We live in Montana and our house sits slightly below the grade of the road (the yard where it is closest to the house is about 3 foot lower) so our driveway slopes down then has a minor change about half way down where it sloped up toward the garage. This change in grade is then met by the yard on one side where it, the yard, is about 3" higher than the driveway. This causes any water to puddle in one spot. If the puddle exceeds the maximum that the area can hold, the water then flows around the corner of the yard toward the house (the yard has a curve in it) then along the sidewalk but then puddles due to the higher yard there.

On the south of my drive, the neighbor's yard is about 2" higher than the drive then it slopes up to about 4 foot higher than my drive. In addition, any water that flows from up the street, including all the other houses, road and church with a big parking lot, flows into my driveway if it gets blocked or is too much for the inadequate drainage system that is existing for the road.

In January 2011 we had abnormally warm weather which melted the snow from the church, all the neighbors' houses including the pile of snow in my direct neighbor's yard. There was so much water that the lack of a ditch by the road caused more water to flow into my driveway and puddle then flow down the sidewalk where it had nowhere to go so it created a small pond in my flower bed which then seeped into my finished basement, the one that I just spent a year remodeling. Luckily it only ruined a 3' wide portion of the carpet, unluckily I now have to replace the carpet in that room.

I was able to sweep most of the water off of the sidewalk and driveway then created a temporary trench so the water would flow off the end of the sidewalk and down the slope in the yard away from the house but directly toward my other neighbor's house. I don't think they had any problems, I didn't like doing it, but I had no other options.

If you are still reading, thank you. My thoughts to fix this problem are many and I'm at a loss at the best option. I can't replace the carpet until this gets resolved and of course my insurance won't cover anything.

Option 1: Install a drain with a grate at the low point of the driveway where it puddles then attach drain pipe underground to another drain with a grate under a downspout. Run perforated drain pipe from that drain to the back yard, tying into another downspout drain, then into a large underground leaching tank in a low spot in the back yard. The perforated drain is to protect the north side of the foundation where the yard is sloped very weird.

Option 2: Install a drain with a grate at the low point of the driveway, tie that into a drain pipe that leads away from the house toward the street and install an underground leaching tank.

My concern about option 2 is that the tank may leach enough water that may seep into the basement anyway. My concern about option 1 is that it may take me a week, I may have more obstructions and I have no idea what I'm doing.

Should I just consult a local drainage/landscaping company or is this something most people can accomplish on their own? I can run a backhoe and I plan on renting one to save time. I have some experience with drainage as I spent a summer on a crew building a golf course.