To say it was a rough experience with the local “professionals” doing the rough grade for me would be the UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE CENTURY! Now these guys were nice, I’ll give them that but they evidently they way over-faced themselves with what I thought was not rocket science. Evidently… it IS!

They will go un-named but if you’re in Eastern North Carolina and looking for a recommendation of who NOT to use for your arena rough work just contact me. 😉

They came out a few times, looked at the existing pad, said yes we can do it, gave a quote and after a couple times of this over the last 4 months I committed to working with them on the rough grade. They were 100% aware of how exact this needed to be. It’s not hand-grenades or horse shoes by a long shot.

I’m realizing there isn’t a short way to explain this but in as short as possible, they didn’t do what they said, still expected payment (in cash I might add) and thought it acceptable to drive their bulldozer across my law making horrendous tracks. All the while I was thinking how foolish I was to think these guys could actually do what they said they could.

Regardless, I did take some pictures and video of rough grading for the record as we’re shooting a series on arena dev and footing with this project. Now I can surely pass along what NOT to do when hiring local so stay tuned for the webisodes!


Their first go round was massive drop from one end to the other. The guy walked off the job leaving me hanging but then came back saying he would give it one more try. To be exact I put the sketch we’d been referencing on a light cardboard (picture below). I thought with that it would be near impossible for them to NOT understand what I was talking about. Really it wasn’t a matter of not understanding but rather a matter of not caring and just wanted their cash payment and move on. Oh well! Again lesson learned! Here’s a snap of my plans. I put this on the ground and basically said “make this please” and he scratched his head. At that point I should have followed Monty Python’s lead “run away. run away. run away.” haha!


Do keep in mind the next step after (after proper I might add) rough grade is the containment. Sigh!