Pride of ownership! Situated on a .62 acre lot. Oak floors, tile kitchen, built in breakfast-nook. Nice sized bedrooms. Year around comfort with heatpump/AC and wood stove. French doors, over-sized utility room and a double car garage. Cyclone fenced backyard, raised gardens, established landscaping provides plenty of privacy, outbuilding for storage. Covered back patio. Walking distance to Newaukum Golf Course. Shown by appt, call 360-219-6519
A French drain, or curtain drain, removes excess surface water so you won’t need hip boots to cut the grass.
A French drain, sometimes called a curtain drain, is a simple system with no moving parts — gravity removes excess water from problem areas in your yard. Give gravity a chance to do its job by making sure your French drain design has the proper slope from beginning to end.
Which End is Up?
The two ends of a French drain system are:
- The drain field, or high end, where excess ground water enters the drain pipes
- The drain exit, or lowest point, where water leaves the system
A French drain needs a slope of no less than 1%. That means from the highest point of the drain field all the way to the drain exit, the system should slope at least 1 inch for every 8 feet of length.
Start with Your Exit Strategy
Select a location on your property for the drain exit. The goal is to move water away from your house and foundation, or from the soaked part of your yard, to a drier area.
Good locations for drain exits:
- A grassy slope that’s exposed to the sun for most of the day. Grasses help absorb moisture and the sun aids evaporation.
- A spot closest to your problem area so you can keep the system as short as possible, saving costs.
- The street, so it can be carried away by your municipal storm drain system. But check with your local building department first.
Don’t locate the drain exit:
- Where runoff is directed toward a neighbor’s yard.
- Where the water could run onto a sidewalk or driveway and turn to ice during freezing weather. Directing drainage toward pavement often is a violation of building codes.
- Where runoff could cause erosion, such as a dirt slope with no protective vegetation.
Connecting to an Existing Drain Line
Some houses have rain gutters that empty into an underground drainage system, which ties into a municipal storm drain. Your French drain can tie into this system also.
Local codes might require a backflow valve that prevents water from backing up onto your property if a clog occurs downstream. Expect to pay about $500 for a plumber to install this device.
No Acceptable Exit Point
If you can’t find a good place for your system to drain, you’ll need to empty your system into a dry well. A dry well is a vertical hole, typically about 4 feet deep and 1 foot in diameter, that’s filled with gravel. A dry well lets excess water be absorbed by the surrounding soils.
Determining Proper Slope
If your yard is sloped, it may be easy to spot the high point (drain field) and low points (drain exit) for your system.
If you’re not sure, use a line level to determine slope:
- Pound a stake into the problem area and another at a possible exit point.
- Tie a mason’s string to the stakes.
- Put a line level on the string. Pull the string taut and level.
- Measure the distance from the string to the ground at the stakes, and calculate the drainage slope.
Remember, you can add some slope when you install your system by digging the trench progressively deeper.
Using a Professional to Determine Slope
A surveyor, civil engineer, or landscape contractor will use a tripod-mounted transit level to help you determine the slope you’ll need for your system and possible exit points. Expect to pay $150 to $250 for the service.
Route Around Roots and Utilities
- Plan to route your drain line around large trees to avoid cutting roots. Roots usually extend to the “drip line” of the tree — the outmost edge of its branches.
- Call 811, the Call Before You Dig hotline, to have the location of underground utility lines marked on your property. You want to check not only in areas where the drain will live but also where you might dig a dry well. This is a free service.
7 Ideas to Help You Use Your Outdoor Space More
When your mom told you to turn off the TV and play outdoors already, she knew what she was talking about. Hanging outside is good for our mental and physical well-being.
As adults, having an outdoor retreat adds an economic component: Upwards of 80% of homebuyers said patios and front porches are “essential” or “desirable,” according to the “What Buyers Really Want” survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
So how come when we move into our dream home, we hardly ever use our decks, porches, and patios?
An anthropological UCLA study, described in the book “Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century,” blames our fascination with digital devices — tablets, computers, televisions, games — for keeping us cooped up. The UCLA research participants spent less than half an hour each week in their outdoor space. And these were Californians.
So this summer let’s make a pledge to pay more than lip service to outdoor living so we can be happier, create lasting memories, and generally take advantage of what home has to offer.
1. Go Overboard on Comfy
When you step into your outdoor space, your first sensation should be ‘ahhhh’. If you’re not feeling it, then your space is likely lacking the comfy factor. Comfy is easy to achieve and can be as low cost as you want. Start simple with a cushion or two or even a throw. Some other simple strategies:
- Make sure your outdoor seating is as cushy as your indoor furniture. Today’s outdoor cushions aren’t the plastic-y, sweat-inducing pillows of the past. Plus, they can handle a downpour and spring back once they dry.
- Lay down outdoor rugs so you’re just as comfortable barefoot as you are inside.
- Give yourself some privacy. Create natural screens with shrubs, bushes, or even bamboo reeds. Or install prefab screens from your local home improvement store.
2. Create a Broadband Paradise
Our devices and electronics have conspired to keep us on lock down. Since we’re not about to chuck our digital toys, boot up your outdoor space so you can keep texting, posting to Instagram, and watching cat videos.
- Wireless outdoor Wi-Fi antennas provide an extra boost so you can stay connected.
- A solar USB charging station keeps your gizmos powered.
- Wireless speakers make it easy to bring your music outdoors, and mask a noisy neighborhood.
- An all-weather outdoor TV lets you stay outside for the big game.
3. Blur the Line Between Indoors and Out
Creating a seamless transition between your home’s interior and exterior isn’t as simple or low cost as adding comfort, but it’s the most dramatic and effective way to enhance your enjoyment of the space. Plus, it can increase your home’s value.
- The most straightforward, cost-effective solution: Replace a standard door opening with sliding or glass French doors.
- Use the same weatherproof flooring, such as stone tile or scored concrete, outside as well as in the room leading to your backyard oasis.
4. Light the Way
When the sun goes down, don’t be left groping for your wine glass. Outdoor lighting dresses up your home’s marketability and appeal (exterior lighting is buyers’ most wanted outdoor feature, according to the NAHB study), makes it safer, and lets you spend more time outside.
- Use uplighting to highlight trees, architectural details, or other focal points.
- Add sconces or pendant lights to make evening entertaining, grilling, and reading easier.
- Illuminate walkways, rails, and steps with landscape solar lights.
- Hang fairy or string lights to set an enchanting tone.
5. Make Your Mark
Let your style dominate your backyard space.
- Paint a faux rug with your favorite colors.
- Create a path made with colored glass, brick, or other interesting found materials.
- Craft a one-of-kind outdoor chandelier.
- Build a pizza oven, custom seating, or other feature you crave.
- Add personal décor that makes you happy.
In fact, make your outdoor retreat an ongoing project where you can hone your DIY skills.
6. Don’t Give Anyone an Excuse to Stay Inside
Your outdoor space will magnetically draw family and friends if it has features they find appealing.
- A fire pit is a proven winner. Food and fire have brought humans together since the dawn of time.
- Give wee ones the gift of magical thinking with an outdoor playhouse.
- Add whimsy with a chalkboard fence that both kids and fun-loving adults will enjoy.
- Add a doggie window in your fence to entertain Spot. Installing a dog run may even boost your home’s value. FYI: It’s been said that pets are one of the top reasons why people buy houses.
7. Rebuff the Elements
Hot sun, rain, wind gusts, and bugs are the archenemy of good times. Here are tips and strategies to help you throw shade on Mother Nature:
- Install an awning, canopy, or pergola. It’ll make it easier to read your Kindle or iPad and keep you dry during a summer shower. Look for products with polycarbonate panels, which block UV rays, too.
- Rig glass fence windscreens to the keep your BBQ fires burning.
- Screen in your porch or deck against bugs. But screening will be for naught if you forget the slats between wood planks. Cover the floor with outdoor carpet or staple screening to the underside of floorboard
|NORTHWEST MULTI LISTING SERVICE|
Your home is your castle — enjoy it, customize it, make it reflect your taste and values. But, there’s one area where being too individualistic carries risk: landscaping for curb appeal.
That’s why homeowners associations often have exacting rules about landscaping.
And it’s not just HOAs that care. Most home buyers seek landscaping that adds “functionality and resale value,” rather than “frills and lifestyle,” according to the National Association of Home Builders recent “What Home Buyers Really Want” report.
Good landscaping can add up to 28% to the overall value of a house, says landscape economist John Harris, and cut its time on the market 10% to 15%. Even taking your landscaping to the next level, upgrading from “good” to “excellent,” in terms of design, condition, and placement, can add 6% to 7% to a home’s value, according to a Clemson University study.
But don’t landscape merely to flip a house. You won’t get your money back, Sandy MacCuish, a California appraiser, tells us. Instead landscape for your enjoyment (Did you know trees reduce stress in just 5 minutes?), knowing that you’re making a good investment.
Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®