Comment of the Day: The Key to a Happy Life Atop Your Pier and Beam

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE KEY TO A HAPPY LIFE ATOP YOUR PIER AND BEAM “The soil here is something like 80% clay, so the most important thing is drainage. Water cannot be trapped under the house; it has to have a way to drain to the street, or you have problems. Many of the older homes add soil to their yards causing the space under the house to be lower, and they don’t provide a way for the water to drain — which is necessary.” [jeff, commenting on Raising the Requirements for New Developments; Catching Up with Houston’s Rental Demand; Drought Returns to Texas] Illustration: Lulu

One Comment

  • I had this problem at my house. Over the course of a hundred years, about 6-8 inches of soil had been added around the house. The ground comes up almost to the top of the first step to my front porch. I dug down and found an old gravel walkway under all the built up soil.
    During heavy rain, a lake would form under the house and take about a day or two to drain out. I had four different contractors come out and look at it. Quotes ranged from $3,000 to $24,000 for several variations on french drains and more elaborate drainage systems. I would have gone for it except that all of the drainage designs would direct water to the drainage ditch in front of my house. That ditch fills up and holds water about as long as the lake under the house does. I then decided to wing it with a DIY solution. I put down gravel paths along both sides of the house. I dug out about 6 inches of dirt for the path and put the dirt under the house. The gravel path had about 2-3 inches of sand under 2-3 inches of gravel. Problem solved. The gravel paths fill up with water during a down pour, but drain out pretty quickly. The added soil under the house keeps it from filling up with water. All in cost was about $500 plus a weekend of back breaking labor.