We just bought 28 acres of land with a 30 year old existing house in the center on about 1 acre cleared, the rest is completely tree filled.
There is a natural slope only a few degrees heading from the back of the house towards the back yard, downward. About 100 feet back is a large drop downwards that goes out for at least 1000 feet and down about 150 feet. It is at least a mile or so of very slight downgrade to the nearest neighbor behind that.
As with most houses in my area, the ground stays slightly wet until late March because the "water table" is only 1.5-2 feet below the surface, because my yard is almost 100% clay with hardly any topsoil and very little grass, mostly moss. This confuses me that the water doesn't follow the slope downwards and away from the house. My guess is that it can't travel horizontally through the clay even with the downgrade.
I want to make a level yard with nice grass and no water issues. This requires me to put a lot of fill towards the back of the yard to level it (because of the natural slope).
The yard will be about 150' wide by 80' long from the back of house.
My project thought was this:
- remove 1.5 feet of the entire top layer of yard (all clay) and move it to the back part of the yard that needs to be raised. This would give a nice sturdy base to the back end of the yard
- when removing the clay, keep a slope going away from the house at 'one inch drop per ten feet horizontal run'
- put 4" (suggest a different amount if not correct) of #57 stone (suggest different if something better) to create a natural water way, away from the house to the back part of my yard that drops down
- fill the rest of the yard back up to desired level with 1 foot of topsoil on top the stone
- plant grass and enjoy :)
I would like the yard to be level, but the stones underneath to be sloped for water runoff, so less topsoil close to the house and deeper topsoil as approaching the back of the yard.
Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated.
I am no expert, but was a heavy equipment operator in the Seabees a few years back and feel comfortable on a backhoe/front end loader that I can rent locally.
I do realize that the cost of the stone/topsoil will be a lot, guessing around $10K (more/less?).
I will also be putting an automatic watering system in at the same time. I will also be running PVC pipes from the downspouts of the house past the end of the yard.