Hi - the house we moved into in August has the dirt right up to the siding on the left half of the house, and it's ok on the right half (the street is a hill - the house is a ranch). My husband has a vision of renting a mini bobcat and moving the dirt away from the house. The issues we're having are a lot of roots from old cut down trees and also a few larger existing trees around the perimeter of the property. Our backyard is about 125ft wide and about 75ft deep at the deepest point, so it's not a ton of square footage. I know we're going to have to have a retaining wall, or at least a 1 1/2 foot slope on the left side of the house, since that's about the amount it'll take to expose the foundation enough so we have minimal dampness issues in our crawlspace - this is with the grading sloping toward the edges of the property line for drainage away from the house. Any advice for us since we've never taken on a project like this??? Any advice on using the bobcat and on the root issue? We're kind of do-it-ourself-ers, so I'd appreciate any comments anyone has for us! Thanks.