By the next Christmas, things were coming together—despite some curveballs. One of the subcontractors I hired for the addition didn't follow the engineer's instructions, and the weeks he took to fix his mistake left the excavated site open to torrential rains. It looked like I had a swimming pool built against my house. One night I found water flooding my basement and in a panic had to run to the home center for a sump pump minutes before it closed.
When that same contractor put the swale to divert rainwater too close to the house, I decided to just rent a skid-steer loader and regrade the yard myself.