I bought a new build in October 2016. When I moved in I noticed there were cracks between rows of turf.

With rain/bad weather it has just turned into a mud mess. It has been regularly maintained by factors.

I listed it as a "snag" as did all of my neighbours who are experiencing the same problem.

Having complained on several occasions I've now been told a "Clerk of Works" is coming to have a look on Thursday.

I'd appreciate any professional help/advice on this. Has it simply been laid badly? Should there be drainage given the considerable angle of the slope?

Back Garden (taken from corner of side garden)

Back Garden

  • What part of the world are you in? – Bamboo Apr 10 '18 at 16:02
  • Near Glasgow, Scotland. – Annoyed With Builders Apr 10 '18 at 16:04
  • When exactly did you move in? in 2016 or 2017 and what month? – Bamboo Apr 10 '18 at 17:07
  • October 2016 so over a year ago. A factor was assigned to do grounds maintenance. As far as I saw they simply cut the grass. The builders guarantee period is ending hence my complaints and them sending out a clerk of works as they want to leave the problem with me. I don't see it being my fault as it's looked awful from the start. – Annoyed With Builders Apr 10 '18 at 19:33

There should not have been gaps between the turves after they were laid - I can still see gaps between them in the photos even now. The trouble with new builds is, it's the builders who lay the turf, and they're not garden specialists - they're okay at building houses and fencing, but not turfing, so I'm afraid this sort of thing is fairly normal.

Otherwise, that is a very steep slope and there appears to be a parking area to the right behind your fence. It looks as if water has been pouring down the bank on your side which leads up to both the parking area and what looks like another grassed area. I cannot tell if there is a drainage gully of any sort at the edge of the parking area, I certainly can't see one. Regardless, it looks like water's been coming down from that other garden at a higher level anyway. I note you have two manhole covers, one of which is too close to the raised bank, which means there's a sharper angle on that part.

There's no easy solution - probably the best idea would be to remove the bank and brick up the drop,at an angle, right to the top level the other side of the fence, to support that area properly, and remove that slope your side, levelling off at the lower part to the level of your house. That, though, would not stop watering pouring over the edge, so some kind of gully or drainage at the bottom of the brick slope would be in order. Were it not for the presence of the manhole cover closest to the slope, a raised, brick supported planting bed to the height of the parking area would have worked, with weepholes in the mortar to allow excess water to drain. It would likely be pretty wet in winter though because of the run off from the higher areas.

Leaving the bank as it is and returfing is unlikely to resolve the issue because water will always run down it and wreck the turf. As for the rest of the turf, on the level part, it's just been badly laid - typical builder's turfing I'm afraid. Even if they get the builders to redo it, it might not be much better. As it is such a small area of grass, you might consider some other surface, such as permeable paving, or paving with areas left open for plants and to allow excess water to drain away, if the problem with the grass bank is resolved.

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  • Thank you very much Bamboo! There is absolutely no drainage at all which is my major issue with the builders. There is a pavement directly behind that fence with a kerb leading on the road with drains. However there is nothing to stop rain water running down off the pavement in the direction of my garden. And, as you noted there is also the issue of water running down from the neighbours garden too. I agree there is no point asking them to replace the turf as it will no doubt be badly laid again and, given drainage is an issue, it would be futile. – Annoyed With Builders Apr 10 '18 at 20:51

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