2019 Garage Rehab and French Drain install
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Thread: 2019 Garage Rehab and French Drain install

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    2019 Garage Rehab and French Drain install

    Hi folks. I've never really done a thread like this, but thought it could be interesting for anyone entertaining the idea of doing some drainage around a building. The goal is, ultimately, to rehab this detached garage/barn. The home was built in 1959, so the barn is sometime afterwards and we've owned it since 10/2015. I had the pole barn in the back built in Spring of 2017, in preparation for 2018's purchase of the JD 2025RClassic. Here's what I'm working with:

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    We had the overhead door replaced in 2016, but this year will be new gutters, soffit, entry door and double-upper doors replaced and all white trim getting re-done with a clay color to match the pole barn. Also, in the back is a window upstairs that is getting pulled out and changed into an entry door. I'll build steps up to a landing for that door. Right now, access to the second floor is a set of steps that hinge down from upstairs. So, an entrance in the back will be a welcome upgrade! The trim is all bunged up from years of life in the woods, previous owner's kids hitting doorways, etc...it needs to be done over.

    My task right now: French Drain installation. Since we've moved in, I have battled high moisture / mildew inside the garage. I painted the 3 foot cinderblock wall inside with DryLok Extreme and still get a fair amount of water inside from heavy rains. This is due in large to a poor gutter and shallow overhangs on the gambrel style roof. However, the soil around the garage is red, thick, sandy clay. Its nasty...and holds LOTS of water. This lays in against the foundation and just keeps things wet.

    First step: Get the existing gutter drain opened up and cleared out

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    Next up: Start digging down to the footer. I'm going to the footer and then one shovel width beside the footer. Trench width is roughly 16 to 18 inches.

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    Keep Going: I've finally rounded the corner to the back. (Oh, and that chimney just had the top 4 blocks replaced and new concrete cap installed. Old top block had a hole large enough to put my fist through.)

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    Made it to the corner!: Sunday evening, I finally made it around the chimney and to the corner. I hit a road block, though. Two big rocks, easily weighing 200 lbs each, are in my way. Tonight, my wife will operate the tractor and I'll get straps around them to lift them up and out with the KennyD gold hooks.

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    The last part of the dig, and I hope the easiest, is now from the corner towards the front. If you look at the top, first picture, you can see how the yard slopes and will be a much shallower dig. The back wall was the deepest at 42 inches. I'm digging this all by hand, by myself. I've got 25 hours invested so far.

    This last pic is just crazy for me...I don't have a picture for you all to compare to, but the woods was literally right up to the garage up until a year ago. I felled trees and cleared a wide path and put the stone lane in to reach my firewood pile up in the back there. Lots more work to do, to make it all look pretty!!! But the garage is priority yet.

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    Gizmo2, Bubber, Adamq and 10 others like this.
    John

    2015 JD 2025R Classic - 54D, 220R FEL, JD iMatch, JD Ballast Box, Frontier AF10F Plow, Frontier AP11F 42" Pallet Forks
    Tag Alongs: JD #15 Cart, 48" Poly Lawn Roller, JD Dethatcher
    Chainsaws: Echo CS-330T, Husqvarna 562XP-AT, Dolmar 7300
    Snowblower: Simplicity P1728E

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    So, the rest of the project will keep going. Here's my plan right now:

    1. Finish the dig on the last side of the garage
    2. Buying a new Stihl RB600 pressure washer this week to then begin washing the concrete walls down
    3. Seal up the cracks in the concrete/block wall
    4. Paint on BlackJack Rubber #57 foundation paint
    5. Lay in 2-3 inches gravel
    6. Lay in the pipe (HOLES DOWN!!!) * using pipe sock as well as wrapping the 3 inches of gravel, pipe and 12 inches top fill of gravel in landscape fabric - this should mitigate dirt infiltration into the pipes
    7. Back Fill with minimum 18 inches gravel. The back wall will probably get backfilled 100% gravel since that is how I have it finished between garage and pole barn.

    Once all that's done - I may take a day off, kick back and drink a cold beverage of my choice.

    I'll post pictures of the progress as I'm going. I really hope to wrap this up by May. The contractor who is doing the new doors, gutters and re-flashing all the trim is going to be working sometime in May/June.

    Anxious to check this project off the list!
    Gizmo2, Adamq, MDrew and 7 others like this.
    John

    2015 JD 2025R Classic - 54D, 220R FEL, JD iMatch, JD Ballast Box, Frontier AF10F Plow, Frontier AP11F 42" Pallet Forks
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    That looks great. A ton of work but that will make a huge difference!
    MDrew and JohnM45 like this.
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    Nice looking buildings. My back hurts just looking at those trenches. I did a 70 foot electrical conduit last summer 30" down with just a pick and shovel it seemed like it took forever.

    If you want to save some of the back breaking work of installing the drain, the HDPE EZ French Drain Pipe has worked really well for me. You don't need any gravel when installing the pipe. It's not going to save you money but it will save a lot of time and work. When I priced it out it was even money between this stuff and buying gravel and drain pipe. That is going on 6 years ago now when I built my house. My basement stays dry as a bone.
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    Nice! Sounds like you've got a good plan for getting water away from that foundation. Whatcha gonna do with all that water? Is the plan to let it drain down alongside that driveway where you've got hose laying in the pic? If so, will that eventually wash out the driveway?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJadamec View Post
    Nice looking buildings. My back hurts just looking at those trenches. I did a 70 foot electrical conduit last summer 30" down with just a pick and shovel it seemed like it took forever.

    If you want to save some of the back breaking work of installing the drain, the HDPE EZ French Drain Pipe has worked really well for me. You don't need any gravel when installing the pipe. It's not going to save you money but it will save a lot of time and work. When I priced it out it was even money between this stuff and buying gravel and drain pipe. That is going on 6 years ago now when I built my house. My basement stays dry as a bone.
    Thanks, CJadamec. Doesn't sound like I'm doing too much more than you did! 70 foot, 30 inches down is quite a trench. I think I'll be around 80 linear feet and a varying depth....getting to the corners really is tough work. You gotta dig past your corner and then turn. But you keep digging the dirt into the corner until you're actually PAST the corner...so, you end up working in a corner twice as long. Its just a head-game, mostly. And then the jog around that chimney was like 4 corners in 4 feet...that was tough.

    I looked at doing that pipe, which is an awesome looking product...not cheap! But, you're right, it would certainly save from having to do gravel. I decided to go the gravel route because I think it will drain any moisture and water to the piipe rather than holding in the soil against the building. If the soil drained a bit better, I think I would have easily gone with that pipe. Also, if I didn't have a 2025R with FEL, I would be doing as little gravel as possible. Actually, I have no idea how I'd do this project without the mechanized wheelbarrow. Some dirt is piled 25 yards away, other dirt is probably 75 yards away. I'm only one man...that would add significant time to the job.
    MDrew, BigJim55 and KennyP like this.
    John

    2015 JD 2025R Classic - 54D, 220R FEL, JD iMatch, JD Ballast Box, Frontier AF10F Plow, Frontier AP11F 42" Pallet Forks
    Tag Alongs: JD #15 Cart, 48" Poly Lawn Roller, JD Dethatcher
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimR View Post
    Nice! Sounds like you've got a good plan for getting water away from that foundation. Whatcha gonna do with all that water? Is the plan to let it drain down alongside that driveway where you've got hose laying in the pic? If so, will that eventually wash out the driveway?
    That second picture from the top is a 4 inch PVC pipe coming from the downspout (and possibly the floor drain in the garage - the elbow down in the dirt is encased in concrete so I can't tell for sure.) Initially, I thought I'd tie into that same pipe, but after seeing the elbow in the concrete, I decided against it.

    My plan will be to just run a second line of solid (non-perforated) pipe down along the existing drain pipe. I don't think I'll wash out the driveway, but that is a concern I have to some extent. In that same picture, if I spin around 180 degrees (behind me), the driveway continues about 80 yards down to the road where there's a storm drain/gutter. Along that 80 yard length of driveway is about a 4 foot wide swath of grass and then woods, basically.

    At the end of the day, the run-off can't affect the house or anything else except maybe damage that swath of grass along the driveway. I'll happily take this situation over a damp, wet garage.
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    John

    2015 JD 2025R Classic - 54D, 220R FEL, JD iMatch, JD Ballast Box, Frontier AF10F Plow, Frontier AP11F 42" Pallet Forks
    Tag Alongs: JD #15 Cart, 48" Poly Lawn Roller, JD Dethatcher
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    Thursday evening, the trench digging was completed!

    So....waiting for my lawn & garden place to get their order of equipment in this week - they're supposed to have a shiny, new Stihl RB600 pressure washer. Soon as I get that, I'll get to work blasting dirt and mud from the walls and start patching cracks. Then, its a waiting game for some warmer weather so I can get the tar/rubber paint going....that'll be fun.

    But it sure was relaxing not having to dig this weekend! Took me 30.25 hours to dig roughly 80 linear feet...18 inches wide...varying depths, but mostly around 3.5 feet. I even wore the tip of my shovel...that's a first! (and hopefully the last one I do that too!)
    MDrew, OxPath, BigJim55 and 1 others like this.
    John

    2015 JD 2025R Classic - 54D, 220R FEL, JD iMatch, JD Ballast Box, Frontier AF10F Plow, Frontier AP11F 42" Pallet Forks
    Tag Alongs: JD #15 Cart, 48" Poly Lawn Roller, JD Dethatcher
    Chainsaws: Echo CS-330T, Husqvarna 562XP-AT, Dolmar 7300
    Snowblower: Simplicity P1728E

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnM45 View Post
    Thursday evening, the trench digging was completed!

    So....waiting for my lawn & garden place to get their order of equipment in this week - they're supposed to have a shiny, new Stihl RB600 pressure washer. Soon as I get that, I'll get to work blasting dirt and mud from the walls and start patching cracks. Then, its a waiting game for some warmer weather so I can get the tar/rubber paint going....that'll be fun.

    But it sure was relaxing not having to dig this weekend! Took me 30.25 hours to dig roughly 80 linear feet...18 inches wide...varying depths, but mostly around 3.5 feet. I even wore the tip of my shovel...that's a first! (and hopefully the last one I do that too!)
    Nice work there.

    Could you have done this with a BH or an excavator?
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    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanTractor View Post
    Nice work there.

    Could you have done this with a BH or an excavator?
    Great question, and one I went back and forth on...to answer it, I'm thinking "yes." However...the BH would have built piles of dirt, which would need moved by the FEL to get them out of the way. Then, between the two buildings it is only 10 feet, which would have made it even more difficult to get rid of the dirt. The area between the two buildings was sort of "finished" with rice gravel. I would have made a mess of all that with piles of dirt.

    In the end, I honestly don't think I'd have saved an hour of time. I would have saved manual labor, but no time. Plus, renting a BH for a couple days or 2 weekends would have been a bit of a hassle. Also, i would have been tempted to take a vacation day to make a long weekend so I could more efficiently utilize a rented BH.

    In the end, I got a great workout for 2 weeks, saved several hundred bucks and didn't lose any vacation for the project (yet.) And man, 2 to 3 hours per day for almost 12 days straight sure firms up the arms, back and torso. I gotta grip that can crush walnuts....
    pappa, MDrew, OxPath and 4 others like this.
    John

    2015 JD 2025R Classic - 54D, 220R FEL, JD iMatch, JD Ballast Box, Frontier AF10F Plow, Frontier AP11F 42" Pallet Forks
    Tag Alongs: JD #15 Cart, 48" Poly Lawn Roller, JD Dethatcher
    Chainsaws: Echo CS-330T, Husqvarna 562XP-AT, Dolmar 7300
    Snowblower: Simplicity P1728E

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