thanks 618, the grade around the rest of the house also seems a bit, uncomfortably, high.
is replacing the wood behind the siding something a contractor or handyman is capable of doing with little trouble?
and as far as the grading goes, i was considering taking a shovel and just digging down a few inches myself. think i could knock that out in a day?
i might need a little help with the side of the house though.. with all those plants in the way, and the street actually seeming to be at or above the grade of my house. ugh.