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PostPosted: June 11 16, 9:55 pm 
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"I could totally eat a person if it were a life/death situation"
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Quick little backstory. Okay...this turned into a long backstory so ima break it up into two posts....then post what I really came here to say. When we bought our house, there were some drainage issues. NBD, as far as I was concedrned because that's my job. Told the guy selling the house that he'd have to put some money in an escrow account so I could fix the drainage which he did. I asked around. To a T every realtor and inspector told me that there was this guy named Roger who did great work. And, he had a lot of references and worked on a lot of well known, prestigious, etc houses.

Basically, from what I could tell looking at the house a couple times, there was a [expletive] [expletive] ton of water getting into the side yard. Did the calcs, found out worst case scenario was 22 cfs were getting into this little area with no where to go. So, I call roger up and tell him what I want. Tell him about the property, he says he has already seen it and wants to do xyz. I said let's just meet up and go over everything. So, we meet up. I bring some drawings which were mostly standard commercial drainage details with a few modifications. But, I wanted a lot of inlets on a line both above and below the wall, a geotech fabric to act as a waterproofing barrier between the wall and the inlets, and a 12" pipe to run down to the street (we have a lot of grade, it's great). On top of that, I wanted a simple piece of [expletive] sump pump installed in the crawl space that at the time had a lot of water. And I wanted it to pump onto the surface of the side yard so I could see when there was water without getting into the yard.

No, no, no, no, no. That's not the type of work Roger wants to do. He wants to waterproof the foundation walls, grade the entire side yard to drain to a single inlet, and put in a french drain both in the yard and then all along the inside of the foundation wall (in the crawl space). I said...Roger, french drains are there to keep soil from staying too wet. They are not a reasonable way to deal with discharges, especially discharges in excess of a couple cfs. But, he said he would not warranty the work unless he did it his way.

Also it should be noted the escrow account money had to be used on Roger. So, we do it his way. House bought in the fall, no hard rains, he starts pretty quickly and finishes within a month. To be fair, he did a good job of doing what he said he was going to do. Also, to be fair, he was wrong.

Here's a video of the side yard as snow is melting and it is raining. I think it's pretty safe to say that I was right and we needed inlets, not a french drain. The last little pipe outlet shown is the interior french drain. I have fungus in the crawl space to this day because it's wet. Blah blah blah. It was a waste of money. HE was supposd to grade the yard to drain to that single inlet....and it's not anywhere close to doing that. There's stagnant water everywhere in that yard. But, I digress.



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PostPosted: June 11 16, 10:09 pm 
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Similar to the first post, I was still too ignorant to realize never to trust a person that works on houses. We also hired a guy to install a new shower. For 8 months it leaked down into the walls, insulation under the floor and the subfloor of the closet abutting the shower until I finally noticed it. Problem was the contractor used a connection about 1/4" too short on one of the faucets. Every time that faucet was turned on, water would leak. Amazingly careless and stupid. In addition to that [expletive] up which has been the bane of my existence for a couple months now between replacing the walls, carpet, floors, and getting rid of the mold, he also didn't grade the shower floor correctly to drain. So, it's basically a flat floor that we have to squeegee to get dry and then clean the grout on a weekly basis.

All this to say, people that work on houses are at the bottom of my [expletive] [expletive] list. That roger guy said he sold a warranty every year for $100. Basicaly just a piece of mind thing. I tried to buy it, and he just ignored me. For over a year now he's ignored emails and phone calls. The shower guy was just an idiot. He actually got out of the business after finishing our shower. A business he had been in for like 30 years....and apparently people were happy which makes me question how competent people are when it comes to understanding basic tenets of their house.


Anyway, I got off on a sidekick. I don't trust these guys so decided to build a deck myself.


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PostPosted: June 11 16, 10:10 pm 
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PostPosted: June 11 16, 10:29 pm 
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Step 1 to building a deck is fixing everything that the people before you did....like building a stone patio up against a dryvit structure which is day 1 stuff of what not to do.

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Sideway pick and all, but a lot of that had to go.

For almost an entire year I tried to give it away and/or pay people only a couple hundred dollars to come take it. No one ever took me up on the offer, so finally I just hired a kid to help me wheelbarrow it all out to some bagsters that I put on the street (3 total, only 2 shown here). Cost was $550 plus $50 to a kid to help. Still a lot cheaper than paying people $1200 to get rid of it.

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Anyway, once that's done, it's just building the thing. This soil is solid as a rock, hell a lot of it is rock, and as you can imagine being structural fill for a stone patio it's pretty well compacted and dense. And, there's no way I'm connecting a ledger board through that dryvit. So, it's going to be a free standing deck. And I'm not putting in footings, just building off blocks. This may seem lazy, but it will work, and is a couple hundred dollars cheaper not to mention a lot of man hours less.

Here's one of the first.

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Anyway, building stuff is fun. Sorry if this bores you. Just using it as my own personal blog.


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PostPosted: June 11 16, 11:46 pm 
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So, Frank will only warranty the work done his way, but this warranty actually costs $100/yr, and he won't actually sell it to you?


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PostPosted: June 12 16, 12:16 am 
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The last place I lived had a river that formed through the backyard when we got a good rain. Fortunately, there was a slab foundation, and the river flowed away from the house, so it wasn't that serous a problem, but it did carry a substantial portion of the yard down the hill every time, so no way to keep grass alive. My landlord had a drainage system installed, but it seemed to be pretty much useless. There were several inlets, but only one of them was placed with respect to the grade so any substantial water flowed in. In any real storm, it would quickly just get covered in mud. I tried to keep it clear but it was a mostly pointless losing battle. The other inlets dissapeared never to be found again.

I'm curious if there is a good solution to the problem. Obviously, the inlets should be placed with respect to the grade so they can actually pick up the water, but how do you keep them from clogging?

I hate paying lots of money for people to fix these sorts of things without personally knowing how they should be done because rip-offs and crap work are not rare. Like car mechanics but more expensive. Paying for labor is fine, but it's trouble when people selling you the work also tell you what you need. Aside from being friends with experts, I don't know a good way to handle this stuff.

Since you apparently do have expertise, are you going to redo the drainage?


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PostPosted: June 12 16, 6:34 am 
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"I could totally eat a person if it were a life/death situation"
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Arthur Dent wrote:
So, Frank will only warranty the work done his way, but this warranty actually costs $100/yr, and he won't actually sell it to you?

Pretty much. Worthless.

One of the problems with the drainage situaiton is there's not enough room due to the fence to get a good drop inlet or curb and curb inlet up there. Really, I'd need probably 5' between the wall and the fence to do it and there's only like 3. Also exacerbating the problem is there is a french drain just behind the wall (at the top) that was put in incorrectly and snakes up and down. So, that has to be removed which is not difficult but it's going to take some time to dig up all the rock behind the wall, remove the pipe, and then put the rock back...and we're pretty much off my property at that point. Again, not a big deal, but have to let the neighbor know i'm putting a couple thousand rocks on a tarp in his yard for a coupld days.. I don't know why they even wasted money putting it in. Obviously a drain that goes up and down, especially a porous one, is worthless.

As you note, grated area inlets get clogged up and can be annoying. But, so long as it is not in a heavy foot traffic or visible spot, you can always replace them with a drop inlet like this.

Image

Image

The 2nd picture is too big for my application, but you get the idea.

It clogs up a lot less and as long as the pipe is large enough to avoid clogging (I like 12" but 8" would probably work too). These can work with a multitude of sizes as well. Just get a grated inlet and stick it in the ground. Remove the grate and connect the top/grate with a galvanized rod a couple inches above the lip at every corner and call it good. I plan on putting 3 plastic boxes in a row like that. Then running a solid 12" pipe along the wall and connect with the main drain line already running through the yard after the wall ends and I can turn the pipe without going through the wall. Going to put a junction box there too so I can get to that connection easily if needed. That's my plan....just not at the top of the list right now.


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PostPosted: June 12 16, 9:28 am 
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AWvsCBsteeeerike3 wrote:
Just an opinion, but I doubt many people would be interested in a home improvement show that focuses on how to fix things. I would, and I'm sure a few other people would, but it's got to be a small subset of the population. On the bright side, there are videos of just about any DIY project under the sun on youtube. To be honest, i don't know how people did stuff on their own before youtube existed...I would have been up [expletive] creek without a paddle many a time. And, for the record, no I don't plan out my projects all that well. I just start tearing stuff up and figure out how to fix it later.


I think that's why shows like This Old House and whatnot were always on. So people could get tips.

That and books I presume.

I'm with you though, thank God for youtube. I'm opposite you though, I tend to over research about all possibilities, then tear it out and figure out the best way to fix it.


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PostPosted: June 12 16, 3:21 pm 
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"I could totally eat a person if it were a life/death situation"
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JC, you got to quit doing that researching stuff. It will slow you down and it's so much more fun to run into a problem and then figure it out than try to understand what the problems are before you hit them. ;) JK, kind of.


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PostPosted: June 12 16, 3:58 pm 
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Here's a few pictures of what got completed today. Not much, had a lot of other stuff going on, bday party, cut grass, smoked ribs, etc. Also, ran into multiple problems.


Image

Set the little footings close to the house and then wanted to see how it was going to look for the ones along the retaining wall. Wanted to make sure everything is square and what not. How do you do that? I had no idea. Tried to use a speed square and chalk line to do that. Not even close. The block isn't necessarily parallel to the wall. You can measure each corner, but a little difference there makes a big difference in the end. This also means that unfortunately you can not just set a board in the block and rely on it to be perpindicular. And on top of everything else, chalk lines don't work well on a fine powdery surface....go figure.

Then, what I thought was the most brilliant method, was to hook the tape measure onto the line I already had set (pegs at 16" off the exterior wall, easy) and kind of rotate it along another made up line until I found the minimum measurement. Couldn't get the string to hold the tape hook steady and, really, to make that work, you need another parallel line to the original line....which Ididn't have. F bomb.

Off to youtube.

3 4 5 method. So pissed at myself for not figuring that out, but it made it pretty easy. Get a 90 degree angle from the little line that is parallel to the wall. Went ahead and figured out where the next post/corner would need to be. Here's a picture of where it is.

Image

It's not the end of the board, that was just a guide. It's the black mark on the end of that retaining wall block. The middle of the 4x4 corner post is right on the edge of the block. Not only is it going to have to sit on half block and half something else, but the block is also about 1" too high for the bottom of the 2x10 frame I want to hook up to the 4x4.

[expletive] [expletive].

Anyway, did the 345 method off that point and ran another line perpindicular to the one that was set perpindicular to the original line (ie, a parallel line to original one). Worked out well. Lines seem to be about parallel. Corner to corner distances are within half an inch....blah blah blah. Now just need to figure out what to do at that corner.


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