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wlandymore

can a negative slope be fixed with raised beds?

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I just bought a house and the one problem that I see is that on the front of it there is a negative slope towards the house. Water will be coming towards the house and I need to fix this.

I will be putting in french drains at both corners to drain it to the side because it runs downhill there, but I was wondering I could build something against the front like raised beds with timbers and then even put some rubber down between the house and the planters so that no water is going towards the house.

Does anyone have any advice for someone who hasn't done this before so that I can make sure water is not heading in?

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A swale in the front directed to the sides and rear of the house, or a curtain drain ("french drain") several feet away from the front of the house with the buried pipes pitched toward the sides and down the slope away from the house.

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The water should drain away rather than just trying to block it. Water shouldn't pool too close to the foundation of the house. It lowers the load bearing capacity of the soil supporting the foundation.

Use gentle swales if there's enough room, otherwise use a french drain or a Multi-Flow Drainage system if you're in a really tight spot.

There's other solutions depending on conditions. Just don't let it pool close to the house.

Marc

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yeah, I was definitely going to put in french drains to take what was coming out of the downspouts and send it to the sides, but I was just wondering about being super-anal about this and then putting in the raised beds and any other ways to stop water running down the sides.

The negative slope is not very big. It's about a foot from the house to the foundation, so I guess I could just put soil in, compact it to change the slope, I just wanted to be sure that all water was going elsewhere...

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Raised beds made from topsoil, loam, or compost will do nothing to direct water away from the house. The water will just soak into the beds.

If you want raised beds, put them on top of a firm layer of soil that slopes away from the house on its own. Don't place raised beds over a negative slope.

yeah, I was definitely going to put in french drains to take what was coming out of the downspouts and send it to the sides,

Those are just drains, not french drains. French drains use perforated pipe. If you connect perforated pipe to your downspouts, you'll make a foundation watering system.

The negative slope is not very big. It's about a foot from the house to the foundation,

What do you mean by, "it's about a foot from the house to the foundation."

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the one foot I was talking about is the distance of the slope to the house. IE - if I put soil in there from the foundation of the house going one foot would probably take it far enough that it would start to run off in the other direction.

What I was talking about with the downspouts was more like - digging the trench, putting in the gravel, cloth, pipe in but then you have a receptacle at the ground level that accepts the water and then it runs through the drain. However, it's also possible to get a small plastic hook up that will guide all of the water right into the drain instead of having it hit around the grate and possible get on to the soil as well.

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the one foot I was talking about is the distance of the slope to the house. IE - if I put soil in there from the foundation of the house going one foot would probably take it far enough that it would start to run off in the other direction.

What I was talking about with the downspouts was more like - digging the trench, putting in the gravel, cloth, pipe in but then you have a receptacle at the ground level that accepts the water and then it runs through the drain. However, it's also possible to get a small plastic hook up that will guide all of the water right into the drain instead of having it hit around the grate and possible get on to the soil as well.

Jeez, I must be tired.

Anyone want to translate?

Marc

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I was confused about how the drain took in the water, but I think I'm more clear now. So you are basically laying the drain across the front of the house and then the water just seeps into the ground and into the drain eventually and then out the end?

Then I would have to fix the negative slope so it at least goes towards the drain and not towards the house.

I thought there would be a more direct way to get the water into the drain line since 95% of it is probably coming from the downspout anyway...

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The slope towards the house is not a big one. Almost level actually, but for the last foot of distance before you reach the foundation it slopes ever so slightly down towards the foundation. Tough to explain I guess. :)

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the one foot I was talking about is the distance of the slope to the house. IE - if I put soil in there from the foundation of the house going one foot would probably take it far enough that it would start to run off in the other direction.

If you only have a negative grade for a distance of one foot, don't worry about it. It would hurt nothing to fix it, but it's not really a problem.

What I was talking about with the downspouts was more like - digging the trench, putting in the gravel, cloth, pipe in but then you have a receptacle at the ground level that accepts the water and then it runs through the drain. However, it's also possible to get a small plastic hook up that will guide all of the water right into the drain instead of having it hit around the grate and possible get on to the soil as well.

You're describing a dry well, not a french drain.

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I was confused about how the drain took in the water, but I think I'm more clear now. So you are basically laying the drain across the front of the house and then the water just seeps into the ground and into the drain eventually and then out the end?

Then I would have to fix the negative slope so it at least goes towards the drain and not towards the house.

I thought there would be a more direct way to get the water into the drain line since 95% of it is probably coming from the downspout anyway...

Just stop, before someone loses an eye.

You have absolutely no clue about what you're doing.

Hire a pro.

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I mean, maybe I don't need an actual french drain for this. It seems like it's not a great deal of water because I don't see pooling of it around anywhere. But the slope of the flower beds around the house definitely doesn't take it away.

maybe directing the downspouts and putting in a regular drain to take it to a dry well might be a better solution?

Thoughts?

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Just stop, before someone loses an eye.

You have absolutely no clue about what you're doing.

wow...I thought this was a forum where questions could be asked regardless of the amount of experience one has.

I didn't realize this was for non-newcomers. I'm sure if you asked me some questions about designing a server farm within a data center I could make you feel like a jackass, but alas that isn't my style.

I would still try to exhibit patience and tolerance.

good luck with that...

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Just stop, before someone loses an eye.

You have absolutely no clue about what you're doing.

wow...I thought this was a forum where questions could be asked regardless of the amount of experience one has.

You don't understand. We're willing to help newcomers and inexperienced people, but within the bounds of their ability. As far as I can tell from what you've written, the very best advice I can give you is to hire a pro. Otherwise, you're going to spend a bunch of time and effort making your yard worse

I didn't realize this was for non-newcomers. I'm sure if you asked me some questions about designing a server farm within a data center I could make you feel like a jackass, but alas that isn't my style.

I would never try to design a server farm because it's beyond my ability and no matter how many questions I asked about it, I'd still screw it up.

It would be a foolish endeavor.

I would still try to exhibit patience and tolerance.

good luck with that...

Believe it or not, I gave you the best advice you could get on this subject.

.

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that second comment would have gone over much better than the first one. But instead you chose to be flat out rude.

What's even better is that you have a business website link in your signature as you're making those types of comments.

I'm sorry my friend, but regardless of the questions you may get there are always tactful ways to express opinions. Yours was not.

I have a lot of questions about this, but I enjoy to learn and do it myself for the satisfaction I get. Sure, I might have to go to a different forum to get information, but I'll get there in the end.

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that second comment would have gone over much better than the first one. But instead you chose to be flat out rude.

What's even better is that you have a business website link in your signature as you're making those types of comments.

I'm sorry my friend, but regardless of the questions you may get there are always tactful ways to express opinions. Yours was not.

I have a lot of questions about this, but I enjoy to learn and do it myself for the satisfaction I get. Sure, I might have to go to a different forum to get information, but I'll get there in the end.

I spend my days looking at screwed up houses. Most of the screw ups were done by people who are willing to take on any home improvement project imaginable, regardless of ability or experience. You're heading down that path. . .

Best advice: Hire a pro.

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I'm sorry that looking at people's mistakes frustrates you. It seems to be creeping into other areas though.

Yes, that may be good advice:

Best advice: Hire a pro.

but the part that I was talking about was:

Just stop, before someone loses an eye.

You have absolutely no clue about what you're doing.

The words you're looking for in cases where you have been rude are: "I'm sorry". Just FYI

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. . .

The words you're looking for in cases where you have been rude are: "I'm sorry". Just FYI

Except that I'm not sorry and I don't believe that I have been rude. The fact is that you really have no clue and your really shouldn't be trying to design this system yourself.

If my blunt manner offends you, so be it.

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I just bought a house and the one problem that I see is that on the front of it there is a negative slope towards the house. Water will be coming towards the house and I need to fix this.

I will be putting in french drains at both corners to drain it to the side because it runs downhill there, but I was wondering I could build something against the front like raised beds with timbers and then even put some rubber down between the house and the planters so that no water is going towards the house.

Does anyone have any advice for someone who hasn't done this before so that I can make sure water is not heading in?

What did your inspector tell you?

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Jim, we've got another one. I just posted this yesterday in another thread:

"Some folks seeking "advice" already have their minds made up. They just want others to reinforce their decision.

Some other folks don't listen to anything except what they want to hear."

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no, I believe I'm totally open to all advice. It could have been given in a nicer way, sure.

but it also may be that putting in soil around the foundation in the front and getting the slope running downhill might be enough too. I just wanted to have a polite discussion and hear all the options.

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If you got someone you know to read your comments they would probably disagree. Perhaps now they just call it "blunt" instead.

Ok, in the interest of increasing my politeness index, I'm going to give this one shot.

At the bottom of each and every downspout, install an underground drainpipe made from solid 3" diameter ABS pipe. Direct the downspouts into these pipes. Where it's convenient, joint the pipes together with tee fittings to consolidate the drains. Run the pipes out away from the house - the farther, the better. The pipes can run to daylight if you have a convenient swale somewhere. Alternatively, they can run to bubbler pots (www.downspouts.com) or, if necessary a dry well. The design of dry wells is not always straightforward and I say this in the nicest possible way: don't try to make a drywell yourself.

After all of the downspout water has been taken care of, scrape away the topsoil from around the house, and build up the soil below it so that it slopes away from the house in all directions at a slope of at least 6" over the first 10'. Put back the top soil. If you want raised beds, put them in as well.

Don't start digging ditches or trying to install french drains unless you have a very specific problem that you're trying to solve. Most people screw up french drains.

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thank you very much for that.

was very clear, a lot of good information and got the point across to not take on the french drains myself.

All I was looking for. Have a good night.

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