Project Scope: Landscape drainage and a new basement entry for a home.
Location: Gardiner, NY
Project Date: 2018-2019
Products Used: Belgard Brookshire Wall
Part I: Drainage
After a heavy storm, these clients noticed water in their basement and garage. Once on the site, we were able to identify several problems.
- Damaged footing drains. Given the heavy clay soils on this site, and the tendency to use thin-walled S&D pipes for footing drains, we knew we’d have to excavate and examine the drains for clogs and breaks.
- An ineffective catch basin. The catch basin in the driveway had an exit pipe, but it was too small and didn’t have the proper pitch, which led to the basin backing up during heavy rain events.
- The grade. This place may look pretty flat but looks can be deceiving! The slight pitch of the grade toward the house in one spot and finding a low spot for a drainage exit were going to be key challenges.
- The basement entry. The drainage issues compounded with the heavy soils meant the concrete walls and steps surrounding the basement entry were failing.
- The usual culprits. Insufficient gutter downspout exits and a lack of surface drains were making matters worse.
A project with as many moving parts as this takes time. We decided to focus on the drainage the first year and give it time to ensure our solutions were effective. If they were, we’d be back the next year to clean up the site and get the basement entry looking neat and tidy.
Devising a Solution
Here’s Mark on the site, running down our plan to tackle the drainage.
…but if videos aren’t your thing, here’s a quick breakdown.
- We used our laser level to find the lowest point on the property, so we knew exactly where those drains would need to exit.
- We excavated the footing drains to confirm our suspicions; thin pipe, crushed and clogged. We installed new, sturdier SDR35 replacements.
- We added surface drainage around the driveway area with a French drain to capture some runoff from the neighboring property and relocate it before it hit their driveway.
- We installed a new catch basin with a larger exit pipe to accommodate runoff during storms.
- We tore out the existing failing basement entry to make way for the new one.
Part II: Hardscape
A year later and we were back on site! Our drainage plan paid off and we found things significantly drier than we had seen them last. With that taken care of, we were able to do some fun work and installed a new basement entry as well as a small wing wall to tidy up the grade between the driveway and the back yard.
We went with Brookshire Wall by Belgard. We like the tumbled look, which matched the country aesthetic out in the area of this property. We also like how dang easy it is to build with. With a tool like that, we were able to create an attractive and functional new entry space for the basement. Plus, the new wing wall had the added benefit of creating more level, useable space around the house.