Need opinions on drainage solution

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Popper357, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. Popper357

    Popper357 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 217

    :help: I have a bid for a residential homeowner who has a drainage problem. Theres a hill thirty feet back from the back of their house and at that crease water sits and puddles. The puddle area is about two hundred feet long across the entire back yard. Theres three inch cor. and perf. drain pipe right in the middle that has failed, think there's no gravel under it and it's clogged. How deep should I dig to make a bed for gravel and the pipe, how wide should that bed be? Should I continue to use the perforated pipe? Do I use fabric between the pipe and gravel, or on top of them both? should I bury the pipe in gravel? How many inches of gravel underneath? The goal is to drain all that water away from the back and theres good grade on both sides of the house to move that water. I just need to know how to lay the pipe?

    Also how much would be a good estimate for this job? I figure I'll hand trench, the soil is clay/silt, there's one big elm tree near pipe (ten foot) that has roots for pipe to sit on. Mostly this is just trenching and installing pipe, aprox two hundred foot long. One chainlink (four foot) fence section will have to be removed and reinstalled. The pipe can drain on both sides of the house

    I'll need to figure out how much gravel I'll need, how much dirt to haul, (same cubic foot), and how much time to trench, install the gravel and materials, and relay the sod. What demensions should I use for the trench, how deep, wide times two hundred foot long approx.
  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    Hand dig a 200' trench in clay soil...

    Do you know what you are getting into?
  3. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    Do a search on french drains, curtain drains, dry wells etc...that's alot of work for your first drainage job. The concept of a french drain can be fairly straightforward but you have to know your costs and material costs before pricing. I'm sure you COULD do this job (eventually), but will you make money learning as you go along, while taking twice the time you should? If you have time to spare for some on the job training, go for it, but don't mess up the rest of your schedule in the process. I will take jobs outside the scope of my usual work, but I always price them accordingly and make sure to schedule enough time for decresed effeciency.
  4. Popper357

    Popper357 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 217

    Right on, I've gotten a buddy in on this who has experience with this type of problem. We spent a couple hours analyzing the site and drawing up an estimate and have a good feel for the project now. I'm working on putting together a terms sheet for the job. Anyone got feedback for a begginer? I'm figuring half down and the rest after completion, customer didn't seem so happy about this and said what if I run off... hopefully put together a terms sheet that gives them confidence. I'll spend about a grand on materials and equipment rental before I get started so I figure it's fair to get that upfront at least. Anyone got feedback?
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    I'd make sure all materials and rental fees are paid up front before I even get to the job. Obviously you don't need/want to write that in the contract..they don't need to know. That way if you do get stiffed you are only out your time/labor rather than have all these materials that you can't return.

    IMHO, if they are fussing about the upfront costs then I would have a caution flag throw up.
  6. Popper357

    Popper357 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 217

    Right on about the caution flag! I couldn't reach the customer tonight because their phone was busy all day; weird. I won't budge on 50% down. If my initial costs weren't so high I may have gone for a smaller percentage. Thinking this customer doesn't have much experience with contractors so she may just be learning this is standard procedure for landscapers.
  7. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,929

    Never deviate from your business model for anyone or any job. If you require 50% down then don't take less. If the customer is not willing to pay it then walk. We require 50% down on ALL jobs. I don't care if it's a new customer or someone we have done work for in the past. 50% down or nothing! I've gotten burned in the past...never again. :cry:


Share This Page