There are portions of my back- and side-yard that are sloped back toward my house foundation that I'd like to re-grade.
For the back yard, the large concrete slab has sunken and is sloping towards the foundation. I'd like to remove the large curved slab (keeping the concrete walkway that's heading off to the right of the photo) and back-fill it so the slope goes away from the house. My plan then is to build a deck over it, so I'm not looking to re-sod or build any garden beds there.
For the side yard, my neighbor's grade is higher than mine (they did a landscaping job several years back). Again, here I'll remove the concrete sidewalk and re-grade. I may also add window wells by the windows.
My questions are:
-When I back-fill by my foundation, can I just use topsoil for it all? Would I have to add a layer of clay? My feeling is clay would be less likely become compacted in the future (thus requiring another re-grade) than topsoil, but I know very little about this kind of thing.
-Regardless of whether I use topsoil or topsoil/clay (or some other product), will I need to tamp the dirt to compact it? Again, I'm afraid of my back-filling job just getting compressed over the years, requiring me to do this all again.
-I'm told after re-grading, it's likely a year or two before you should pour any slabs to allow the ground to settle. I want to have some kind of walkway to replace the concrete from my side yard. Could I just use paving stones?
Couple other notes:
-I've gotten some quotes for this project (~$6000 including removal of concrete, regrading of the whole house (not just the back and side yard), and installation of sod), but I feel like I could do this myself for cheaper
-I'm located in Edmonton AB, Canada.
-We haven't noticed any leaking through the foundation yet, and the windows in the side yard seem pretty high. Are window wells still recommended?
Please let me know if there's any other info I can provide that would help you all out in advising me.