Watch Your Step

I was hoping I'd get to post this yesterday, but it's been a crazy week (working 5 A's games, helping brother move and rent out his condo, collecting landscaping supplies...). But once the grass was out of the yard, it was time to complete the drainage. Ewwww, more digging. After we got back from the dump and picked up Pedro and headed home we got to work.

Before we installed all of the fun drainage materials...

... we had to figure out where the walkway was going to be (so we knew exactly where we'd dig out for walkway stone around the drain). This actually took a bit longer than expected as Chris and I had a debate about how wide to make the walkway (I wanted 4ish feet, he wanted 5ish).

We laid out a sample walkway stone we have to see how it would look

(Doesn't Chris look SUPER excited with me? :)

The walkway stone will sit in the middle of gravel and we went back and forth about how much wider the gravel will be than the stone. The stone is about 18" tall and 24" wide and we finally settled on extending the walkway about 1 foot on either side

With that decided it was time to get to work on installing the drains and having Pedro dig the remaining trenches.

While he continued working on this one (it needed to be 18 deep)...

Chris and I got started attaching the pipe to our porch downspout

Because when this pipe is under the porch it will not be perforated (it will be once it extends past the porch), this step was pretty easy: we didn't have to dig down too far and line it with filter fabric or rocks, we just had to make sure the pitch was correct and then hook it up to the downspout

Easy peasy.

Once Pedro was done with the trench in front of the house we started working on the drainage for that one (he moved on and started digging for the trench that will extend from the porch). We lined the now 18" trench with filter fabric and drain rock because this trench will have a perforated pipe run down the length of it to help pull water away from the house that collects up against the foundation

Once we got it lined with a bit of rock we put the pipe in and wrapped it with a sock (another precaution so dirt doesn't get inside)

The idea is that this trench in front of the house will have a perforated pipe that will run along the width of the house and then tie into the trench that extends from the porch (that the downspout from the porch AND a downspout in the corner of our sprinkler area will also drain into)

We dug the trench against the width of the house so deep for 2 reasons: 1) to collect the most water that sits up against the foundation and 2) because the downspout in the corner next to our sprinkler system (that already existed there and we ripped out because we'll be doing all drip) will have a pipe run off it it as well that will sit on top of the pipe that runs against the width of the house

That top pipe that connects to the porch pipe will not be perforated while it runs against the house because we didn't want to fill that trench with too much water. Instead, once it connects to the porch downspout it will be perforated as it runs away from the house towards the sidewalk

And in this trench as it runs away from the house there are again 2 layers of drainage pipe: 1) the perforated pipe that was running the width of the house continues to drain in this area at the bottom of the trench and then 2) the now perforated pipe that connected the corner downspout and porch downspout drains on top.

We didn't quite finish all the drainage work on Sunday because we ran out of rocks, filter fabric, drainage pipe and energy. In fact, I lost it from exhaustion from about 12-1 and was almost in tears about all the overwhelming work we had. Thank god Pedro was there because having a stranger work on the house with us made me keep my shit together. At least kinda. So Monday after work we headed back out to the front to finish things off

We finished lining the porch trench with filter fabric and rocks

We also worked on filling the corner downspout area in with rocks (just like where the porch downspout isn't perforated, because this area of the drainage pipe is solid we didn't line the trench with filter fabric or rocks, we just made sure the pitch was correct)

As we laid in the perforated pipe into the trench that extends past the porch we decided to add some more perforation to it because a decent amount of water comes off of the porch downspout and we wanted to make sure there were enough holes in the pipe to allow the water to filter out evenly across the length of the pipe instead of dumping it all out at the end

The we set it inside the trench and started finishing off all the trenches by adding rock on top of the piping

Once all the rock was in we folded filter fabric over the top like a burrito

Finishing the task on Monday night didn't take too long. And we were given a nice break halfway through when my dad stopped by on his way to the A's game to say hi (and steal my permit) and check on our progress. We got some good advice about where we'll put the drip when he comes to help us and it's always fun showing people what you've been working on since the last time they came.

At the end of the night we were still left with trenches in the front yard (we still need to dig on either side of the porch trench for the walkway) so we brought out a bunch of plywood to cover everything up. Classy

And just so no one sues us...

I hope everyone has a great 4th of July today!!! It's also Mr. Christopher's birthday today, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! And because I'm the worst girlfriend, Chris will be home alone working on the house for his birthday while I'm at work (though last year he wanted us to go to his job and finish a patio project when I asked him what he wanted us to do for his birthday). But I'll take him out to breakfast and dinner (and I of course gave him his present already last week as our tradition of always giving presents way too early continues)

Happy 4th everyone and a wonderfully happy birthday to my Christopher who I love so much and am always amazed and in awe of. He's a pretty awesome dude :)


Heather said...

Happy birthday Chris!

meryl rose said...

Thanks Heather! :)

Jay Dub said...

How did you decide that that size pvc would carry the volume of water your gutters move?

I have a similar situation that I have yet to address....

aptpupil said...

the real answer is that we didn't really do the calculation. :)
that said, i did use some common sense. our gutters are 2"x3" and we attached pipe that is 3" in diameter so i knew that one pipe would easily allow for the volume of water covered by one downspout. however, we did connect two 2"x3" downspouts to one 3" drain pipe so there is technically the potential for the system to be overloaded in a torrential downpour. i just don't see that being a problem where we are located. and if it did happen the worst that would happen is that it would back up out of the pipe and spill out where the downspout is. no huge deal.
if you want to be more scientific about it you can find a rain volume calculator online. the more sophisticated ones have you input the size and pitch of your roof to figure out the downspout requirements. you can then figure what size pipe you will need. unless you have a huge house, though, 4" pipe should cover 2 downspouts without a strain.