We have made signifigant progress on expanding the household. My wife (oh, yeah we got married in october) and I manage the household from our own space in the elle. This is the first year in ten that I have actually heated the elle. And my wife might quibble over how much I heated it.
But winter is over and the snow is almost gone. Spring time is usually about drainage around here. We live in a relatively flat ancient flood plain filled with sand. The soil is not real good, but if it isn't frozen, it drains very well. In order to take care of the frozen part, I have installed a series of dry wells around the house. The are designed to accept the melt and rain water coming off the roof and down the gutters. The dry well consits of a 55 gallon plastic drum baried with the bottom about four feet down. The bottom of the barrel is perforated and wrapped in a layer of landscaping fabric to prevent the soil from going into the barrel. When I really want to be extravagant, I actually put a vertical perforated pipe down from the bottom of the barrell to get and extra two or three feet. The whole idea is to have lots of perforated surface area below the frost line in our easy drainging sandy soil. The barrel provides some holding capacity to accept water during a melt or storm and gravity takes care of the rest.
The other nice thing about the dry wells is it gives a low area I can stick a pump if I want to speed things up. I have a an area behind the house that can get inundated in the spring if the conditions are right. With the dry well, I can put the submersible pump down there and then pipe the water to a drainage ditch. I could have left it alone this year, it wasn't a big melt. But in years past, I have had water come over the dyke in the back yard. The only thing that kept it from flooding the basment of the house was running two pumps all night.
I am going to be doing some french drains this year to better control the water that overflows from our spring. It is a hazard and can fill the back yard with water if I am not dilligent about shoveling out the sediment that collects. I'll try to get some pictures and do a proper post about drainage at that time.