Blog Cabin

Oct 1

A Detail You Will Totally Dig

Blog Cabin 2013 Yard Drainage System

While we wait for the winner announcement, I thought I’d share an interesting tidbit about Blog Cabin 2013 and the yard drainage system that keeps the home high and dry.

As you know, Blog Cabin 2013 has stood on the same spot for more than a century. And surprisingly the site has suffered little to no erosion. So as part of an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy, project manager Dylan Eastman was careful to maintain the home’s original roof size. For added assurance, project contractor Ryan Crosser of Andrew Roby Construction built a subterranean drain system under the eaves to collect roof runoff and carry it through 300 feet of buried piping to a natural ditch that can handle the excess water.

Pretty nifty, yes? You may not have the wherewithal to create your own subterranean drain system, but a French drain is a pretty easy feature to install and does wonders to draw water away from structures. For those in need of how-to help, please check out’s own French drain installation and yard drainage system projects. zeroes in on the topic with a focused feature on basement drainage solutions and natural stormwater management techniques.

How has this year’s or past years’ Blog Cabins inspired your own interior design, home remodeling or DIY efforts? Share your stories below.

  • Posted at 2:57 pm on October 10, 2013
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  1. French draining? New to me but very resourceful. I bet new developing neighborhoods built in flood zones will utilize this . Great job

    cynthia ussery on October 2, 2013 at 8:39 am
    • Been around for years

      COOLSMILEY on October 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm
  2. Bonjour tout le monde en a un grand jour! B)

    iamflourishing on October 2, 2013 at 8:48 am
    • OH-oh! I just made up some fractured French-speak above about water in the French drain! Now I see we have an expert! Yikes!o.0:S<3 Pardone moi!<3 Kitty:$

      DwnSoDwnEaster on October 2, 2013 at 6:35 pm
    • Bonne:)

      iamflourishing on October 2, 2013 at 7:45 pm
    • Comment ca va tout le monde? Est-ce que le gagnant sera un blogger? Bonne chance mes amis!

      lucyourdog on October 2, 2013 at 8:23 pm
    • Translation – how is everyone doing? Is a blogger going to win? Good luck my friends!

      lucyourdog on October 2, 2013 at 8:31 pm
    • Si passionnante! (So Exciting)

      iamflourishing on October 3, 2013 at 8:00 am
    • OUI

      lucyourdog on October 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm
    • Je suis sûr que le gagnant aura un grand jour !

      kdiver64 on October 2, 2013 at 10:51 pm
    • For those that don't know French, that means" I'm sure the winner will have a great day"

      kdiver64 on October 2, 2013 at 11:01 pm
    • I was weaned on Jacques-Yves Cousteau !<3<3<3B)

      kdiver64 on October 2, 2013 at 11:12 pm
    • Je sais qu'ils vont:$

      iamflourishing on October 3, 2013 at 8:01 am
    • Je suis totalement d'accord ! :)

      kdiver64 on October 3, 2013 at 5:33 pm
  3. Glad this home is well protected from water damage. Funny story…Were new homeowners 20 yrs ago.We knew our basement had a french drain system around perimeter of floor that drains into sump pump hole. Since house is older (1951) I guess many years of old paint peelings, dust and dirt accumulated in this shallow channel. We had to scrape it out with some handmade tools so it would drain properly. What a job that was. Found out the clog was there the hard way when we got 10" of rain in about 3-4 hrs. Lesson learned!

    jazzygirl9 on October 2, 2013 at 9:30 am
  4. Good Morning Everyone! My grandparents house is located up in the hills of Tennessee on the outskirts of Oak Ridge. It was built very close to the ground (why…I don't know) and right smack backed up to a mountain, they only cut out enough of the mountain to build the house. Water running off the mountain runs directly under the house and the floors are constantly rotting out . I wonder if some type of drainage system like this would help? We have been trying to figure out the best way to remedy this problem without breaking the bank…

    Debbie on October 2, 2013 at 9:42 am
    • I have run into situations like that a few times, although not a mountain, cases of large steep slopes that run close to the homes. First make sure that you have ample fall from the house to as far as possible especially where you install you drain tile and it is most important to have fall at the daylight end of the drain, if not, try to grade accordingly. Now to address problem two. you not only have to control the volume of water flow, but also velocity and direction from the mountain or slope. Find the high point center, from that point downward you build a series of small alternating check berms @45deg down to past both sides of the structure so that when you stand back and look it looks like a Christmas tree above the house. Any good engineer can design this for you. Hope this helps a little, and it is simple and not too costly. One of the biggest problems building in the mountains is, no one wants to do proper grading in rocky soil.

      540sam on October 2, 2013 at 11:22 am
    • Also it helps to have a forced air system in the crawl space to keep that area dry, you can get these at Lowes, Home Depot etc.

      540sam on October 2, 2013 at 11:35 am
    • Thanks so much for the help 540sam! They have had this problem for YEARS and they just keep replacing the floors, not addressing the problem….this seems like something that is do-able and we will definitely try it! :)

      Debbie on October 2, 2013 at 12:53 pm
    • For the price of fixing the floor one time they could probably fix the problem. when floors get bad enough to replace, you have to be concerned about mold problems. It is a problem that has to be addressed sooner than later.

      540sam on October 2, 2013 at 3:26 pm
  5. I followed this on thw cabin cam as it was being done, but I certainly never got as good a view as the pictures above, thank you for sharing these. I could benefit from a French drain in my back yard, I need to look into this further. Well, home for the second day due to the government shutdown. I'm ready, willing, and able to work – wish I could say the same for those clowns in DC. And we're the ones not getting paid – seems to me it should be those that are unwilling and unable to do their jobs that should have their pay stopped:@ BUT, that does leave me near the phone and able to answer the doorbell…just saying DIY, I'm waiting for you:p Meanwhile, I'll be getting my back yard and gardens in shape for fall while I'm furloughed; that's where you can find me:* I could stand some good news. Good luck everyone.

    Windsmurf on October 2, 2013 at 10:29 am
  6. Not Giving up Yet!

    Marty on October 2, 2013 at 11:36 am
    • Hang in there. It ain't over till it's over. Good Luck!

      jazzygirl9 on October 3, 2013 at 11:26 am
  7. Ou La la the French drain tickles my fancy!:p

    COOLSMILEY on October 2, 2013 at 11:40 am
    • Mais oui!;):p:p;) Ouvre L'amour? Et en l'eu en Le DRAIN de France nes' pas? How's THAT for butchering my ancient French?;)<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on October 2, 2013 at 6:31 pm
    • DwnSoDwnEaster, You said the word LOVE that's all that matters<3

      iamflourishing on October 2, 2013 at 7:47 pm
    • sounds good to me since all I know is ou la la , parle voius francei, and gen na se qua and obviously don't know how to spell any of them!

      COOLSMILEY on October 3, 2013 at 4:52 pm
    • The only French I know are from my days in the Army, if I tried to put them on here I would be in Bloggie jail forever.:D

      540sam on October 4, 2013 at 5:03 am
    • :)

      twoTERRIERs on October 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm
  8. Just a note this morning. I received an e-mail from publisher clearing house this morning, stating that I was the winner of a one million dollar sweepstakes. Has anyone else received such an e-mail recently? I believe it is a total scam, because they asked for my name, country, and phone number. I did not reply, when they asked for the country.

    Hope everyone is having a great day.

    Builder on October 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm
    • I get e-mail from PCH all the time and I just delete them without looking. The real PCH already has my name and country (probably my phone # too). That had to be a scam.

      Eugenia27 on October 2, 2013 at 2:29 pm
    • Did you enter the sweepstake? If not, guess what. It's a scam.

      540sam on October 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm
    • Yes, I have been entering the contests, but, like Eugenia said, they already have my name and address.

      It would be wonderful if it was true. Then there might be extra money to fund the kids' education, when they get older.

      Builder on October 2, 2013 at 3:35 pm
    • I won 50. from them in a contest, they only email in case of small winnings, not a Million, and I did have to email my address but not phone # to collect

      COOLSMILEY on October 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm
    • yea, country is another indication of scam

      COOLSMILEY on October 3, 2013 at 4:57 pm
    • I sent a copy of my email to, and got a response. It definitely was a scam, and they are pursuing it, for prosecution. If anyone else receives such stuff, please report it, to get those people out of circulation, forever.

      Builder on October 3, 2013 at 11:14 pm
    • Builder, I think they come knocking at your front door with a camera crew when you win the million. Oh, and balloons lots of balloons ! and the check !

      kdiver64 on October 3, 2013 at 10:28 pm
    • Yes, it was a scam. I reported it to, and received a reply, stating it definitely was a scam, using PCH's name. They are looking into prosecuting this individual, or individuals.
      Sometimes, I might sound crazy, but, I am not a fool.

      Builder on October 3, 2013 at 11:18 pm
    • :)

      Eugenia27 on October 6, 2013 at 5:45 pm
    • Don't forget how they like to show up on your doorstep, as in the commercials, sometimes for prizes smaller than that.

      LCascade on October 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm
  9. This is just another example of the thought and care that went into every aspect of Blog Cabin 2013. The way the team incorporated existing materials, designs, and systems with the latest innovations and technologies is a major part of why everyone loves this home so much!

    Monica on October 2, 2013 at 12:46 pm
    • And finally, after all of these years, I have been inspired to create an official blog account instead of showing up as a guest periodically! "Monica" is now "TwoCorgis"! :-)

      TwoCorgis on October 2, 2013 at 5:29 pm
  10. We have french drain in our lanai for our in-ground pool. It works wonders especially during some of our torrential Florida rainstorms 3 or more inches of rain an hour. Have friends who used a french drain for their swampy corner of their backyard…now they can actually walk on the grass year-round…no more swamp!

    Holidaygal on October 2, 2013 at 2:12 pm

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Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Expert hosts will transform a 1990s waterfront home in Panacea, Florida that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by tool expert Chris Grundy, will highlight the incredible transformation.
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