Earth Cutting and Filling: Its Purpose in Construction

On construction sites with large differences in elevation, ‘cutting and filling’ is the grading technique that’s typically used.

Now, while the underlying concept of cutting and filling is quite simple, executing the process requires precise calculation and a level of expertise that only a highly experienced grading contractor, such as Bob Mahoney, has.

Over the course of this blog, our land grading experts will provide you with an overview of earth cutting and filling, and its purpose in the construction process.

What Exactly Is Earth Cutting & Filling?

In layperson’s terms, ‘earth cutting and filling’ refers to excavating and removing earth from an area of higher elevation, and using it to fill areas of lower elevation.

The primary purpose of the technique is to create a level construction pad on which a structure can be built.

Earth Cutting & Filling: How Is It Done?

While earth cutting and filling may come across as simple and straightforward, executing this technique effectively is complicated.

The process involves the use of various specialized excavation and heavy earthmoving machines, such as compactors, backhoes, bulldozers, and loaders. Moreover, it also requires making some very precise calculations and measurements in terms of how much soil needs to be extracted from high-elevation areas and then used for filling low-elevation areas to achieve uniform elevation across the entire site.

The Benefits of Using the Cutting and Filling Technique

The primary advantage of using the earth cutting and filling technique to create a level build site is that it recycles the excavated earth, thus negating the need to source filler earth from elsewhere. This significantly reduces the cost and time required by any land grading project.

Moreover, recycling the earth by cutting and filling makes it easier for the contractors to create a level build site, as opposed to just bringing in soil and using it to fill the low spots on the site. If done right, cutting and filling provides a larger final usable space.


One of the most recognized construction site preparation specialists in Northern Illinois, Bob Mahoney offers superior quality excavation, demolition, and land grading services at market-competitive rates in McHenry, IL, and the surrounding areas. Call us at (847) 489-3153 or get in touch with us on our website for further information.

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