What is cutting and filling?
Cutting and filling is the process of moving earth from one place to another to make ground more level. A ‘cut’ is made when earth is cut from above the desired ground height and a ‘fill’ is when earth is used to fill a hole to desired ground level. Cutting and filling is a common technique used to create an even ground surface.
Cutting and filling land carries a certain risk - particularly when the land being filled is going to be used for your house foundations. Whenever earth is moved the natural compaction is disturbed, and soil in this state is often described as ‘fluffed’ or ‘aerated’. In order for the earth to be safe enough for use in foundations it needs to be compacted to avoid settling. If it's not properly compacted, settling earth can cause disastrous consequences including things like cracked foundations.
What sort of equipment is used for cutting and filling?
Cutting and filling is normally carried out using earth moving equipment like skid-steer loaders or bulldozers. Depending on the size and shape of your site, either a drum roll style compactor or a plate compactor may be used.
Disadvantages of cutting and filling
Although it's unlikely to be a significant problem on most residential properties, cutting and filling do have certain disadvantages. For example, flattening land can increase the amount of sound that's carried across a property or affect natural windbreaks.