Walkway, Wall, French Drain


Old 06-21-14, 09:08 PM
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Walkway, Wall, French Drain

Need a bit of advice from the more experienced folk around here. I am currently in process of buying a house and everything is great but there is one project that will need to be done soon after I move in and before the Minnesota winter sets in.
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What you are looking at is the side of the garage. If you look close you can see that the nice wood chips and the soil underneath come above the foundation of the garage and butt up to the siding. Off to the right of this picture the house sits on a small hill, and whenever it rains the water runs down that hill straight towards that garage. I was able to see the inside of the garage after a recent deluge we went through here and the water flows into the garage taking a bit of mud with it. What I'm contemplating is a water rerouting project and would like some advice on whether I'm on the mark, need refinement or out of my mind.

Step one:
Dig out the dirt next to the garage about 2ft out, down just below the siding to the foundation and perhaps put in a walkway from the door to the sidewalk in the bottom of the picture. Pretty clear cut and straightforward I figure

Step two:
Water redirection. I had the original idea of putting a combination of a retaining wall right next to the above walkway, and a french drain next to that routed to the backside of the garage. I figured put a road block in the way of the water and having the french drain as the easiest way for the water to leave. Here's where I really need advice. Is this overkill or does it make sense? My next thoughts were, "where will the water that collects on said walkway go if there's a wall?" So I started wondering if a french drain would be enough, back to the above overkill question.

One final note, the next picture isn't very clear but it is of the back corner of the garage where I was planning on routing the wall/french drain.
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If you look to the right, those greyish things are the roots of a fairly sizable tree. and within that area of grass and dirt I see roots poking through, so I feel certain that that entire area is going to be a fair number of roots to cut through. There's a lot of things I could ask about this, but to sum it up: How much of a nightmare is this going to be?

Overall I'm looking for any advice, alternatives, or opinions you folks are willing to give. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-22-14, 05:32 AM
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Years ago my house had a similar situation with the grade sloping toward the garage and the masonry foundation was not tall enough to allow simply adding dirt to get the ground sloping away. I initially thought of a retaining wall but it was going to be a lot of extra work and it would have blocked access to drive vehicles around to the back yard. I ended up digging out the 6-8' parallel to the garage. I sloped the bottom of the excavation to slope away from the garage and at the outer edge I installed perforated drain pipe that was pitched to drain out the excavated area. In my case I had to trench about 50' to get the drain pipe past a hill so I could have it sloping downhill to insure drainage and was able to have it emerge to daylight. I lined the excavation with landscape fabric and back filled the excavation with clean #57 stone. The top of the stone met flush with the ground and sloped downhill to the garage's footer. So, on the surface the gravel sloped toward the house but because the stone was porous water filtered through the stone to where the bottom of the excavation sloped away from the house to carry the water away.
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