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View Full Version : Grading job pics and drainage issue


Lawnworks
02-01-2008, 01:49 PM
I have attached some pics of a job I am doing. This guy added on to his house on both sides and it messed up how the yard drains... so I basically went in and dug it out and graded so that the water flow around the house. We got probably 1-2 inches of rain last night so I feel like the grading is pretty close. My question is about a french drain. I was thinking of putting a french drain in the bottom of the swell I made so that the bottom of the swell would dry out quickly, but my dirt guy(who grades for a living) said if I put french drain in... it needs to go against house and not in the bottom of the swell. That just doesn't make sense to me. What do you guys think?

bobcat_ron
02-01-2008, 01:54 PM
Can't do it both ways and put like a dry creek bed look on top?

Lawnworks
02-01-2008, 02:10 PM
Where would you put the french drain against the house or in the swell? or are you saying do both? I like the dry creek idea, but I don't think the guy wants to spend 1000-1500 to do it.

BIGBEN2004
02-01-2008, 02:10 PM
Can you build the grade up higher to promote more positive fall in the swell? Also I usually don't mind very small puddles on the dirt since when the grass starts growing it will suck up the water and use it to grow. I am not saying holding allot of water but very small puddles are not going to hurt anything.

You gotta let it dry a little before you can do anything though, especially if you don't have tracks. It looks a little slimy.

Lawnworks
02-01-2008, 02:19 PM
I was thinking the grade might be sufficient. I think I have got it as close to grade as I can w/ the skid steer. I can probably get it a little bit closer w/ my dingo and harley rake or hand raking. I had a laser level and it has got a fall all the way down. I am thinking in the summer time it would all be evaporated by now. I really don't think there is enough standing water to even kill the grass now. I think once he get gutters and route them out it will flow better, some of the run off from the roof is messing up the grade... that is probably the reason for the small puddles.

Do you think I need a french drain against the house to make sure no water gets under the house? It has a crawl space, but I have never seen the vents... they must be covered up before I had got there... that might be an issue.

BIGBEN2004
02-01-2008, 02:24 PM
Find the vents and put window wells around them to keep the dirt away. As for water under the crawl space I have never had an issue with that. As long as you have positive drainage away from the house you are in the clear. No need to waste time and money on a french drain. Now if their was a spring in the back yard then I would say drain that puppy to dry the surface but their isn't so your in luck. Rake that yard out when it drys and plant some seed and stableize and youl be good to go.

fertguy2008
02-01-2008, 02:27 PM
if you're going french drain, definately in the swell. looks like the grade is good enough to keep water off of the house. There is no puddling, not even sure if you need the french drain at all.

Gravel Rat
02-01-2008, 02:30 PM
Does the house have perimeter drains already ?

The only thing that will stop water from really flowing is try get some grass on the slope to absorb some of the water.

As for water in a crawl space that is just as much as a :nono: as having it in a basement.

If there is no perimeter drains then you will have to tell the homeowner that they will have to be installed. Dig down to the footings intall the pipe with a fabric sock on it and put lots of rock on it.

It is hard to tell from the pictures but what about benching the yard so they have a flat area behind the house ?

RockSet N' Grade
02-01-2008, 02:30 PM
All sorts of ways to skin this little critter. I wouldn't waste my time or money on a French drain deal either against the house or out at the edge of the swale. I would however, connect all my roof drains into some 4" pipe and run that pipe way back to the back of the yard. If the house was mine, and I know its not, I would properly grade to the edge of p.l. on the side there and then put in some sort of retaining wall. From the photos, it looks like this is just being done to minimums and I have never really been a fan of that.....I like flat usable space with drainage as far away from a home as possible. Just some thoughts.....

BIGBEN2004
02-01-2008, 03:00 PM
All sorts of ways to skin this little critter. I wouldn't waste my time or money on a French drain deal either against the house or out at the edge of the swale. I would however, connect all my roof drains into some 4" pipe and run that pipe way back to the back of the yard. If the house was mine, and I know its not, I would properly grade to the edge of p.l. on the side there and then put in some sort of retaining wall. From the photos, it looks like this is just being done to minimums and I have never really been a fan of that.....I like flat usable space with drainage as far away from a home as possible. Just some thoughts.....

I agree I would push the swell further away from the house. It wouldn't be but a couple hours of digging and the swell would be straight and would give them more yard before the hill starts going up toward the back.

Lawnworks
02-01-2008, 03:05 PM
I agree I would push the swell further away from the house. It wouldn't be but a couple hours of digging and the swell would be straight and would give them more yard before the hill starts going up toward the back.

Yeah that probably would be better. Unfortunately, at the top of the hill there is an irrigation main, laterals, wires, and valves. So it taking the hill back would be a real pain... I guess it comes down to his preference.

BIGBEN2004
02-01-2008, 03:14 PM
Yea keep the customer happy is #1 priority. Hey, at least you don't have to live there....

Lawnworks
02-01-2008, 03:18 PM
Yea keep the customer happy is #1 priority. Hey, at least you don't have to live there....

I am not even going to go there...

RockSet N' Grade
02-01-2008, 04:21 PM
It amazes me, and continues to amaze me that these type of issues always come up after the fact. Could they have raised the foundation a foot or two more? Yes. Could they construct and properly prepare a usable yard with proper drainage? Yes. Few seem to think the whole process through and always skimp or grind the numbers down and do minimums and end up with a finished product that is at best, for the next 30-50 years, a minimum.

MassSteelerfan
02-01-2008, 05:24 PM
I know money is a factor but, i'd put walkway is swell area, to door along side. make bed area with plants along foundation and slope towards walkway in swell with the walkway pitches towards, looks like front entrance, and have water go out to drive ertrance. my 2 cents