In the Trenches

Tom helped level each trench before installing French drains.
Tom helped level each trench before installing French drains.

Two months ago, we said goodbye to most of the grass on our front lawn, and hired a professional with a trencher to dig multiple trench. Each channel had to be deep enough to pass plumbing and sewer regulations and running at a ¼ inch slope per foot toward the street hookup.

Over the course of two months we installed Plumbing, sewer, electrical and

Scott prepares to install pipe.
Scott prepares to install pipe.

French drain pipes around the front and side of the house, opting to do most of the work ourselves. Scott crawled under the house to connect pipes, punch holes through curtain wall, and hang piping in crawl space. A professional plumber connected to the main pipe at the street, and we are hoping to have running water in a bathroom very soon.

We’ve paid visits to service stations and fast food restaurants in the vicinity multiple times each work day to use their facilities and will be greatly relieved (excuse the pun) to have a working bathroom again.

We hired a professional to dig the trenches, then had to come out again to keep debris out and make them level and even. One Saturday in May, I climbed into the trench to cut tree roots and bush

Scott takes a break from installing pipe in front of the house.

branches out and the dirt rose to my upper thigh. Cars buzzing along the side street often slowed to stare, and several drivers waved. A truckload of gravel was delivered, and we used that along the bottom of the French drain trenches, laid pipe with holes on the bottom, covered it with a landscape fabric, and back filled each trench with the dirt again. A messy job but we saved money in doing it ourselves.DSC_0114_5202_edited-1


Framing has been a slow process since we expanded the back room and added a gabled roof over the bedroom to match the ones on three sides of our home. Architect David Maurer drew the expanded plans to make the back addition look like it was always there and to fit in the historical look and feel of the entire house.DSC_0113_5201_edited-1

Our framing and sub-roofing is nearly done. Our next step to is hire a roofer to create a standing seam roof with the new angles on it to assist with water flow. No more flat roof on the back, and no more roof leaks either!

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