You are not the only one who has ever looked at a site grading map and felt lost in all the numbers and lines. These drawings contain detailed information about the site and its surroundings, as well as details about the work to be done.

A proper grading design will manage drainage and ensure that your foundation is at the correct depth. It can also account for landscaping options you prefer.

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A site grading plan that is accurate and complete will save you time, permit delays, and allow the earthworks contractor to provide an accurate estimate.

These features will help civil engineers communicate design requirements to the city building officials and contractors on your project.

The grading plan drawing is hidden in the corner of a site plan. It shows the site's position in the surrounding neighborhood. The North arrow indicates the site's orientation. The map will be used by planning and building departments to locate the site. Earthworks contractors may also use it for site access planning.

A benchmark elevation marker refers to the reference point on which the site was surveyed. Surveyors typically use markers from the National Geodetic Survey. These small brass discs indicate the elevation above the mean sea level at the point they are permanently attached. A site grading plan that is accurate will show the exact location of the marker, based on the survey.

Proper drainage is essential to ensure water flows away from buildings and other properties. When the topography is not suitable for drainage, features like berms and swales, or ridgelines, are used to facilitate this.