Commonsense Landscaping

Green side up. I reminded myself of the old sod installation story a few days ago and in searching for today’s topic I thought outside the box, or building, as it were. That pristine, natural site we have disturbed to create a building or home. What obvious wisdom can I impart today, (aside from the green side up when putting in the sod)?

  1. Slope away from the building. How many foundation grade lines have I seen below the roof drip and exterior existing grade lines? Too many. I have seen property with slabs on grade seeping at the sole plate from rain and surface water that was ponded around the building. We are not building boats, thank heaven, or many properties would have floated away like so many manufactured home parks built in flood plains. (It is somewhat counter-intuitive that the disaster assistance funds are used to rebuild the parks in the same flood plain!)
  2. Keep expansive and frost prone fill away from the foundation walls. Backfilling with clay will lead to cracked or buckled concrete walls.
  3. Remember the landscaping plants will grow. Putting an oak next to a building or sidewalk is great for the first 20 or so years and then the roots and trunk wreak havoc with the work in place.
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