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Old 06-03-2012, 11:21 PM   #1
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Erosion control DIY


I'm in the planning stages of managing my own home renovation and addition. Erosion control seems like one of the things I could manage myself but I'm not sure. Plus, I'm not sure if it would save me money. Any insights from someone with more experience than I would be appreciated?

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Old 06-04-2012, 08:06 PM   #2
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Erosion control DIY


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Erosion control DIY
Ayuh,... Think swales, 'n big rocks...

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Old 06-04-2012, 08:07 PM   #3
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Erosion control DIY


Is this a bigger than a bread box challenge? I think we need to know a bit more before we can help.

You might want to update your profile so we know where you are and what your climate is like. What factors play into erosion where you are? Water, wind, earth movement, etc.? Herds of antelope run through your yard? How much would you be trying to control on your own? What is the situation like before you start and what concerns you?

Last edited by user1007; 06-04-2012 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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I'm in Atlanta, Georgia, WWFSMD (as a fellow Pastafarian, I appreciate your handle, BTW). The site is a 50'-wide , 225' deep lot with an existing home on a lot that gradually slopes from a wooded backyard toward the street; about 15' from the street there's a slope downward of about 10' toward the street. The structure itself is 20' behind that slope, or 35' from the street. The neighboring lots are fairly level with our lot.

About half the completed project will be on the existing footprint, with the existing foundation in place. The other half will be behind the existing foundation, slab on grade, slightly upgrade from the existing footprint.

Water flowing off the property either soaks into the ground in the 35' setback in front of the house, or flows onto a shared driveway that runs between our house and a neighbors.

In other words, the site is tight but I don't think it's super-challenging because flow is contained to a fairly narrow area and it's not a torrent, even in the heaviest of rains. Other sites on the street, have had gravel laid down on driveways, hay bales overnight on driveways, and silt fences along the of the property that seemed not to be doing much because there wasn't much flowing side to side.

Hope that's helpful. Any thoughts would be welcome.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:37 PM   #5
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Erosion control DIY


Without seeing this scaled out but from your descriptions it looks like you can manage this so long as you are careful how you place the topsoil you scrape for the foundation so it does not accelerate drainange to your home or create a new drainage pattern across the property. You say this is not observable now right?

I will say that I have mediated more than a couple neighborhood disputes where drainage between properties became a major issue among former friends and home buyers and developers. Your description of people bandaiding drainage problems by adding gravel and bails of straw and hay suggest there are some serious problems with the overall development grading. I would hate to see fingers pointed at you just because you are making some changes and seem a convenient target.

It might be worth peace of mind to have a civil engineer or landscape architect look at this for you? I don't think you have to go hog wild with a full survey or topography plan but if you scale out your property, site the house on the drawing and have a record that you talked with a pro about your changes it may all come in handy later on. Think of it as a pre-nup you hope you will never need?
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:33 PM   #6
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Erosion control DIY


Home additions always increase the flow of rainwater because there is less impervious surface area. For erosion control, you should carefully think about where to place the downspouts to your best advantage. You could direct the runoff from the addition toward the shared driveway as long as it has a continuous flow with no pooling. On the other side, you may want to put the downspouts at the back of the addition so that the rainwater has a chance to infiltrate into the lawn before running off. My wife (who is a landscape architect) says that it is a good idea to consult with a professional who can help you to design an erosion control system that could include underground gravel infiltration trenches, french drains, or ground level infiltration areas that are attractively designed. If you need to fortify the steep slope at the front, you may want to consider terracing or using erosion control mats, the kind they use in highway building projects that allow grass and other plants to grow through them. It's hard to say more without a photo.

Hope this helps

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