Good basic advice: keep the foundation well above grade. And also make sure the grade falls away from the foundation.

According to Ask the Builder columnist Tim Carter, building codes from “not too long ago” require a minimum of least six inches of foundation showing above the soil grade, and at least six inches of fall in the soil in the first ten feet away from the house. Carter recommends building a foundation at least 18 inches higher than the surrounding soil, and using dirt dug from the basement to make a “long gentle slope” away from the foundation.

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