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Old 03-26-2011, 12:05 AM   #1
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Severe slope in backyard, ideas?

Been browsing for about 4 hours now throughout the forum in search for some assistance and ideas. So I purchased my home a little over a year ago (brand new) and when I bought the home I noticed the backyard had a fairly steep downhill slope to it. The homebuilder put in the sprinkler system, sod and fencing and during my 1 year warranty walkthru I pointed out the grade of the backyard and they determined it was within spec.

Now onto the details:

The yard is about 50' long 35' wide and all is good up until the last 10' of the yard away from the house closest to the fence. I will try to upload some latest pictures for you guys but here some during the build. I've thought about putting in a retaining wall right as the ground starts to really slope off and put in a slab or granite type patio at the base of my backyard or place several trees and just make it a mulch type area with stepping stones leading back to it.


I'm an avid DIY'er and have a decent knowledge of everything from electrical, drywalling, concrete, plumbing to landscaping but sometimes I lack creativity in starting a project (once things are building I know where I want the project to go).
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Last edited by ken_; 03-26-2011 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:22 AM   #2
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If you are going to the trouble of putting in a retaining wall, I say it is better to put it as far back as possible so the more level portion of your yard is larger. The slope beyond the retaining wall will be steeper still.

And/or making the front part more level. To raise the ground surface, sprinkler heads will need to be dug up and extender tubes put under them but this is not as big a job as you might expect. The connecting pipes themselves can stay put.


The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.

Last edited by AllanJ; 03-26-2011 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:00 AM   #3
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If I were you, I would build a retaining wall closer to the house and make that my backyard patio (15-20 ft. out). From there, I would try to level out the backyard all the way to the fence as much as possible without interfering with your neighbor's backyards.

Since your house is close to your neighbors, it will be very difficult to be completely flat unless you build a retaining all all around your perimeter to hold back their dirt.
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:36 PM   #4
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Grading effects drainage. For that reason alone, you should start by completing a base map of your lot as it now is with an accurate scaled map with contours/vertical data. The map will serve to guide the project and prevent a drainage problem. It also documents the existing drainage so that you can later prove that there have been no unlawful changes made. Changing where and how water flows off you lot can get you a very expensive lesson in drainage law.
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