Alpine Street Residence
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Alpine Street Residence

Construction, Design, Landscape, Residential, Structural
About This Project

This project began because of a problematic concrete pad and retaining wall in the back of the house. The slope of the pad sheeted water directly onto the house, and the retaining wall was undermining the foundation of the house due to faulty engineering. All of these issues were worsened by the lack of a footing drain, and contractors were bidding up to $70,000 just to fix the structural problems.

Thinking holistically, we were able to fix the structure for under $10,000 and remodel the entire exterior of the house for under $30,000. We started by removing the original concrete pad and retaining wall. Our solution permanently dried up the seasonal creeks that were flowing into the house and gave the exterior a beautiful face lift.  We installed a footing drain and a drainage mat, and avoided the cost of a full new retaining wall by building a series of small, dry stack walls and covering them with a deck made of salvaged redwood. The finishing touch was reducing the projects waste by building lovely garden beds around the property with the remaining rubble. The previous bare concrete pad yard is unrecognizable now, with lush greenery and a warm redwood deck.

Once the back was addressed, we improved the front by installing a native garden and bioswale.  The bioswale uses moisture loving, but drought tolerant plants, planted over a bed of gravel. The footing drain and two roof drains pour directly into the uphill side of this gravel trench and percolate through it into the ground, thereby never entering and taxing the city’s water system.

Overall, the upgrades to 166 Alpine street were a beautiful, eco-friendly, and cost effective solution to a structural problem.  At Crafted Earth, we use smart design to cost-effectively streamline your home into a beautiful, environmentally sound space.