05:39AM | 04/28/05
Member Since: 04/27/05
1 lifetime posts
My husband and I are building our first home. My father insists that we should put five feet of gravel around the outside perimeter of the basement walls in order to minimize basement water problems, prevent the sump pump from running excessively, and prevent basement flooding.

The builder claims that five feet is excessive and will not be beneficial. As standard, the house will be built with one foot of gravel, and the builder advises that we put only an additional foot of gravel to ease the concerns expressed by my father.

This issue has caused a tremendous problem. On the one hand, I do not want to risk a leaky basement. On the other I do not want to put money into the ground that does not benefit me when it could be put into other areas of the house. However, if I do disregard my father's advice, I have no doubt that he will take it quite personnally.

I would greatly appreciate some additional advice on this issue so that I can make an educated decision and move forward with the house.




02:38PM | 04/28/05
Member Since: 03/05/04
301 lifetime posts
.....the more the better....your father is right on money. And rather than using a cheap/thin tar for damproofing....consider a Thick Tar w/6 mil visqueen against the bsmt walls before backfilling w/peastone. Very little in costs invloved here IF your dealing with an HONEST builder!!!


06:27AM | 05/01/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts

I suggest you peruse the website at Not knowing where you are, what kind of construction you're doing, what your frost line is, etc.

They have a nice area where you can plug in your location and the suggestions are location specific for your type of construction.

You may find the suggestions and engineering links helpful there.


05:41AM | 05/06/05
Member Since: 04/29/05
17 lifetime posts
Well I think 5 feet is over kill. I would say 2 feet is good. Keep in mind though that proper placement of weeping tile and and proper taring and membrane installation is just as important as the amount of gravel needed.

Here in alberta Canada you also need to install a sump pump in the basement.

And I can imagine that the war has strated there with your house. Have fun with your dad. :)
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