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Old 03-22-2012, 06:48 PM   #46
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Please Help Me With This French Drain System!


The purpose of a perimeter drain system is to get the water over to the sump pump instead of seep up onto the basement floor surface.

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Old 03-23-2012, 04:10 PM   #47
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So what could be done for this property? I'll talk about that in my next post.
I look forward to this post.

My major reasoning in posting the second drawing was to communicate how bad the slope is in the back (back yard rises about 17 inches from where it is at the house).

I'm strongly considering a retaining wall in the front yard (instead of the ugly hill); with matching one in front of the garage (with front yard, back yard, and side yard regraded professionally afterwards - before?). This would include digging out the back of the house; repairing mortar as needed; adding exterior drain tile and tying it into the sump.

I have also been in contact with basement systems; and they have agreed to come back and work with me on why I paid them so much to still have a wet basement. We seem to be in agreement that their install had some type of error (interior drain tile). Unfortunately they won't come until the 4th (hmm...).

I still have the plans for this french drain, and it still sounds like the best idea; not sure about the dry well though. Thinking just run everything out of the hill. Not happy about it though; as I don't want to wash away the grass or have an iced sidewalk in the winter.

For now, the french drain AND dry well plan stands; while I estimate the retaining wall costs (seems to be 1100.00 for the stone; so my rough estimate is $2,800.00 for the front and back. Versa-lok from "The Brick Yard" as suggested by Joe). Full update about this in the gallery thread this weekend.

My current estimate for the drywell / french drain is about $500.00

Even if I don't do the french drain / dry well; then I'd be looking for suggestions on the west side downspout. If I do the retaining wall and regrade the back yard; do I just run the down spout away from the house in the back yard?

So many questions. I will spend most of the weekend on this again.

Again, looking forward to responses and loving that this thread has so much information in it.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:49 PM   #48
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Please Help Me With This French Drain System!


Regrade the backyard. Build a terrace near the garage with a 4:1 or 5:1 slope so that the toe is only slightly above the ground grade at the house. Between the garage and the house put in a two slight depressions of around 4 inches deep. In profile it should look something like this:



The plan view will look something like the graphic below. Since mere inches in grade are important, I show the contours in 0.2 ft intervals. Blue arrows show water direction.



Install surface inlets in the depressions with solid pipe laid shallow at the inlets. The higher starting pipe grade will give a better slope (1% min.) to the house corner. Continue the pipe to daylight in the front yard. If you do the dry well, do it as a side diversion that can be blocked off if needed. The main pipes should all be sloped so that no water is retained in them after the rain stops. I would make a serious attempt to carry the water all the way to the street. But without an accurate profile of the ground, sidewalk, and curb, I can't say what the design might be.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:05 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by pls8xx View Post
Regrade the backyard. Build a terrace near the garage with a 4:1 or 5:1 slope so that the toe is only slightly above the ground grade at the house. Between the garage and the house put in a two slight depressions of around 4 inches deep. In profile it should look something like this:



The plan view will look something like the graphic below. Since mere inches in grade are important, I show the contours in 0.2 ft intervals. Blue arrows show water direction.



Install surface inlets in the depressions with solid pipe laid shallow at the inlets. The higher starting pipe grade will give a better slope (1% min.) to the house corner. Continue the pipe to daylight in the front yard. If you do the dry well, do it as a side diversion that can be blocked off if needed. The main pipes should all be sloped so that no water is retained in them after the rain stops. I would make a serious attempt to carry the water all the way to the street. But without an accurate profile of the ground, sidewalk, and curb, I can't say what the design might be.
Well, that is definitely an approach. Could I not do the retaining wall; your approach seems like it makes the back yard quite unusable (no patio, etc).

Curious what others will say about your proposal.

I do appreciate all the time you obviously put in.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:21 PM   #50
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The retaining wall has to come before the patio. Do the wall, cut the drain pipe and reroute to surface drains at the wall, then do the patio. The regrading I've shown is compatible with this future work.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:07 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pls8xx View Post
Regrade the backyard. Build a terrace near the garage with a 4:1 or 5:1 slope so that the toe is only slightly above the ground grade at the house. Between the garage and the house put in a two slight depressions of around 4 inches deep. In profile it should look something like this:



The plan view will look something like the graphic below. Since mere inches in grade are important, I show the contours in 0.2 ft intervals. Blue arrows show water direction.



Install surface inlets in the depressions with solid pipe laid shallow at the inlets. The higher starting pipe grade will give a better slope (1% min.) to the house corner. Continue the pipe to daylight in the front yard. If you do the dry well, do it as a side diversion that can be blocked off if needed. The main pipes should all be sloped so that no water is retained in them after the rain stops. I would make a serious attempt to carry the water all the way to the street. But without an accurate profile of the ground, sidewalk, and curb, I can't say what the design might be.
You're plan isn't really any different than what he originally suggested he was going to do, other than you cut out about ten feet of french drain & replaced it with an additional surface drain.

The problem with the bold part is that his drainage pipe would have to cross over the top of the sidewalk to do so, which obviously isn't going to fly.

George, just to make sure you understand what I originally suggested, don't try to simply rely on one dinky post hole to be a reliable drywell. You''re going to need to install at least 1 yard of stone in the front yard for this to work well IMO.

As for the retaining wall in front, this would leach the water even faster, but the block will remain wet for days (maybe weeks?) which may not be desirable asthetically, and may also have negative consequences on their integrity. Not sure what to think of it as whole yet (it's early) but maybe Dick (concmasnry) will comment, as this is the kind of knowledge he certainly possesses.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:13 AM   #52
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George, just to make sure you understand what I originally suggested, don't try to simply rely on one dinky post hole to be a reliable drywell. You''re going to need to install at least 1 yard of stone in the front yard for this to work well IMO.
Yep; the post hole was just the test we talked about. Planned to do at least 1 flo-well to start, possibly adding another. I had planned to do a second test hole more towards the center of the yard (but still 12+ feet away from foundation)

Even looked at some of the stuff online where people made dry-wells out of 55 gallon drums.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:52 AM   #53
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The purpose of filling a dry well with crushed stone is to keep the soil above from collapsing into the dry well under the weight of persons walking above. The crushed stone drastically reduces the capacity of the dry well.

You might consider putting the dry wells in the back yard only, with sump pumps to empty them out to the alley when they are not frozen.

What does the front yard look like and what is the existing grading and contouring?
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:43 PM   #54
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hi, i am finishing my own french drain and i skimmed your material list. are you going to put the pvc into a "sock" ? i laid landscape fabric in hole, put in gravel, pulled the cool pre-made "sock" onto the pvc pipe, put that in the hole and then added more gravel. the sock keeps all the small stuff out of the holes, really inexpensive. please excuse me if i overlooked that item on your material list. i did the whole process myself and you will be sooo happy when you are done !! good luck, madeleine
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:27 AM   #55
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"Socks" may impair the performance of smooth pipe used in French drains. The fabric may cling to the pipe and only the half inch or so diameter patches directly over the perforations in the pipe may pass the water for awhile and then get clogged with the small stuff. Whereas with the landscape fabric and some gravel between that and the pipe, most of the surface area of the fabric is available for water to pass through.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:33 PM   #56
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So..

Alternative plan (actually, all plans combined?!?!)

1) Build a retaining wall in front of the garage (so that the top of the wall is 1 foot away; meaning the base stone must be 15 3/4" away. Assume versalok 16"x12"x6"). Wall will include stairs up to garden area (already stairs there, so replacement).

2) Grade backyard 1 degree towards garage.

3) Continue current retaining wall out towards alley; as side of garage is also steeply graded towards our garage. Back fill neighbors side; make him even happier than he was when we removed the trees/fence. Level our side. We finally have a garden.

4) Repair rear window; add glass block + window well.

That makes the first two pictures.... Then we have the next step; drainage. So see the third picture. Black is french drain (normal type behind a retaining wall...) and the light blue is solid pipe. The question is;
what to do in front of the retaining wall? Surface Drains? Can you put a french drain in front of a retaining wall?!? (lol at logistics). Or is that part simply not needed? (gutters all going up front, garage gutters go to back; so its only the yard water).

pic 1) as the yard is now.
pic 2) Just add walls, etc.
pic 3) drainage plan.

Edit: since we want to put in a patio later, would we just run the solid pipe right across just in front of the retaining wall and put some surface drains in the patio? Unless of course the drainage isn't an
issue anymore...
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:35 AM   #57
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Now that's starting to look like a reasonable plan. Install drainage behind all new walls to meet the block maker's specs. If the existing wall along the side has less than 2ft of grade difference from high side to low, I would skip putting in a french drain there.

With the new grade pushing all the water toward the garage wall, surface drains will be needed along the front of the wall. If the patio will extend all the way to the wall, I would consider using a narrow channel drain rather than a series of surface inlets.

Stopping excess water from ever getting into your soil will dry things up. But the high water table around your basement will take some time to go down. Don't expect it to happen overnight.

A few days ago I would have bet money you would build that french drain around your house. Considering the hype french drains get it's no wonder homeowners so often do it.

Contractors build them either because they don't know any better or the homeowner is standing there with money in hand and they just don't care. Most all of them get away with it. But almost every time I see this issue in litigation where the contractor has to pay up, he built a french drain along a basement with the pipe well above footer level.

These two cases are typical:

Cofield v. Ghores Construction

Wallace v. Aspen Builders

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