Neighbors at higher elevation & builder's solution looks bad - WWYD??


I recognized my neighbor is at a higher elevation and a sizable amount of dirt was coming from under fence onto my property. In a heavy rain it could be bad. My air conditioning unit is on that side of house so that also is a concern. The builder added "treated" board under fence but now board is curling and discolored. Wonder if i am being too cautious and if anyone has recommendations that I could give them (they don't ofcourse want to add a new fence). House and fence is less than 2 years old. Thank you

q neighbors at higher elevation builder s solution looks bad wwyd

"Treated" board added but now curling

  12 answers
  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Nov 23, 2020

    I think you really need some kind of a permanent solution such as a retaining wall. Perhaps the builder needs to re-grade the other side so it is not higher.

    • Marie Marie on Nov 24, 2020

      I had a French drain installed on my own to address the flooding that was occurring but most concerned about mud, etc. You bring up a very good point about my neighbor and this will help when I talk to the builder again. Thanks

  • Betsy Betsy on Nov 23, 2020

    Hi Marie: I'd contact the builder and have them regrade the area or at least put in a retaining wall, by digging down at least 12" and filling it with concrete and building it up at least 6" to stop the rain and erosion. If he won't do anything, then contact your cities ordnance division and see what, if anything they can or will do about this. If no one will do anything, they you may be able to do these things yourself. Good luck

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 23, 2020

    Seems like a french drain would solve your problem.

    French drains are a lot of hard work but are not difficult to do. You need a ditch dug deep enough to hold the french drain and gravel under and over it. If you have mostly clay and heavy rains, you will do well to make it 8 to 12 inches deep so a lot of water can be taken away. The ditch next to the buildings need to be slightly higher than the end of the french drain. If you live on a slight slope or hill, so much the better. We had our drain dump onto our apple and plum orchard. If you do not get a lot of rain, just make sure the drain will fit with gravel under it and some over it to keep the dirt from plugging the holes. (at least an inch or two of gravel, the more the better)Then backfill the dirt

  • Sharon Sharon on Nov 23, 2020

    I would ask the city engineer to look at it and see if its a slide danger, if he thinks it is I would ask the homeowner above to put in a retaining wall and a french drain.

    If its increased drainage and no land slide potential, then put in a french drain.

  • William William on Nov 23, 2020

    They could build a low retaining wall with landscape blocks. Dig a trench and sink one layer of retaining wall blocks half way, then add another layer on top finish off with top stones.

    French drain

  • Shannon Stordock Hecht Shannon Stordock Hecht on Nov 24, 2020

    My solution was a French drain. Check Pinterest for French drain. They have a raft of suggestions.

    • Marie Marie on Nov 24, 2020

      I have on I added but most concerned with mud. I received great ideas from all who replied. Thanks

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Nov 24, 2020

    Your AC unit is up on a slab so it should be safe unless you get flooding in your yard- you could paint the fence or cover it with vinyl or wood lattice for a different look- also plants some hard small shrubs in front of the fence - I would ask the neighbors to help you to come up with a solution but if it has been 2 yrs and there hasn't been an issue I wouldn't worry about it now

    • See 2 previous
    • Marie Marie on Nov 25, 2020

      Thank you and sorry you are also dealing with builder issues, especially for that long. Sad that the purchase of a new house does not mean problem free. The resale homes I have purchased in the past were no where near the trouble I have had here. Take care.

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Nov 24, 2020

    We had our builder put in a low retaining wall using landscape blocks with a drain pipe behind it. Fortunately the side yard has a block wall and the neighbor had cinder blocks installed to get their side of the fence up to a grade they wanted. You should probably add a retaining wall on your side of the fence.

    • Marie Marie on Nov 25, 2020

      Spoke to builder yesterday and they are convinced the treated wood they've added is all that is needed. I'll be able to atleast get another opinion by having another contractor look at it. Thanks for reply.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Nov 24, 2020

    I have a very similar situation with the fence on our property line. Neighbors yard washes onto my driveway so my husband did the same thing. However, he used wider boards. I think if you had treated board that are 2' wider and over lap the fence at the bottom it would be a better remedy.

  • Dee Dee on Nov 24, 2020

    I would definitely contact the builder. You need either a french drain or some kind of concrete retainer wall or regrade. Your AC can end up with lots of mud if there is a very heavy rain. Please get this fixed before you have problems.

    • Marie Marie on Nov 25, 2020

      My AC has been my biggest concern. I'll be able to get a 2nd opinion soon. Thanks for reply.

  • Marie Marie on Nov 25, 2020

    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. I plan to involve another contractor to check their work and provide his/her opinion but I have all the great suggestions that were made here. Please consider this question answered.

  • Wow, I'd be very concerned about the builder and what the builder built for having set a piece of wood there as a solution. You're going to have to discuss water drainage and drainage solutions with your neighbor and a pro to come to an agreement. Water is not to be trifled with and if not drained properly, can cause immense damage.