Do I need french drains?

pvelJanuary 7, 2011

I would appreciate any advice.Our new home is being built on a lot is at the base of a hill and has clay soil. Our neighbors had problems with standing water in their yard and had to install French Drains. I had discussed this potential problem with my builder and he assured me that they would take care of it by trucking in soil to raise the level and by grading the soil so the water would run off. Well, I think I am going to have a drainage problem, because even after they have truced in some soil, the land stays soggy after it rains for several days. I am wondering if I need french drains or something similar. If so, I would like to put it in before the yard is sodded. How can I know if I need them, other than relying on my gut? If I put them in, how can I be sure I have put enough drains to fix the drainage problem? Thanks, Paul

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You need them. I'll just confirm your gut. It all depends though on how much the wet ground bothers you. I have a dog so it bothers me a lot. You can grade so waters runs off but generally there are still issues.

I've built 2 houses. I've installed a lot of french drains after the fact. I'm getting ready to install some more.....

You should realize that sod helps dry the soil and winter is the worst for staying soggy. If your neighbor had standing water - that is pretty bad. I don't have standing water and you probably won't either but that doesn't mean you won't have soggy soil and wish that it wasn't so....

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 6:43AM
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I put these in one new home with similar ground conditions--flat with high clay soil that left rainwater pooling for weeks on nearby properties. A relatively easy job when the home is being built and Cats have free rein; messy when you're working around an occupied home and trying to preserve yards, drives and plantings.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 1:45PM
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