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Old 04-12-2009, 09:40 PM   #1
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Yard Grading - how to do it right?


I need to grade my yard (my house sits in a bowl - after 200 years, I think its understandable).

How do I plan this?

Can I hire some sort of engineer to make a plan for drainage, grading etc? Who do I hire? And how do I know how to evaluate people that I talk to about this?

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Old 04-12-2009, 10:25 PM   #2
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Yard Grading - how to do it right?


Leah - you yard looks ok to me from your fall bulb pictures, but if you want to regrade get someone with a backhoe / bulldozer to remove excess grade and make some hilly berms/mini mountains here and there to add interest.

When I do my front yard I'm building a 4-5' deep koi pond. I want NO lawn.

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Old 04-12-2009, 10:30 PM   #3
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Yard Grading - how to do it right?


DH also wants a 'moat'.

We actually have a significant drainage problem. The entire perimeter of the house is about 10 inches lower than the ground six feet out from the house. This causes pooling around the house and leaking into the basement.

The primary purpose of the re-grading is to fix this problem.

The bumps and dips in the grass are relatively unavoidable with three dogs who like to dig.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:43 PM   #4
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Yard Grading - how to do it right?


That much you need heavy machinery in to scrape off the excess
Sounds like the lawn has had repeated loads of topsoil dumped on it

How much space do you have from the siding of the house down to the ground?
You need 8" min I think, I like 12"
Also depends upon if around the perimeter of the lot/area you can daylight a drain

But I wouldn't leave a slope like that towards the house
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:10 PM   #5
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Yard Grading - how to do it right?


Our house is named St. Aubins Heights for a reason. We're 16 whole feet above sea level, which puts us about six feet above most everyone in our town. I can shoot to daylight - no problem.

The house is brick - so no siding to worry about. But, I do have some basement window sills that I might have to take into account. But I'm pretty sure that if I bring it up to level, I will still be below them.

Other than 'eyeballing it', how do I figure out where I should add and where I should take away?

I would really like to find someone to asses the situation and make a plan I can follow - but who?
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:25 PM   #6
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Seems that they like a 1" drop for every foot as you move away from the house. I think the magic number is sloping away for 15'

So you would need to bring it up 10"
Then another 6" for the 6' from the house to drain properly
But your best bet is to scrape some of the high spot away & use that to fill in the low spot. Sort of killing 2 birds with one scrape

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An inch of water on 1,000 square feet of roof amounts to about 623 gallons of water.
So if you can even have a drain dug & route the downspouts away from the house that will eliminate a big problem

To asses level run some string as level lines on stakes out from the house
That will give you a specific measurement of howm much drop & where.
I did this to figure out the slope of my garage floor, 1/4" per 4'
So in 36' I am dropping 2 1/4" from the back to the front

A good lanscaping company should be able to give you a rough estimate & game plan/options I would think
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:48 AM   #7
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You could also trench a few French drains and alleviate the problem w/o actually regrading. BUt I'm 100% behind the moat idea too.
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:55 PM   #8
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Yard Grading - how to do it right?


Option 1: Take the backhoe off of your tractor and mount a box scraper. Shorten the top link and use the front blade to cut the high spots. If you've got a lot to move lower the scariffers.

Option 2: Dig a moat.
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:33 PM   #9
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Yard Grading - how to do it right?


Let's be clear. I am opposed to the moat. Dear Husband is pro moat. I'm opposed because our 24 month old lab-Mix will spend his entire life in any water feature.

I'm going to take some pictures and I'll post them.
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:19 PM   #10
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Yard Grading - how to do it right?


Is the best (read easiest) way to test grading to draw a level line and measure deflection off of it?
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:25 PM   #11
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Yard Grading - how to do it right?


A laser level is easiest
Mine would only work at night outside
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:40 PM   #12
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Yard Grading - how to do it right?


What do the neighbors think?
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:41 PM   #13
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They think I shouldn't let the wife buy any more tools for me unless I pick them out
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:45 PM   #14
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Yard Grading - how to do it right?


Can I do this with a water level?
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:49 PM   #15
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Yard Grading - how to do it right?


Well, usually a water level only give you the level at 2 points
If that is all you need it will work

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