Any idea's here - Low backyard

Dirt Boy

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
MidWest
Gents,
I have a customer that is looking for ideas on fixing up the grade at the back of the house.
Not asking you to design it, but mainly what kind of options are there.
- Old couple, wife 98% disabled, gentleman not going to be doing a whole lot.
- Home was built when there were few if any other homes around, and the builder was "saving" money, so the home really sits about 12" too low, hence there is NO grade away from the house, and in fact, part of his request, is because water, tends to run towards the house in some areas.
As you can see the little pad sitting by the back garage door is about 2" to 3" below grade.
I plan on suggesting to build up along the foundation, out about 4', some type of edging, perhaps a few rocks, low maintenance plants.
I guess I'm wondering what do you do about by the garage door, no matter what, you can't raise it up above grade. Thought about suggesting a small patio with a retaining wall around it to get above grade, then drain in the patio to a dry well.

Any ideas?

P3170024.jpg
 

LindblomRJ

LawnSite Silver Member
I think your on to something with small retaining wall. Build a patio area out, you're grade close to the house is established by the door height and the elevation of the garage.

3 or 4 french drains draining into a decent deep enough drywell away from the house might be the safest bet for managing water.
 
OP
D

Dirt Boy

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
MidWest
Thanks guys, believe it or not, I had already drawn up that exact suggestion, at least coming out with a patio surrounded by a small wall, but thought I would bounce it around a bit.

The downside to that is there has to be a step up from the patio to ground level, but I'm not sure how you can dig a hole, so to speak, and then not expect to step up. (house built in the hole).
 

DVS Hardscaper

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
County Jail
I'm a little confused.

The initial post says "fix the grade".

To me, installing planters and plantings is NOT "fixing the grade".

The dwelling does not appear to be a dwelling that would have much money invested outside.

I would put a window well around the basement window and raise the grade at the foundation, tapering out into the yard. Possibly 1 to 2 LARGE drywells to catch the water from the rear gutter. We usually do the dry wells 6x6x6.The drywells MUST be as far away from the dwelling as possible, this way water doesnt find its way into the foundation.

If you get too elaborate (planters, plantings, etc) you're going to price yourself out of the job. Resulting in wasted time. If they were to get 3 estimates I'm telling you now - I would land the job.

Again, read between the lines. They are elderly and disabled. They're not interested in watering new plants. They just want the grade "fixed". Planters add maintenance, which is a responsibility, these people are disabled, they're not going to go out there and pull weeds, water the plants, cut the plants back, etc.

I assure you. If I was in your neck of the woods and if they called me - the job would be mine. Keep it simple. Forget the patio. Forget the wall.


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DVS Hardscaper

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
County Jail
Another thing, I assure you the most these people are wiling to spend is $2k. MAYBE $2800 tops. $3500 forget it.

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Posted via Mobile Device
 
OP
D

Dirt Boy

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
MidWest
Thanks DVS, you are correct in all points, my plan was to put window wells around the windows, grade out, either mulch or rock.
Probably the thing I am most unsure about is the little pad out the back door of the garage. How do you do anything with that without some sort of patio?
Really, the entire 4' sq. pad is too low.
 

DVS Hardscaper

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
County Jail
there isnt anything you can do about that pad. it will just have to be what it is. But you do not want to do any grading so that water can not escape the pad.
 

Snyder's Lawn Inc

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Kirksville Mo
I'm a little confused.

The initial post says "fix the grade".

To me, installing planters and plantings is NOT "fixing the grade".

The dwelling does not appear to be a dwelling that would have much money invested outside.

I would put a window well around the basement window and raise the grade at the foundation, tapering out into the yard. Possibly 1 to 2 LARGE drywells to catch the water from the rear gutter. We usually do the dry wells 6x6x6.The drywells MUST be as far away from the dwelling as possible, this way water doesnt find its way into the foundation.

If you get too elaborate (planters, plantings, etc) you're going to price yourself out of the job. Resulting in wasted time. If they were to get 3 estimates I'm telling you now - I would land the job.

Again, read between the lines. They are elderly and disabled. They're not interested in watering new plants. They just want the grade "fixed". Planters add maintenance, which is a responsibility, these people are disabled, they're not going to go out there and pull weeds, water the plants, cut the plants back, etc.

I assure you. If I was in your neck of the woods and if they called me - the job would be mine. Keep it simple. Forget the patio. Forget the wall.


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Put planters in you can raise the grade to keep water away fom the house
OP needs go farther out in the lawn check the grade If the lawn is sloop towards the house fix the water problem away from the house put swell around the house

From his picture cant see the true grade of the lawn

One thing I do shoot the grade From this thread I bet he doesnt own a transit
if he did he would posted some numbers
I know some people thinks adding dirt will fix problems lot of the times makes more problems
Sometimes remove dirt will fix alot put in a low swell around the house will direct the water to the street or to a ditch
 

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