French Drain issue with basement

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by clyde, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. clyde

    clyde LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336


    Has anyone had an issue with the following?

    I installed a French drain system around a house last week.
    The architect and i talk about what i needed to do.

    Dig out to the footing,Paint Concrete block with waterproofing tar, Install socked 6" perforated drain pipe.
    sand around pipe and then washed gravel on top, backfill with

    This is pretty much it this was an addition to a house about 40ft by 30ft with 2 storys the lower level is a basement.

    NOW that i have it pretty much done the architect is coming back and telling me it needs to be redug to install a drain sheet against the CMU.

    Do you know how much time and how hard it will be to dig through 2 feet of gravel then have to reinstall all of the material again.

    i guess my question is who should pay for the redigging and re installation part of this. if the architect was out there telling me what needed to be done.
    LOCATION, is South Mississippi.
  2. chris638

    chris638 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    Two questions:
    Why is there an architect telling you how to do a job that is related to landscaping? I wouldn't think you are giving him tips on how to design a house.

    Why did you tackle a job you have no idea on how to do properly? Especially when it comes to water's potential to enter the house.

    You never put soil over top of drainage gravel. It will migrate down to the tubing and clog.
  3. clyde

    clyde LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    I don't see ur reply as a valid answer Chris638, not trying to affend anyone here :).

    The Architect draws up the house he knows what all the
    design implements and therefore he needs to do things like recommend
    the type of protection that is to keep water from penetrating the wall of
    his design. If this were an 8foot deep basement wall i would have said Hell yea there better be a drain sheet but since its only about a 2ft CMU wall that had the French drain against it for only 30 feet or so , i figured he knew what would work and not work. I did the French drain installation correct the question is does that shallow of a wall need a drainsheet in addition to the tar protection i painted on
  4. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    First thing. An architect is generally not an engineer.

    I am not certain of the lifespan of tar. Did you have any sort of written agreement and (or) plans and specifications?

    Whenever I installed drain tile around a foundation, we would spead the tar and then ad the train tile. we never messed with the drain sheet or anything like that. But its a lot dryer where I live.
  5. clyde

    clyde LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    I know the difference between an Architect and an Engineer. It depends on what type of engineer as well. But The Architect should have not said a d@mn thing if he wanted me to find my own way of installing it. This is a function of his design.
    And like i said its a 2 foot deep with rock filling about 2/3's of it

    Tar if its not exposded to any UV light will last longer than the house will.
  6. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,114

    So I was supposed to backfill with 15' of gravel on that basement I did last summer? And the owner is just supposed to have gravel instead of grass all against his house? The guy said he used the perf pipe with a sock on it, so it's not going to clog.

    You're right. Architects have to get a lot more schooling and experience than engineers.

    3. It sounds like you did a good job. If the architect wants to change now, it is probably because the owner read something or heard something about how his neighbor Bob used different materials for his drain and he wants the same thing, and he is leaning on the architect. I would tell whoever is signing the checks that I would be glad to to redo the job a different way at my regular rate. Maybe offer a bit of a discount, but in no way lose money when you've already done what was asked. I hate paying people for the pleasure of working on their houses. I would at least make them prove to me it was my fault.
  7. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    The method you used it kind of I would expect. Seems to be the generally accepted method used. You might want to consult with an engineer (PE) in the area to see what their take on the issue is.

    Sounds like the architect should have done a better job of laying out his expectations.
  8. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,114

    That is what it sounds like to me, as well. Sounds like your work was performed in a workmanlike manner, to industry standards. If it comes down to it, it may make sense to have an outside third party such as a Professional Engineer help mediate the dispute. At least real PEs have to take a really big test.

    Personally, I have put in flat drains, round drains without socks, and round drains with socks. Whatever the builder wants. I usually have a buffer between me and any architects. The waterproofing has been handled by others when I get there, so that's not something I've had to worry with, but I've seen it done while I was onsite, working on another part of the house.
  9. clyde

    clyde LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    thank you guys now we are starting to make some sense.
    Thats what i came to the conclusion of too.

    The architect went back and checked his text books and came to the conclusion he forgot to tell me something. and then after i installed it
    he is coming back to tell me we have to redig it and put the drain sheet in.
  10. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,625

    well I believe it would be his bad then, so I reckon he'll need to pay for it

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