Home Improvement--General/Drainage / Grade Issue


Hello, So my husband and I are looking to purchase a house in VT near a ski mountain. The actual house is nestled right in the side of a mountain (limited yard space). Right behind the house, is a 2-3 ft deep trench that looks like was naturally made by a mountain runoff. Obviously the previous owners did not take care of the runoff properly, as it ruined the backyard. The only yard we can potentially have is beyond the runoff. Is there any way that we could get fill to make this grass and install a type of drainage system so the water will just pass our under our yard for 30-40 ft and continue off the steep side of the mountain (in the runoff path that it currently goes to). So I am guessing that maybe some water runs through when the snow melts? The realtor and septic guy weren't even sure because it doesn't look used. I can attach a diagram if you need it- the land  house on it is pretty flat, is the trench (about 5 ft out parallel to the back of the house) is at a small incline before it reaches to the point where it drops down the mountain on the side. Any drainage ideas? There is currently a large cement pipe (maybe 2 ft by 8 ft) that is in the yard, maybe used before for something?) but I wasn't sure what our best option would be. Any help is appreciated. Thanks! Jamie

Jamie- If I am understanding this right the trench in the back was made when the house was built for just the purpose of water/snow runoff. Filling it would create many more problems than it is worth. It may not look used but I can assure you it is. However if you must fill it and install drainage to accommodate the water, make sure you have an engineer design the system. And break out the checkbook..... A system like this will cost anywhere from 15k-23k plus engineering. This does not include landscaping. I am very familiar with the landscape you speak of and the drainage on a hill side is an age old problem. And in your particular situation, Mother nature always wins. How about a deck suspended over the ditch?

Home Improvement--General

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Glen W


I can answer almost any question about residential construction / renovation


I have worked as a General Contractor for 25 yrs. in 10 states.

BA in Architecture

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.