We have a good-sized backyard measuring maybe 25'x25'. It's on a gentle slope (maybe 2.5 feet down) from the back of the house to the back of the lot (the whole block slopes downhill from the street on the north to the street on the south). The previous owner did not like to garden so it's mostly dirt, although there are a few fruit trees: pear, persimmon and orange. We've put in some garden beds over the years, but these can be moved.
We're thinking of "split-leveling" the yard, making two 12.5' wide patios with a short flight of stairs down to the next level. I'm assuming there will be some drainage issues involved with this given the slope and location of the sewers, and we plan to keep the yard on a slight grade although nowhere near as pronounced as it is now.
Seems to me like it's a simple "dig and shore" job but can anyone think of any other considerations -- drainage, erosion, etc. -- we might want to keep in mind before flattening our yard ourselves?