properly then loam & seed which we do bout 1/2 the time.

At the end of the day the only thing that matters is what is in contract/proposal. Be specific, then you won't have this problem.
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:43 PM   #6
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


I have graded many homes in the past, never a problem or complaint, although it was on bigger lots. This production work has been a whole 'nother animal.

@ Allday- Average house is about 2000sf, so .07/sf is $140. We charge $75/hr for skiddy work. In two hours shy, we should be able to buzz around a house and perform what I consider "rough grade".

@ Tgeb- I can't tell you how many times we graded the lots out smooth, only to come back a few days later to find the plumber/electrician/whoever has torn up the yard with a mini ex to work on utilities.
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:54 PM   #7
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


Rough grade can mean a lot of things.

It generally means smoothing out the big piles of dirt, filling in holes/excavation, establishing grade to fall away from building and hauling debris (stumps. slash etc) from site.

Rough grade usually does not import material.

But this is all established by specs & contracts. Yes even in residential.

You are not providing finish grade if guys are coming in behind you and excavating. Very poor scheduling by GC.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:36 PM   #8
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


Rough grade or mass grading in my book is +/- .2'. But it also should include the correct slopes with proper drainage, no standing water, no piles of dirt. You might end up with debris but should be in one pile or disposed of if you are responsible.

I'm also wondering if it's worth it at that price. Do you get multiple units to grade at one time? If not I wouldn't even think about it, doesn't take long to do but by the time you get there unload, do a quick walk around, grade it, load back up and leave for $150 no way. If you have to work around a bunch of other subs I'd call it clean up not grading though outside should be done in my opinion before you are grading.
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Old 01-15-2015, 05:24 PM   #9
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


I think he meant .07 sq ft based on sq ft of lot or area being worked on. Doesn't make any sense on sq ft of house.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:31 PM   #10
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


Quote:
Originally Posted by ESSaustin View Post

@ Allday- Average house is about 2000sf, so .07/sf is $140. We charge $75/hr for skiddy work. In two hours shy, we should be able to buzz around a house and perform what I consider "rough grade".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Upchuck View Post
I think he meant .07 sq ft based on sq ft of lot or area being worked on. Doesn't make any sense on sq ft of house.
Apparently not ...
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Old 01-16-2015, 05:33 PM   #11
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


My bad. I lost track of who posted what.

Btw, that pricing is crazy. How do you price grading by size of house. The sq ft. of land that you are grading is what you should price by sq ft.
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Old 01-16-2015, 05:51 PM   #12
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


I was thinking the same thing, Upchuck....
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Old 01-16-2015, 06:29 PM   #13
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


Quote:
Originally Posted by tgeb View Post
Back in the day, when I worked new home construction for tract home builders, we would backfill and rough grade with a track loader. I was blessed with running a Cat 977L and would backfill and grade around the new building.

When I left the site, grade was slightly above what the proposed final grade to allow for soil settling, the drainage swales were tuned in, and the driveway was roughed out.

A final grade, we would come back with a small dozer and maybe a skid loader, the soil would be graded to the proper slope, driveway would be graded to, as well as any walkways, other features....patio, A/C pad etc.

When complete, the seed contractor would follow in the next day or so. They would have a tractor with a grading box or york rake, and a few guys. they would tiddy up and hand rake, then Hydro Seed the lot.

It was rare that I would get off the loader while completing a rough grade. Usaully it was to move some trash left by other contractors.

I see no benefit of doing a "Fine Grade" at the backfill stage of the project as there is plenty of work to be done after the backfill, and the lot will be pretty stomped up by the time it's ready for seed.

Now, that said. I no longer do tract home work and I spend quite a bit more time doing a backfill and grade on a custom home or the additions I typically work at. We will backfill in lifts and compact soil as it goes in and leave the grade pretty much spot on at the completion of the backfill.
It will still need an additional visit before seeding.

I can't recall maybe one or two times in my life that we set up strings to grade a lot.
Couldn't agree with you more Tom, I'm still getting done the same way and been doing this way for almost 30 yrs
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Old 01-17-2015, 05:47 PM   #14
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


@ Moxey- Yes we are already on site to haul trash, and we are doing whole neighborhoods, so when we pull up to site, we are there for 4-6 hours, cleaning multiple houses. The idea from the GC was: "Since you are already there with a machine, why not rough grade while you wait between arrival and loading the haul trucks.".

Our haul off pricing is by the house square foot, so we added to the sf price to include grading.

@ Upchuck- These are not big lots, and the land developer already graded them once. Our scope was to rough grade directly around the foundations (not the yards), basically smoothing out where the foundation crew had excavated. Again, very small lots, production neighborhoods, in the middle of the city.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:52 AM   #15
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


My advice:

Do not offer rough grading. If the contractor will not allow you to bid the entire backfill/grade package then let someone else bite. I've been burned too many times by the interpretation of terms like "rough".

This especially applies to strictural sites
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:01 PM   #16
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Re: Rough Grade Vs Final Grade


I would not expect hand raking as part of rough grade. The site should drain and no piles left anywhere. But each contractor is going to interpret "rough grade" differently.

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