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Surface water drainage, Brisbane north

Discussion in 'Repairs & Maintenance' started by GreenGoblin, 19th Aug, 2015.

  1. GreenGoblin

    GreenGoblin Well-Known Member

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    Hi all

    Our IP in Brisbane's northern suburbs has a back garden that slopes gently from top left to bottom right. As a result, in medium to heavy rain, rainwater from our garden and the neighbouring properties runs towards the house. Three-quarters of the house is protected by a garden bed border of concreted rocks, but the lowest point on the right-hand side has a ramp down to the laundry and garage under the house, so this gets flooded, as the existing drain can't cope.

    I've had two plumbers out to quote on improving the drainage, with both recommending the same solution: 3-4m of grate and channel/strip drain from the edge of the rock wall to the fence on the right, to cater for the lowest point of the back garden and catch water before it runs down to the laundry and garage. The new drain would be connected to a new 100mm PVC pipe running out to the street, down the right-hand side of the house (see attached photo with red border indicating drain location).

    The first quote was around $2800, including removal of rubbish from the site. The second quote was just over $2000, but excludes removal of rubbish and will see the side gate removed (to allow excavator access) and not replaced, as well as damage to the plants along the side of the house. We're interstate, so could get a handyman to reinstate the gate (see attached photo).

    Any thoughts on alternate, cheaper solutions, or do I just need to bite the bullet and have this done as it's the best solution?

    Cheers,
    GG
     

    Attached Files:

  2. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    I'd have a couple of reputable handymen check out what they recon, if the ground isn't solid/rock perhaps they can install a soak well, or divert the water elsewhere before or after the garden bed for a few hundred
     
  3. GreenGoblin

    GreenGoblin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, WestOz. The water needs to be diverted before the garden bed or it will flow down the concrete ramp leading to the laundry below the house. There is a drain and old clay pipe running out to the street, but they can't cope with the volume of water now that Brisbane's having wetter years. I believe the main cost is running a new 100mm PVC pipe out to the street; the old clay pipe sits almost a metre lower as it's at laundry/garage floor level, so doesn't have enough angle down to the street (or so I'm told).
     
  4. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    That's what concerns me, especially when advised by plumber$ who likely consider it a pain in the bum job, why I suggest reputable Handymen who'll hopefully look at it as if their own place, maybe see a more affordable solution/option.

    Difficult for anyone to asses this kind of stuff when they don't live near their IP's, one of many reasons why I only buy local and self manage.
     
  5. brisfisher

    brisfisher Member

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    id think you would most likely lose the garden in any case if they are running the new 100mm pipe out to the front. i agree that a trench with aggregate and aggie pipe with a sock might be an alternative than running the new pipe all the way out the front.

    Alternatively some new landscaping down the site might freshen the place up a bit?
     
  6. GreenGoblin

    GreenGoblin Well-Known Member

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    I found details of pricing for a soak well from a few years ago, on a property forum; back then the figures were around $2,500 :eek:. If I could find a handyman to dig a trench and put in ag pipe, would it cope with surface water run-off without a drainage pipe out to the street?
     
  7. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    Quick google, here's one for 26 bucks, add to that ~$100 pipping, round it out to $200, reckon labor would be 2k+?
    However as above it depends on ground, soakwells are great in sandy soils but no good in clay etc
     
  8. GreenGoblin

    GreenGoblin Well-Known Member

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    Great price that! I see soakwells are very popular in WA due to the sandy soil. This IP is in Brissie, and the soil's neither sandy nor clay (probably quite a good balance). I don't think it would be that difficult to dig up, but then again, the property's in Brisbane and I'm in Melbourne :(.
     
  9. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    Yes but even if you paid a handyman $50 an hour for 8 hours work that's $400 for labor (be cheaper to fly up and do yourself, write the trip off) + parts
     
  10. GreenGoblin

    GreenGoblin Well-Known Member

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    I arranged for a good handyman (we've used before) to quote on the drainage, as well as some other repairs to the home. As we only have a week to do the other repairs before the new tenants move in, I'll only get the drainage quote in a couple of weeks, so let's see how we go. He was going to check with the council about creating a new hole in the kerb for the new storm water pipe to have an outlet into the road...
     
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  11. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    This post reminded me of the chap on Somersoft who was trying to find a way to take his ladder on the plane to do his own work on an IP. I wonder if he is here on this forum?
     
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  12. GreenGoblin

    GreenGoblin Well-Known Member

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    My wife and I are both chuckling at the image, and I had thought of packing my check-in bag with tools for DIY interstate, but hadn't though of including a ladder though!
     
  13. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    Nice to have own gear but basic tools are so cheap these days (i.e. shovel for 5 bucks, screw driver set for a few) can buy it up there, leave it for the tenant or store it out of the way under the house or back shed etc.

    I've known a few building contractors who purchase cheap power tools for an in-depth job, usually used by 1st year apprentices, labor etc but left behind at the premisses when finished for the owners to keep.
     
  14. GreenGoblin

    GreenGoblin Well-Known Member

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    Funny, the two quotes from the plumbers included cutting and jackhammering of the existing concrete kerb and installation of a new kerbside connection (storm water pipe from strip drain to street), with no mention of council approval. The handyman (who has a builder's license for repairs and maintenance) is waiting for the council to advise what's required to do this. Any ideas why the plumbers haven't felt this is any issue, or are they licenced to do this automatically?
     
  15. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    What's the cost difference between the plumbers quotes and handymans?
    Take it the handyman couldn't see a way to do it without running out to the street?
     
  16. GreenGoblin

    GreenGoblin Well-Known Member

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    The handyman's still waiting for the council to get back to him, so I don't have a quote from him. I asked him about terminating the new stormwater pipe at the edge of our property, but he was concerned about the water then running over the nature strip and kerb into the street, and council issues as a result.
     
  17. GreenGoblin

    GreenGoblin Well-Known Member

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    Just to give you all an update - the quote from the handyman was a few hundred more than the cheaper plumber's quote (the plumber was recommended on Somersoft), so I went with the plumber. They completed the work earlier this week and have been a pleasure to deal with. Given that all three quotes involved running a new storm water pipe out to the street, we went with that option. At least we know storm water drainage is now sorted (though the real test will be Brisbane's next deluge - hopefully not for quite a while)!
     
  18. Chris White

    Chris White BUYERS AGENTS & PROPERTY MANAGERS Business Member

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    I have found that whenever excavation is required, plumbers (and others) will allow a risk premium in case time blows out and also for a supervision fee.

    If you know what needs to be done re excavation (and council is ok), you could hire a very experienced excavation guy and organise this part yourself. I would think that the minimum hire of 4 hours would do this job (say $88.00 x 4).

    Then ask the plumber to install the grate drain and do the rest. How many hours would the plumber take to hook up the drain and pcv pipe?. Materials are not that expensive.

    You may be able to half this quote if you can manage the process yourself.

    We recently took a $6500 sewer drain replacement for a client to approx. $2500 by doing this.
     
  19. GreenGoblin

    GreenGoblin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion, Chris. We've already had the drainage work done, as the plumber was the cheapest of three quotes and was recommended. Your idea seems good, though requires more coordination - excavate trench to plumbers specifications, allow time for plumber to complete their work (laying pipe and gravel) and then backfill trench again. This is more difficult with interstate properties, so we went with the all-in-one solution rather than coordinating two different tradies.