Cedar Siding Shakes and Flowers next to the house

catlovesChanelMarch 22, 2013

Hi,

We moved into a 1954 fixer upper. There are nice cedar shakes on the house. My husband wants all the vegetation cleared away 6 inches from the house. When I did that I noticed that the mud just makes a mess of the shakes, it seems worse. 1) Is this a good idea to clear all the flowers away? 2) I was leveling the ground to make a patio with bricks and pebbles. I want the water to run away from the house, so I put a bendable cedar board in and bricks right under it and it doesn't seem to get mud on it. (Wow, this is a hard question to ask - it seems like the question is - am I right or is he? haha) so, if I am building this huge brick patio, I should run the cedar bend a boards next to the house first and put pebbles in them, but it doesn't seem like a very strong foundation for the patio. hope you get what I am saying.

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columbusguy1

To me, it sounds like you have no gutters...so without any cover at all, of course mud will splash up onto the siding. Your husband seems to be wrong on this one.

If your land is sloping away from the house, that's where the water will go...so the splattering is not due to grading...it's due to lack of any covering. Flower beds next to the house are fine, just so long as you don't get the mulch high enough to touch the shakes...and you give a few inches of air space between house and plants to breathe. And by the way, flowers or specimen bushes are better than things like evergreens, which will grow very large in most cases.

Old houses nearly always had beds next to the foundation, or a space up to 2-3 feet wide filled with gravel to prevent just what you are experiencing. Just make sure the ground slopes away from the house, and dig up the ground a couple inches and fill with gravel, marble chips or whatever you like...I'd put down a weed barrier first so you won't have to constantly be alert for invaders. :)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 3:17PM
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catlovesChanel

Thanks! We don't have gutters, every time we get progress on them, it starts snowing, like it did today on the second day of spring. The house is on a tiny tiny grade and I am having trouble leveling the land (to put bricks down) with this problem. thanks again, that was helpful.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 7:58PM
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columbusguy1

Just a suggestion--for the brick patio, you don't want it to be level...it too, should have a slight slope away from the house; dig up the sod and go down about four inches or so, level that cleared area with the mentioned slope, top up with tamped gravel/sand until the brick will sit flush with the ground surface. I'd use a weed barrier under it also, but one that will allow water to go through so it won't be trapped under the bricks. There are plenty of patterns for laying brick, find one you like--what is often seen is basketweave, which I actually don't like. :)

Lay the brick and tamp them down so they are level with one another, and fill the joints with sand--and you should use an edging around the area to keep the bricks aligned better and block grass roots from coming in from the sides.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 12:55AM
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catlovesChanel

Thanks, good suggestions. I've already made a brick patio that started with a sun and I circled all around it. It has a tiny slope. It used to contain a hot tub. We are at the top of a hill and the huge lot has a tiny grade with bumps in the ground. The insurance requires 6 inches of clear space from the foundation (just found that out), so it is hard to build up the surface without touching the foundation, but I will just have to put pebbles on

This post was edited by catlovesChanel on Sat, Mar 23, 13 at 17:45

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 5:38PM
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catlovesChanel

Here's the rough side of the house ... wish there could be an herb garden there, but no sun. There are windows all pointing to this spot, so I guess just bricks.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 5:48PM
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catlovesChanel

This is on the other side. Brick Patio with sparkle sun.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 5:50PM
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columbusguy1

I like the patio! For the little area with no sun, how about zen garden? A couple specimen large rocks, with raked sand/gravel around them like pebbles dropped into a pond?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 5:04AM
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