Digging the stump out is easiest, but you can grind through the bottom of the stump and grind the roots out then dig the loose material out and backfill/compact. Leave the top soil out of the backfill, you'll likely need to import fill consistent with the rest of the pad.
digging 3 stumps out. On this job the area was just becoming landscaped areas, so fill wasn't imported. If we were building over it, we build have backfilled with select fill and compacted it. Also the area around the stump would have been excised back to clean, virgin soil.
We've ground stumps out before that were under the footprint of a building, but now we just dig them out. It allows for a better finished product at a similar cost to grinding. On larger trees it's easier if we take the tree down. When the tree is short enough to fit in space provided, we hang a chain on top of the spar and start digging. Then we use the chain to pull on the trunk, popping the stump out with less digging. If we have the room we'll pull the whole tree over with minimal digging required.