Home & Garden

Backyard Grading (pictures)

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  • May 22nd, 2019 4:16 pm
[OP]
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Jun 1, 2015
623 posts
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Calgary, AB

Backyard Grading (pictures)

Any advice on improving the grading just outside the walkout basement entry door (under the deck)? My concern is with the sod being quite high, that storm water etc can lead to leakage into the basement in the future.

This is a relatively new build - 1.5 years purchased from the builder. What are my options in terms of improving the grading and to direct storm water away from the perimeter of the house?
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Last edited by RigorMortis on May 8th, 2019 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
16 replies
Sr. Member
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Jun 30, 2009
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Vancouver
If you're worried about drainage, look at French drains. Apple Drains on YouTube has a lot of videos on it. A buddy of mine did it for his place with some help so you don't necessarily have to hire someone.
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Oct 9, 2010
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Windsor
Assuming everything else is done properly, just add basically anything to that area, and grade it away from your house. Dirt would obviously work, as would patio stones, cement, etc.

If might want to wait to see what happens with water when you get a storm; ideally everything currently functions well enough, and you can look at where the issues are and deal with it.
One who is offended by truth, has no place among those who seek wisdom.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 1, 2015
623 posts
188 upvotes
Calgary, AB
Thanks for the feedback. Is it acceptable/standard for the builder to sell a home with this set up (ie sod being this high)?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 1, 2015
623 posts
188 upvotes
Calgary, AB
I see a couple of the houses on the same street as ours, have these (see pictures), behind/outside their fence.

Are these along the lines of french drains/do they look adequate?
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Deal Addict
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Feb 10, 2010
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Toronto
Sometimes gradding is very subtle to the eye, I am not sure if you have a horseshoe grading so the water go to the side of your house.
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Jan 9, 2007
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If the house is only a year old, why not check with the builder? They'll send someone to look at it. You can also go straight to the city and ask if/when the grading was signed off.
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Dec 18, 2017
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London, On
RigorMortis wrote: I see a couple of the houses on the same street as ours, have these (see pictures), behind/outside their fence.

Are these along the lines of french drains/do they look adequate?
Without seeing more, that looks like they ran "Big O" tubing from their downspouts to outside the fence.
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Dec 25, 2012
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djeffery wrote: Without seeing more, that looks like they ran "Big O" tubing from their downspouts to outside the fence.
Wont this solve it though?
JS
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 1, 2015
623 posts
188 upvotes
Calgary, AB
djeffery wrote: Without seeing more, that looks like they ran "Big O" tubing from their downspouts to outside the fence.
Sorry about not replying sooner but I think you may be right. I know @Jerico pointed out in a previous thread that there was "Big O" inside the walls of our undeveloped basement.

I'm a first time home owner and new to all this and trying to determine the best course of action in my siutation. The worry is that with the sod being quite high that storm water from rain etc will pool towards the foundation of the house with no where to go (based on how the set up looks at the moment). As 1 of the replies in the thread suggested, we reached out to the builder about our concern with the grading.

Builders response was once the final grading certificate is issued (which we were provided upon taking possession) that grading becomes the home owners responsibility from that point forward. The builder has offered to, "drop off clay based fill on to our driveway. This is what was removed when excavating homes in the community. This material will help build up the grade. You would need to pull back the sod and top soil to place this then put the topsoil and sod back"

Does this sound right and a more appropriate solution?
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Nov 30, 2011
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GTA
RigorMortis wrote:
Builders response was once the final grading certificate is issued (which we were provided upon taking possession) that grading becomes the home owners responsibility from that point forward. The builder has offered to, "drop off clay based fill on to our driveway. This is what was removed when excavating homes in the community. This material will help build up the grade. You would need to pull back the sod and top soil to place this then put the topsoil and sod back"
New build grading is rarely approved at the time you take possession. I have been in my place over two years and the city still hasn't signed off on the grading because it wasn't done properly and the builder needs to come back and fix it.

If I were you, I would call the city and
a) ask if the grading has been approved; and
b) if it has, ask them who would have approved grading that slopes towards your house

I am sure after you mention B above, the city will send someone out to look at it.

Good luck.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 1, 2015
623 posts
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Calgary, AB
westcoastyvr wrote: New build grading is rarely approved at the time you take possession. I have been in my place over two years and the city still hasn't signed off on the grading because it wasn't done properly and the builder needs to come back and fix it.

If I were you, I would call the city and
a) ask if the grading has been approved; and
b) if it has, ask them who would have approved grading that slopes towards your house

I am sure after you mention B above, the city will send someone out to look at it.

Good luck.
The builder sent us a "Final Grading Certificate" around the time we took posession. I presumed this certificate is issued once the grading is approved?

Never hurts to ask so thank you for the suggestion to call the city - will get on that. Did your builder provide you with the grading certificate?
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Nov 30, 2011
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RigorMortis wrote: The builder sent us a "Final Grading Certificate" around the time we took posession. I presumed this certificate is issued once the grading is approved?

Never hurts to ask so thank you for the suggestion to call the city - will get on that. Did your builder provide you with the grading certificate?
Who issued your "Final Grading Certificate" - Builder or City?

We are still waiting for grading to be approved - which won't happen until the builder regrades the back yard, resods, etc.

In all honesty, I never imagined waiting over two years to be able to put up a fence, do landscaping, etc.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 1, 2015
623 posts
188 upvotes
Calgary, AB
westcoastyvr wrote: Who issued your "Final Grading Certificate" - Builder or City?

We are still waiting for grading to be approved - which won't happen until the builder regrades the back yard, resods, etc.

In all honesty, I never imagined waiting over two years to be able to put up a fence, do landscaping, etc.
In the email they sent with the grading certificate, it states, "A lot grading certificate is a document prepared and approved by an Alberta Land Professional Surveyor" so i presume that is the city.

The email with the actual certificate was sent by the builder, we did not get that directly from the city...
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Dec 18, 2017
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London, On
At what stage was construction around you when you took possession? The 2 times we have had a new home built, we were fairly early in the subdivision development when we moved in and it was several months to a year before everything was done around us and grading and sodding was completed. If you happen to be one of the latter homes to be built, then it's possible they had grading done when you took possession.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 1, 2015
623 posts
188 upvotes
Calgary, AB
djeffery wrote: At what stage was construction around you when you took possession? The 2 times we have had a new home built, we were fairly early in the subdivision development when we moved in and it was several months to a year before everything was done around us and grading and sodding was completed. If you happen to be one of the latter homes to be built, then it's possible they had grading done when you took possession.
We were one of the last houses in the phase to take possession. Ours was also a quick possession home. We took possession in Dec 2017 and the sod was not put down until the following spring (june 2018).

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