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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So my house is about a 100 years old with a basement, and on a hill. The front of the house faces the sidewalk about 10 feet out from the front door. The property slopes down towards the back on both the sides and rear of the house.

The problem is the front, the sidewalk is higher than the lowest point on our siding. The previous owners had the front gardens with a slight grade toward the house and even then the dirt was up against the siding. In the process of clearing out the gardens I figured we should bring that dirt down off the siding but we've come to realize going that far down creates a pretty sharp slope toward the house. We can't lower the sidewalk side down since the sidewalk is there.

My only thought at the moment is maybe to slope that side down toward the side of the house, but I don't see a way to not have that slant toward the house as well...

This is from the side yard: https://goo.gl/photos/oiTQaAC1xWK9zueBA

This is from the sidewalk looking at where the first picture was taken: https://goo.gl/photos/hkoMadq6LAWu6tkGA

Clearer view of the whole thing: https://goo.gl/photos/QYy6NoK53CE7f6DK6

The cement porch is level with the sidewalk so you can see in that last one how far down the siding is from the sidewalk level. The other side of the porch doesn't have the siding down as far and has a decent gap between siding and soil.

If anyone has any ideas on which direction I should look at going. Not sure if there is some sort of drain system I have to have for this situation.

If we were planning to live here more than a few more years I would look into professional solutions, but that seems impractical since this is the way the house has been for years. Though there are signs of rot, not as much as I would have expected with that whole section underground. We live in Northwest Washington so we get quite a bit of rain.

Thanks for taking the time to look :0).
 

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Master General ReEngineer
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9,980 Posts
Ayuh,.... Ya need a swale,....

Basically, pick a point, probably 'bout the the center of the distance from the sidewalk to the foundation as the bottom of the swale,...
The bottom of the swale will run from a few feet from the stoop, across the front, daylightin' over around the side of the house,...
The bottom of the swale, has to be lower than the sidewalk, lower than the stoop, 'n lower than the foundation, continuing to fall as it runs across, 'n down past the house,....
The same can be done on the other side, daylightin' down the driveway,...
Once regraded, seed, 'n regrow yer grass,...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ayuh,.... Ya need a swale,....

Basically, pick a point, probably 'bout the the center of the distance from the sidewalk to the foundation as the bottom of the swale,...
The bottom of the swale will run from a few feet from the stoop, across the front, daylightin' over around the side of the house,...
The bottom of the swale, has to be lower than the sidewalk, lower than the stoop, 'n lower than the foundation, continuing to fall as it runs across, 'n down past the house,....
The same can be done on the other side, daylightin' down the driveway,...
Once regraded, seed, 'n regrow yer grass,...

I think I'm understanding where your going.

Here is a terrible drawing: https://goo.gl/photos/vabhSqY7enNuwM4u8

The arrow line would be the lowest point, dropping lower as it goes as well. There would be a hill sloping from sidewalk down to center line of swale then back up a smaller hill to foundation. Starting 3 feet out from porch, halfway between sidewalk and house. Then not stopping until it's rounded the corner into the side yard.

Is this accurate? Would it need to be anything more than just dig down to the proper grades and plant grass?

Another bad drawing: https://goo.gl/photos/2ExwkcQHaEMr5y7r7

This is showing roughly what we had planned to do as far as a garden area there. Snake line of curve jointed bricks and then the rest grass. Could we run the swale like this? If so, would we start it up close at A or about 3 feet down around B? Would the garden area need to be sloped up toward the house as well or could we make it level?

If we did do it this way, would there be any reason we couldn't put in large stepping stones along this path as well? Making a little less eye sore.

Sorry for the million questions, trying to be thorough :0).

Thanks again for the help!
 

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Master General ReEngineer
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Ayuh,..... Picture 1, is exactly as I explained,...
Keep the water as far away from the house as practical,.....

If you decide to go with picture 2, the garden should also basically pitch to the swale,...
Don't have to be alotta pitch, but ya want every drop possible of water to flow Around the house, not sit, 'n soak in,...

As for just diggin', 'n plantin' grass,...
That'll depend on what sorta Dirt ya find at those grades,....
Gravel, clay nor hardpan will support grass,...
Ya might have to dig an inch deeper, 'n reuse the top dirt yer gonna dig out above the final grade,...

'n steppin' stones are fine, so long as they don't impeed the flow of the water,...
Although, stones are used to slow water in swales that see real Gushers,...
lessens the erosion,...
 
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