September 19, 2009 1 Comment

Yesterday was a day of contractors, designers, trying to comprehend it all and understand what everyone was saying. I like my landscape architect, he’s patience, he incorporates my ideas into his design, he listens and he shows me the concepts by laying it all out.

The grading guy I was talking to yesterday, eventually towards the end of the process, just pissed me off. He would tell me something and then not explain it – if I can’t see, I don’t understand it. I might work for a landscape architect but I don’t understand these concepts. And bashing my construction guy work and design, that’s not good, I can bash him but not someone else. And not talking to me directly but to my architect, what the hell? Why do men do that? Talk to the woman potentially hiring you, not the male in the room. And what is his weird fascination with telling me nails on the ground are a bad thing, he told me that he has fired people because they don’t do things his way, I should have stopped him right there and said thank you, but no. Tell me what is going on, your thoughts, don’t talk to my architect like I’m not there. He’s not hiring you. For that matter, I’m not hiring you either.

So I now know that I have grading issues in my backyard – got it everything slopes to the house, not good. I know that I had things built before I corrected the grading issue. I also now know that putting in a french drain really doesn’t solve the problem of the surface water however it does currently solve the problem of the roof drainage pipes getting drained somewhere other than under my foundation and I also now understand that a house foundation should be 6 inches above the soil line, so in order to properly grade my backyard away from the house, the soil needs to be dug down at least 6 inches and then away from the house. I also now understand that I need to have a swale or swale and drainage pipes to move the surface water away from the house which I love that idea, its kind of like a moat around the house.  And also in order to correct the grading, draining issue, the lawn is going, oh well, it makes sense.

Now for the landscape concept. My edible landscape architect has suggested to put fruit trees all along the side of the house, the elm tree needs to go but if I get fruit trees, then the elm has to go – I’m ok with trading the elm for fruit trees.

Here’s the preliminary plan, might change as I get actual estimatesbackyard plan

wow, I’m getting better at sketchup. see this is what I’m talking about, I need actual visuals to understand the concepts, telling me that putting a 2×4 in the ground and digging around it, so doesn’t make any sense to me

Categories : House

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Julie,
    It sounds like you got a tough old bird of a grading guy. Even though he pissed you off he probably knows his stuff. That doesen’t mean that you have to hire him, but from what you wrote it sounds like he was technically focused on the right things. The difference between surface water and underground water, 6″ space between the wood on house and grade level,grading first and building second. Even the nails on the ground believe it or not. The first thing that a construction helper learns is not to leave nails on the ground because they end up going through peoples feet which sends them to the emergency room which costs a contractor money.
    Anyway the guy obviously has lot’s of construction experience but limited people skills. I’ll be in touch to see if we can work something out. BTW glad to hear that your landscape architect is still in the loop. I am a landscape architect also but don’t have any problem filling the role of the builder/construction coordinator and letting someone else lead the design.