Friday, August 29, 2008

Grading In Preparation For A Lawn

I never believed a few who suggested the mushy area in front of the cabin was caused by buried decaying construction debris. Adjacent to the area on the east side(wooded) was also quite soft. It became an area for rainwater runoff to sit. I had enough of this ugly area now that the drainage problem was solved. However it was the wrong time of the year to plant grass (early July).

Removing soil from bank
I again called in handyman Tom Powers who had the equipment to do the grading. I was considering renting a machine, but with no experience I can just imagine screwing something up. Where would the fill dirt come from? Instead dishing out more dough I decided to pull it from the hill (photo above) on the north side of the cabin that will eventually serve as another part of the driveway. Parts of an old logging road are already there. The soil wasn't the greatest for a lawn area, but I see this kind of stuff growing grass along highways all over Georgia.

With new transit level at hand I spent a few hours surveying the areas to be graded. The creek bank became a barrier for water runoff measuring 18 inches higher than the lowest spot. There was an existing slope in the foreground of the image below to the other but it was pitted with high and low areas that need some conformity. All areas were marked for a slope grade of 1/4" in one foot towards the creek and west side.

Areas surveyed and staked for grading
Survey grading stake Tom had a tractor gizmo attachment that would rake larger rocks after the final grading but it did not eliminate the step of hand raking. This in itself probably took eight hours but little rocks still emerge day after day.

I was hoping for a summer thunderstorm or two to see how well I had this thing graded. My wishes were granted. A huge difference comparing the two photos below. Before drainage corrections, grading and after with a few minor areas to be addressed. In both cases more than two inches fell.

Water runoff after grading
Water runoff before grading

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