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Old 05-10-2010, 08:14 PM   #1
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Ground Height


I am really hoping for more of a confidence lifter than a clear answer. However, feel free to offer answers and advice.

My yard was sodded late 2008. No problem there. I need to do some dethatching and overseed, but that is not where I am going.

My neighbor moved in mid-summer 2009. At the time his lot was just dirt. He brought in quite a bit of soil and seeded his yard. When he was done the level of his yard was maybe 0.5 inches below mine.

Now, late spring 2010, his yard is 1-2 inches lower than mine. So when it rains the water just puddles in his yard and does not flow through my ditch like you would expect. My yard is basically acting like a dam.

He is claiming that my yard was installed wrong and the installer did not accommodate the natural "lift".

Any thoughts/opinions/facts/etc? I do not believe I am at fault. And I am hoping I am not at fault.

Thank You.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:36 PM   #2
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Ground Height


Your yard was pre-existing
It was up to him to bring his yard to your level
Or create drainage where they meet to deal with the problem
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:03 AM   #3
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That is what I was hoping someone would say. I figured if my yard was in for a almost a year before their yard it should have been their responsibility.

I just kind of panicked because she said her dad installs yards for a living and was saying that it was my fault.

Unfortunately, I foresee an angry conversation with her dad in my future. However, I believe I am right and there should be no ground to force me to rip out my lawn and start over.

Thanks.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:24 PM   #4
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Ground Height


So you have a yard, all graded with a finished lawn, and they move in on a bare dirt lot that needs finishing, they make their yard lower than yours and they get mad at you for their screw-up.

Do I have this right??

Maybe that is the quality of work that her dad does so to him it's always somebody else's fault.

Tell him to put it where it'll get "fertilized."
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:13 PM   #5
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Yeah, can't see why they blame you

Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic View Post
He brought in quite a bit of soil and seeded his yard. When he was done the level of his yard was maybe 0.5 inches below mine.
Problem #1
THEY did not bring their yard level with yours

Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic View Post
Now, late spring 2010, his yard is 1-2 inches lower than mine
Problem #2
THEY did not account for how soil settles/compacts etc with a new lawn
Any LIFT should have effected both lawns the same
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:56 PM   #6
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Depending on your local regs it's likely not your problem -legally. However, sometimes its worth it to make neighborly accommodations if it can reasonably be done. Two blocks from my old house one neighbor shot another to death in the driveway over a similar drainage issue. Both had dug in their heels and one finally cracked. So with that in mind I try to get along with my neighbors - even the difficult ones (and their seems to always be one of those).

You mentioned a ditch on your place. Is there some way to regrade a small part of your yard like a shallow channel or swale to direct their drainage into the ditch? If so let him know that your yard was previously installed to a correct height but that you understand their problem and want to help. Offer to regrade the small area.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Depending on your local regs it's likely not your problem -legally. However, sometimes its worth it to make neighborly accommodations if it can reasonably be done. Two blocks from my old house one neighbor shot another to death in the driveway over a similar drainage issue. Both had dug in their heels and one finally cracked. So with that in mind I try to get along with my neighbors - even the difficult ones (and their seems to always be one of those).

You mentioned a ditch on your place. Is there some way to regrade a small part of your yard like a shallow channel or swale to direct their drainage into the ditch? If so let him know that your yard was previously installed to a correct height but that you understand their problem and want to help. Offer to regrade the small area.
I agree completely with the being a good neighbor. However, the whole side (~120ft) of the yard has the elevation difference.

I would probably try and help out by regrading just that part of the ditch to try and help their puddling issue. However, I refuse to regrade the entire side of my property for their mistake.

The problem with trying to help is I have no idea how to grade a yard. So I have no clue how to start. Would I just tear out that section of my yard, rake it to the proper height, and plant grass seed? Or is there more to it than that?
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:47 PM   #8
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How far is the ditch from the property line between you and the neighbor? No reason to regrade the entire 120' line. I was thinking maybe a 5' wide stretch near the back.

One approach would be to mark the area with flags. Hand the neighbor a shovel, a rake and a bag of grass seed tell him he needs to stay within the flags and not go deeper than 4 inches. Then go sit in the shade and enjoy the day. I'm not realy kidding about that either. That would be part of my neighborly proposition as a way for me to help him to solve his problem by allowing him to grade a specific part of my yard within limits. Do bring him a cold drink from time to time.
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