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Need help with ideas to cover dirt/mud area next to house

Need help with ideas to cover dirt/mud area next to house


Old 04-19-10, 10:26 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Alabama - Bham
Posts: 1
Need help with ideas to cover dirt/mud area next to house

Hello, I was not sure which topic/forum to ask this question, but I thought I would start here.

I have a small area (5x8) or so that forms a rectangle between the house and a sidewalk coming from driveway stairs (there is a retaining wall that extends beyond the corner of the house about 6ft high). The sidewalk runs parallel to the house. The area to the right has the water faucet and a low deck. To the left is somewhat of a bed (mostly dirt) with newly planted evergreens and shrubs planted between the sidewalk and retaining wall. It gets very muddy especially when using the garden hose in this area. I dug out an inch or so of dirt over a year ago thinking I would put something there. I had considered putting some type of paver in the area. However, after reading about pavers, all recommend digging 4-6 inches out and using base and sand. When I dug out a little of the dirt, it caused water to go down the side of the house and come up through the garage floor which is on the other side of the water faucet. So, I am afraid to dig out any more to do a proper paver. I have since put some dirt along the side of the house at a small incline to move the water away from the house a foot or so. The house is on a hill that slopes downward to the road (basically toward the house foundation). There is on camellia plant in the middle I would like to keep. There is no grass and I have killed off most weeds – so just dirt. What are some options to fill in the area so it is not dirt/muddy? I have about 1 maybe 2 inches depth to work with on the foundation and sides of area and 4 inches along the sidewalk. I am considering putting down some stepping stones and filling in with rock with some plastic paver edging for the sides. If that is a good option, should I put down any lawn fabric 1st (concerned about water drainage not getting thru the fabric) and or sand 1st? Any better solutions out there? I don’t have any interest in placing sod there.
Thanks for any help.
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Old 04-19-10, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238

Welcome to the forums.

You're fine posting your questions in this forum. Most of us who can give you suggestions visit this one as well as several others.

The first issue you need to deal with is drainage. Putting dirt against the house to divert the water works, but only to a point. You certainly don't want to pile dirt so close to the siding that it causes it to start rotting. Depending on how much water is involved, installing a french drain may be in order to get the water out of this area as well as directing the water from your downspouts away from the house. Water coming up through the garage floor indicates that you have a significant amount of water to deal with.

Once the drainage issue is solved, then you can decide how to deal with the area. Pavers or a slab might be one option. Planting a ground cover may be another.

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