Wednesday, April 23, 2014

DIY French Drain

I hope everyone had a fantastic Easter!  We worked all weekend.

I can add french drain to my list of DIY projects.  This was not an easy task and was very labor intensive but hopefully worth the effort.

Several neighbors and friends have asked why we did it.  So for those of you who are wondering why we went through all this trouble, here is the answer.

Our backyard is sloped.  You can't tell from previous pictures I have posted but there is definitely a slope.  The closer you get to the water, the more severe the slope.  Here are a few pictures from our neighbor's yard.  Excuse the mess in my yard.






Since we are building the dock to the fence, the 2-3 feet of grass the length of the bulkhead will be covered and will eventually die.  Blittle was afraid of erosion issues.  If all the grass dies and the earth washes away, we are going to start having low spots in the yard and bulkhead issues.  Those are not cheap to fix or replace.  We are talking 10-15k for a new bulkhead.  On top of that, anytime the bulkhead is worked on or replaced anything near, around, over, etc has to be ripped out and replaced. So long story short, we are trying to prevent erosion to extend the life of our bulkhead.

This is an abridged version of what we did.  Most of the steps are in here but I skipped a few details to keep this post at a decent length.

To put in the french drain we had to first remove all the grass from the fence to the bulkhead.  Then we dug out the dirt to create a flat surface level with the bulkhead.  To prevent erosion under the fence, we added 2x6s the length of the fence.





That was all prepping for the drain!  To install it, we had to dig a trench big enough to hold the perforated pipes keeping in mind that we need it to slope for things to drain properly.  Next, we cut strips of landscaping fabric wide enough to screw into the bulkhead, go into the trench, reach the fence, then lay back over the pipe.  We laid the strips down then put the pipe over the fabric.




Blittle drilled 2 holes, one at each end, into the bulkhead for the drain.  I have to say.  This was a stressful step.  The idea of drilling into the bulkhead to create a 3+ inch hole gave me anxiety.  Anyway, once the holes were made, the drain was caulked and screwed in.  We used y-pieces to turn the pipe to the drain.


Supervisors




Once all the pipe was connected and in place we check everything with the level to make sure there was slope in the correct direction, we put down the gravel.  Lots of it.






This weekend we will be framing up the dock.  Yesterday, I met with the electrician to get power to the dock and add outdoor lighting to the house.  Today, I am finishing up digging, yes, more digging, the holes for the tie backs to the two poles that will hold the boat lift.  BUSY.  BUSY.  BUSY.  I can't wait for it to be done!  I am ready to have a new place to relax over the water.

I hope everyone is having a great week.  

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