Saturday, April 5, 2008

Our French Drain Project



It was so great to have hubby home with me for a week's vacation. Poor guy hasn't had one in about 3 years! Over the past week he decided to tackle a couple of HUGE home improvement projects. One of the things he's been wanting to do is move our palm tree from one corner of the house where it was growing into the gutters, to the opposite side. You can just barely see the overgrown palm at the far right hand side of the house in the photo above.

Our other project was to install a French drain to keep water out of our crawl space. The previous owner had a sump pump installed under there at one point according to our neighbor, but when we purchased the house, it was no longer there. Hubby didn't like the concept of water getting under there at all, and then capturing it after the fact, and pumping it out. We'd been discussing the French drain alternative, and he decided it would be a much better approach. Googling how to do it was the easy part!

He got to borrow the mini excavator from work, so that helped keep the cost well within our "sweat equity" budget. The palm tree relocate wasn't bad at all. Let's just hope now it survives the trauma. I'd Googled that also, and found if you removed 2/3 of the palm leaves, the survival rate is higher.

Here hubby is rigging the palm...




...Taking it for a little ride...





And then setting it at its new location...




"Sweat equity" is the perfect phrase to describe the French drain project. I shot some pictures of the side of the house and how the drain runs out to the lower elevation of the back yard. It's also installed across the right hand side of the front of our house. Even with the excavator, there was plenty of hand work to be done shaping and tamping the bottom of the trench, before filling it with 2" of stone, laying the perforated pipe and then covering it to within a couple of inches to the top with more stone.



Over two days, dodging the rain, we finally covered the top of the stone with landscape fabric, and then hubby started to regrade until the red clay became impossible to work with.



Last night it rained cats and dogs! Hubby was out in the yard in his rain gear, checking to see if our hard work was going to pay off. Sure enough, the French drain was working just the way it was supposed to! Checking under the house this morning, we're high and dry!

Over the next couple of months we'll have to repair the damage to the flower beds and lawn, but overall, I'd say it was so worth all the effort. It's a huge relief to finally get the water problem under the house under control.

Hubby's earned the next few days off. He did have a "honey-do" list from me. Simple things like hanging a plate rack and curtain rod, cleaning the HVAC filter, and going to the dump with some yard clean-up trash. Although we did get to the dump, I'm not even gonna ask about the other stuff that didn't get done!

I'm taking a break today too! Playing on the computer with PSP. With Spring here, I'm visually planning and looking foward to the gardening year. Don't you just love lilies of the valley! I will have to find some for my shade bed.





Until next time!

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2 comments:

Kimmie said...

Oh Mary...what a beautiful home you have! How pretty it looks on the outside as well as the inside. Hubby really had his hands full. Looks like he did a great job. I am happy to hear it is doing its job. :-)

Your little lilly of the valley card pic is adorable. May I snag it for my blog. I will give you credit as the designer. Let me know sweetie. I checked ebay for your other ATC cards, and I don't see them up yet. Are you selling your "April Showers" card? If so, let me know that too. ;-)

I have an AWARD for you on my blog so be sure to stop by.
Love you,
Kimmie

Mary said...

Kimmie, Thanks for stopping in for a visit! Yes, we're still struggling to repair the damage to the lawn ~ can't do much with that red clay until it dries up some, and we've been having tons of rain!

My "April Showers" card is up on eBay right now, along with 3 others. Just click the link under "My eBay" on the left hand side of my blog page to take a peek at them all.

Going to visit you now!

Hugs,

~Mary~

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