Our small farm sits in a valley near the intersection of two roadways. We are the low point, therefore we get the water runoff from the higher elevations and the roadways often. The gentleman that owned our farm before us ran field drains in the main pasture area and had placed terracotta pipes near the foundation of our home for the downspouts around our house.
Unfortunately our home was built in the 1950’s and with time the field drains clogged, the terracotta broke down. In addition, a local water spring was ruined when sewer lines and construction occurred in the early 2000’s. We believe the water from that source also started making its way onto our land. Around our home itself the drains became nonexistent with time and water was finding its way into our basement on a regular basis.
These changes caused water to build up all over on our property. Our pastures were flooded on a regular basis, along with barn areas, the yard was consistently puddled and swampy, we had water in the basement – so basically it was a mess on a regular basis. To add to it, the timing of the water issues compounding was also when we both were in graduate school. With recently starting our debt snowball, we were at a crossroads. It was clear that we needed to have some work done to get the water problems fixed. However, we had a lot on our plate both work wise, time wise, and financially.
Our first step was to break things down into stages and put our debt snowball on hold a few times over the years to cash flow various water drainage projects. In a previous post I mentioned we used a modified approach to Dave Ramsey’s plan. We decided to pay for a few of these projects along our journey to avoid further damage to our home and property along with not financing them either. So our debt free journey extended in time a bit.
We had external french drains put in around our house and new pipework for the downspouts placed. Since they were digging up our sidewalk (and the old concrete was not repairable) we opted to put in a sidewalk that we would want long term. We ended up doing similar with our basement stairs and behind our back door. Although this is contradictory to just paying off debt, we paid for things as we went and decided it was worth the investment in a house we plan to keep for most of our lives. We did not want to replace stairs and sidewalks yet again in a few years because we tried to save money the first time they needed replaced. After the construction of the project was complete, we followed it by continuing our modified debt snow ball for several years.
A very large water drainage project in our pastures and around our barns. We were blessed that when we starting researching best plans to drain water out of pastures that we were led to the local conservation districts contact information. Not only were they quite knowledgeable and helpful, but they also explained that with the location of our property on a local watershed that they may have some grant money that would be applicable to such a project. We were very blessed that
Adding a few more drains after a year or so of seeing where water was still surfacing on our property. We will has a blog post about this project in the future.