How to Level a Sloped Yard


Changing the slope of your yard is labor-intensive and, depending upon the slope, may be cost-prohibitive. You need to slope the yard away from your house to prevent water from puddling against your foundation and eventually entering the home, but you can lessen the degree of the slope and improve the functionality of the yard with a retaining wall and fill dirt.

Things You'll Need

  • Stakes
  • Measuring tape
  • Twine
  • Level
  • Retaining wall blocks
  • Shovel
  • Dirt
  • Top soil
  • Rake
  • Lawn roller
  • Grass seed or sod strips

six inches per ten feet slope from the house

  • Set stakes every 10 feet, starting at your house and wrap those with twine. Adjust the twine so the yard slopes at least 6 inches for every ten feet of yard, sloping away from your house for proper drainage.

  • Build a retaining wall at the end of your property to the height determined by the final position of the twine. Use interlocking wall blocks so you don't have to use mortar. Set the first row of pavers in a 4-inch deep, level trench and build the pavers up from the first row. Stagger the seams for strength. Back fill behind the retaining wall with dirt.

  • Haul in dirt to fill your yard to the level determined by your twine stakes. Use fill dirt for the bulk of this job, but use quality top soil for the last 6 inches to promote healthy grass growth.

  • Rake the dirt to smooth out the surface and remove clumps from the dirt.

  • Compact the dirt with a lawn roller. Compacting the dirt now prevents uneven settling which can cause hills and valleys within the yard.

  • Seed or sod your new yard and water daily.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check with your local government agency for permits and codes before starting this project.
  • Talk to your local home improvement store to get estimates on retaining wall installation.
  • Rent a lawn roller from big box home improvement stores.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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