Day one attacking the drainage issues…

We spent a whole day digging and drain laying. It was a big job that wasn’t going to solve itself this winter has really been awful for the volume of rain and on a clay base the drainage is a non event. The job was part exploratory, part frustration and part endurance.

Luckily last weekend we scored big at the local recycling centre by purchasing 8 ton of fine chip gravel ($70 for the lot) with the intention of installing french drains and repairing the crappy tar sealed drive. Funny story, we purchased the gravel and arranged to pick it up the next day. However when we arrived the next morning to pick it up a nice clean ‘front end loader’ sized scoop had been ‘taken’ straight out of the middle of the pile, leaving us with only 2/3rds of the gravel we had purchased. The culprit it turns out was a council worker who had ‘permanently borrowed’ it to assist in getting trucks and diggers in and out of the compound located behind the recycling centre. So, lucky for us they gave us some freebies to make up for the missing gravel – the recycling centre had just got some new doors in, a front door and a set of french doors that were near enough the same size we will need for a very near future set of projects. So, it turned out well in the end.

The day was spent digging a trench down the side of the driveway to collect the run off from the hill and the drive. We were expecting to find an old blocked drain as there appeared to have a sunken ditch there already. What we found was NOTHING (rolls eyes). So a quick nip down to the local DIY shop and we got 15mt of slotted flexi tube and preloaded sock (which was way harder than indicated to install) and laid it ourselves.

So, the hardest drain has been laid today, whew. Tomorrow will be another day and we will be focussing on the section in front of the house.

We dug out the mismatched sections of pipe around the front where there tiles at the base of the stairs were and in front of the garage. We found someone in the past had made an attempt at a drainage solution.

That is if you can call shoe-horning several short lengths of pipe, all different diameter together in a haphazard fashion, laying the length higher at the ends and lower in the middle (so the water doesn’t go anywhere), not using any plastic cement or traditional joins in favour of using ‘everyday’ packing tape on one small piece so that they could ram it into a larger piece and just putting the rest of the pieces in a ditch end to end and hoping for the best an honest attempt at a drainage solution……… sigh. Now we are not experienced by any means in drainage, plumbing, or any sort of water sports. But simple physics would indicate that’s not how drainage works. I could be wrong, if I am, then I’d be happy to be proved otherwise.

Thankfully, since someone previously ‘had a go’ the trenches will be easier to dig and the struggle wont be as epic as digging the raw clay today.

Tomorrows job will be to lay a short length of slotted and socked french drain around the base of the stairs and 5metres of grated drain along the front of the garage. Fill and level gravel the mud pit at the base of the stairs and relay the tiles. Then set up for the next phase. So much to do, but we will be much happier when it’s done!

Some upcoming projects to watch out for….

  • Bathroom refit
  • Building decks
  • Re-roofing the garage
  • Fitting french doors and windows
  • Building a cabin, or two?
  • Closing in an open deck
  • And sooooooooo much more, oh and probably more drainage, it’s a big soggy property.
  • Covered in mud, sore muscles, cold and wet from the effort today (of which hubby did the hardest and most bits, I shovelled all the gravel and fell over in the mud) I managed to also install a hand shower on our tub faucet. Just because… all in all a good day.

Let me know what you think?

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