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How would you fix this..

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Deererunner, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. Deererunner

    Deererunner LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 319

    I looked at this house yesterday, meeting with the customer tomorrow about solutions. The house is for sale so they are trying to spend as little as possible as always. The house sits in a low area with the back yard always swamp conditions. The woods are about 45' off the house and 100' wide. What I am thinking is going in, removing all of the dead wood, down trees, leaves off the ground to expose the soil.

    Next I was thinking of creating 4/5 long flower beds with tall arborvitae's to hide all the woods. Till the backyard up and re-sod it along with keep a slope away from the house.

    I was thinking, do not know if this would work. In addition to what I am thinking (please let me know if you have other ideas), going in with the loader, digging down about 2' of the swampy areas, hauling away that dirt, lay down fabric and back will with about 18" of drainage rock and then fabric on top and then new topsoil over top. Would that help with the drainage or no?

    If you have any thoughts or input, I would appreciate it.









  2. Deererunner

    Deererunner LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 319

    more photos








  3. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,943

    Wow. That sure is something.

    Before you start getting into a whole lot of digging and hauling there are two questions you can't skip: where is this water coming from? And where can you move it to? Drywells aren't magic. If you're getting just a ton of water and the soil is saturated, and the soil doesn't perc, shoving a few hundred gallons underground doesn't fix the problem. Best case scenario here it allows the sellers to go "water problem? What water problem?" long enough to sell the house, but I would think a heavy rain event would still look like what you have now. Given how cheap sellers are, I have to think they'd balk at the cost unless their realtor explicitly told them it was the only shot at selling the home.
  4. Deererunner

    Deererunner LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 319

    The House/land is sitting on a really high water table and the house was built not high enough. It has to be the lowest sitting house in the neighborhood and they are also one of the few houses with a basement, let a long finished one. When I was walking on site yesterday without the customer, I kept hearing the sump pump kick on and off about every 5 minutes and I was there for at least 3o minutes.

    This past week we did have heavy rain on tuesday and friday but all the other properties that I cut about 5 minutes from this house were completely dry. Would have never known we had heavy rain.

    I actually got referred to these potential customers through the realtor, I get a lot of leads from her and she recommends me to houses that are having trouble selling. In the past 2 months, she has bought 22 potential buyers through the house and every buyer had something to say about the backyard. The realtor said told the home owners to expect to pay upwards of 10k or drop 30k on the asking price to try and move it. So how much are they willing to fix and to pay, do not know yet but I do know its not an easy fix or cheap one at that.
  5. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    The first question that I'd look into is whether this is a protected wetland, buffer to a wetland, or not. It would be in my area.
  6. Deererunner

    Deererunner LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 319

    Yeah I didn't think of that, if it I imagine no digging. Could I still able to create the flower beds to hide the view of the woods? I imagine I could as long as I stay on their property. With that it wouldn't be one long bed but a series of small ones (20') so water can still drain and what not
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  7. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,943

    regardless of what's allowed, don't be shocked if you invest the time to come up with a solution, price it, and pitch it, only to follow up two weeks later and have the homeowner say "we just decided to drop the asking price"
  8. Deererunner

    Deererunner LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 319

    Oh i know, and to be honest, I do not want to put in all that time so pretty much all I am doing before tuesday is coming up with a couple of ideas to pitch to them. Have extremely rough estimates just to get there take on the project. I am not going to spend the hours at my desk on to get nothing out of return. But I definitely agree with you.
  9. Colaguy

    Colaguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599

    " I kept hearing the sump pump kick on and off about every 5 minutes and I was there for at least 3o minutes."

    You should pass on job based on this. No way your going to be able to stop unsourced water from coming into the property. Maybe you can hide it somewhat with plants but I highly doubt this prob can be fixed or even should be attempted.
  10. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,943

    Just FYI, I did a design for a client for a very similar job, except these were the poor suckers who bought the place (the sellers purposely did not do a fall cleanup so 6" of leaves hid the water problem). It was clear that every lot in their neighborhood and the one behind them drained into their yard, so I called a soil engineer to come look and advise. I was on the phone with him when he got out of his truck, and as soon as he turned the corner all I heard was laughter, followed by "oh buddy they are SCREWED." Your pics look very similar to mine, so I just don't know if there's anything that can be done to actually fix things.

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