Definition of "Grade"

Colleen Rosenbaum real estate agent
Colleen Rosenbaum, Real Estate Agent Keller Williams Vero Beach

Grades have various definitions related to real estate and surveying land. Let’s have a look at the most common meanings of grades you’ll encounter in everyday life!

Grades signifying ground elevation

The most common grade explanation is the ground elevation at a building site. Explicitly, the term ‘above grade’ refers to the portion of a building structure over the grade. In other words, the grade coins a construction works’ altitude higher than the natural ground level. At the same time, the foundation or any underground portions of a building is termed below grade. 

Ensuring adequate grading around your property is also essential. The very definition of house grade or grading refers to the ground level. Proper or positive grading will channel stormwater in the right direction, namely away from your foundation. However, a negative grading will direct water to your home’s foundation, exposing it to long-term damages. 

You can turn to local real estate agents to double-check the significance of adequate house grading. They will confirm that negative grading can affect your home inspection too.

Builder grade in construction

The meaning of grade often conveys a method of classifying building materials. For instance, grades of lumber are crucial when choosing the most suitable building materials. Imagine a board with a refined aspect and tight knots! You will encounter different grades: premium, finish, regular, and industrial categories. 

You might also consider using ‘builder grades when you intend to renovate your house. Builder grade typically describes inexpensive and mass-produced building materials. On the downside, they are not sturdy or long-lasting. However, you can save a considerable amount of money, especially if you’re handy at DIY projects

Using grades to improve your property’s condition

From the quality-price perspective, the grades hierarchy comes as quality grade, custom grade, and the ultimate custom grade. Use builder grades to refurbish your home’s windows, roofing, sidings, cabinets, doors, and gutters. At the same time, you can also increase your real estate value! 

Grades at highways

Grades and grading play a vital role in road infrastructure too. In this perspective, the meaning of grade defines a roadway's rising or falling rate. The grade of a highway is typically expressed as feet per 100 ft. or as meters per kilometer. The ascending grade is expressed in positive numbers, while negative numbers represent a descending grade. Consequently, grades are significant when it comes to land and construction surveys.


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