I have a garage that has had quite a weed problem around the side and back of it. I decided to go for it and lay some gravel down, following this "This Old House" how to:

Seems pretty straightforward for the most part, I'm going to dig down a depth of 4 inches and lay down weed membrane, pack down stone, and follow the other steps in the article.

My question is, are there any special considerations I need to take when digging and laying the gravel right up against my garage? I'm attaching some pictures for reference:

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This side and the back of the garage in particular are what I'm wondering about, you can see the belly board (which I have another post about here: Garage belly board needs fixing) and how you can dig right underneath it from this image:

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I get the impression that I should just dig straight down into the earth 4 inches right next to the belly board, and not dig under it to lay the gravel? I'm not sure what the considerations are for drainage and erosion, or the integrity of the cement foundation under the garage or if I'm overthinking things and it's not that complicated.

Also attaching some images of the back of the garage as well, where I also plan to dig and put gravel in. There are some strange boards that the previous owner nailed onto the back of the garage... not sure why, but I do plan to eventually remove them and fix whatever is underneath.

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Thanks for the help and advice!

  • 1
    The concrete isn't a concern, but you shouldn't have soil or rock against the wood. That'll keep it moist and rot it out much sooner. You might revise to ask something more specific. The question is rather vague as it is.
    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 21:06
  • You shall dig down to find the foundation below the belly board. Your finished grade shall be 2"-3" below the belly board or replace with a vinyl board.
    – r13
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 12:02
  • 1
    keep the dirt taller next to the wall so that water wants to drain away from the wall. If you put a gravel pit up against the wall, it will hold lots of water between the rocks and close to the wall/foundation, which you don't want. You can slope/trench down starting a few inches (~6) from the wall, and take the gravel all the way to the wall, a thinner layer of gravel by the wall, deeper gravel out away from it, flat from the eye.
    – dandavis
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 20:31

1 Answer 1


The only suggestion I have is if you decide to use aluminum flashing to protect the belly boards, extend the flashing down to the depth of your path and utilize it as the edging shown in the video you're basing your project on.

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