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Old 05-10-2013, 09:01 AM   #1
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Need help with drainage for my patio


Hi all, right now I have a small concrete slab off my sliding back door that turns into "grass". The grass never grows here so I have decided to replace the whole thing with patio pavers.

Right now the slab is slanted away from the house so water runs to the grass area. The grass at the other end is slanted towards the condo so all water collects in the middle and the runs to the corner of the condo and then down to the street.

The first picture shows the slab to the left. I am standing at the corner. You can see the edging in the middle guides the water towards me which will go around the corner. To the right you see green plants. That is a big boulder that goes all the way to where I'm standing.

The second picture I am know standing on that stone stair in the first picture to show how the ground is shaped.

My question is, how do I properly drain the water when building the patio? Ideally I would think it would need to be drained away from teh sliding door as it is now and then runs towards the side of the house and then straight down to the street. I'm just not 100% sure what to do.




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Old 05-13-2013, 03:50 AM   #2
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Need help with drainage for my patio


forget wtr runs downhill all by itself ??? they're called ' leader drains or ' lawn drains ',,, put 'em where you need 'em after establishing desired elevation & slope/grade,,, IF you don't have a downhill, you may need to pump

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Old 05-15-2013, 07:41 PM   #3
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Need help with drainage for my patio


got a call today from a local atty who sez his patio floods when it rains,,, the soil surrounding the conc patio's 2" high on all 3 sides,,, + the slab's at the btm of a hill where all runoff heads towards his patio,,, unfortunately, he doesn't want a trap/trench & lawn swales won't work due to topography ( lay of the land for those in rio linda ) no sump or forced discharge, either.

after presenting him w/his only choices, he said ' what ? that's all you've got to suggest ? i thought you guys were pro's ! ' ggggrrrrrrrrrr

we withdrew & wished him well,,, the poor ***tard that gets this work will also see their customer in court forgot that's why we never took work from atty's when we were in nj
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:05 PM   #4
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Need help with drainage for my patio


can you lower the grade at the corner where you took the first photo and still get the water to drain to the street?
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:26 PM   #5
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Need help with drainage for my patio


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can you lower the grade at the corner where you took the first photo and still get the water to drain to the street?
I think that would be the best option but I'm not sure I can do that. I don't know how far down that stone step goes down. If it does go down far enough to lower the corner I then run into the problem of making that step a big drop.

To fix the "bgi step" problem I could dig down to level the ground and then make another step down to the ground level.

So let's say I do make another step, which way should the patio be sloping? My thought is to have a small flower bed along the boulder so I could continue the concrete slab slope away from the house towards the boulder which will allow the water to drain into the flower bed. Would that work or is that not enough room for drainage?

I'm very confused as to how the pitch should be. I know I want it away from the house but going away from the house there is the big boulder so then the water would get stuck there. So then logically I would want the slope to go away from the house and towards the corner so the water runs around the corner of the house but that seems very odd to do.

I guess I could always have the patio slope towards the boulder and put in drainage that pipes water down to the street. I wouldn't want drainage grills to show so I could put them in and cover them with river rocks which should give enough room for water to drain past them.

I did get a quote from a company who came to look at it for $4500 which is more than we want to spend. Another company quoted me $3200 but he didn't see it. That was just a square footage calc. Even though I would like to do this myself, I may be in over my head with the drainage.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:06 PM   #6
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Need help with drainage for my patio


I measured the height of the slope. The edge of the concrete slab is about 14" lower than the top corner near the stone step
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:08 PM   #7
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I'll give it some thought tomorrow and post back ..... thanks for the info
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:38 PM   #8
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I'll give it some thought tomorrow and post back ..... thanks for the info
That would be great, thanks. Like I said, if I can get a better understanding of how to do this, I would like to do this project myself.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:14 PM   #9
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I must apologize, I was in the field all day today (was suppose to get to play on the computer) so I did not get the opportunity to look it over, but I'm sure I'll have some time over the long week, can't stay away from the computer for 3 days ....
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:20 PM   #10
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I must apologize, I was in the field all day today (was suppose to get to play on the computer) so I did not get the opportunity to look it over, but I'm sure I'll have some time over the long week, can't stay away from the computer for 3 days ....
I know what you mean. I'm on the computer all day for work and the first thing I do when I get home is go on the computer lol

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:24 PM   #11
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Need help with drainage for my patio


I'd recommend sloping the top of your pavers between 1/8" to 1/4" per foot from the house to the yard. this way water will run off. Have the top of the pavers slightly higher than the ground.

you'll notice I have a slight swale with the direction of water flow. slope the ground from the pavers to the swale and same on the other side of the swale. you want to direct the water to a low area between the pavers and bottom of the slope (where your yard goes up).

it's difficult just to look at photos and figure out the grading (ground elevations). normally I'd come out with a laser level and take ground elevations but I think you get the idea.

Don't know if this is much help or not. Good luck!

post back with any questions.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:40 AM   #12
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I'd recommend sloping the top of your pavers between 1/8" to 1/4" per foot from the house to the yard. this way water will run off. Have the top of the pavers slightly higher than the ground.

you'll notice I have a slight swale with the direction of water flow. slope the ground from the pavers to the swale and same on the other side of the swale. you want to direct the water to a low area between the pavers and bottom of the slope (where your yard goes up).

it's difficult just to look at photos and figure out the grading (ground elevations). normally I'd come out with a laser level and take ground elevations but I think you get the idea.

Don't know if this is much help or not. Good luck!

post back with any questions.
Thank you!!! That is basically how my yard is now. The slab slopes away from my house and the yard slopes away from the boulder and meets in the middle where that metal edger is. Then the water runs down exactly how you described the swale. The slab doesn't follow the flow of the swale. It only slopes away from the house towards the yard...if that makes any sense.

I think that is the best way to do it. My next question is how do I make the pavers angle at that slope in both directions towards the middle and also have the swale and meet up nicely with the existing slab? I don't know if my question makes sense. Basically I'm going to be ripping up the whole yard and putting in pavers but keeping the existing slab. So the pavers need to be sloped as you described in the picture but also line up with the slab. The two slopes into the middle is fine. What I'm not sure about is the swale.

I think what you are going to end up telling me is the best way to do that is the rip up the slab so I can start fresh which I can definitely do though since I really have done this kind of work before I was trying to avoid tearing up concrete especially since it is near the foundation.

Again, thanks for all your help.

Edit: After looking at the slab, it looks like it is part of the foundation. I could be completely wrong as I'm not sure how concrete works but it looks like the slab is attached to the foundation which I would assume makes it really hard to tear up since I wouldn't want to start messing with the foundation.

Every time I think I have an understanding of what I need to do I find something else that confuses me lol Now I'm starting to think I should just lay new sod down and call it a day.

Last edited by h22lude; 05-27-2013 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:57 AM   #13
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Need help with drainage for my patio


Or I could put down patio pavers in one little section and do the rest in new sod. In the picture below,the red would be the new patio pavers. Keep the existing slab and everything else would be new sod. As much as I would love the entire thing to be patio pavers, it might be too big of a job for DIY (for me) and it might cost too much to pay someone to do it. I don't plan on staying here for a long time but I want to make the backyard nice to look at and usable while I am here.

I would clean up the crappy plants near the boulder and put in a flower bed maybe with a small stone wall.

Just throwing ideas out there.

GBrackins, do you know any good landscape companies that service the Rhode Island area? I see your in Mass.



Last edited by h22lude; 05-27-2013 at 11:03 AM.
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