Need opinions/feedback for front sidewalk and water drainage idea (photos)
This house originally had a concrete slab about it that had shifted and cracked. Water was coming in from all sides and I decided to have it removed when I was tapping into utilities. I had it back filled and extended the downspouts while I figured out what I wanted to with the front area.
A year later, water is still getting in --- mainly because of not enough grading and water is getting stuck between the house and side yard with nowhere to go. I decided I wanted to go with a low maintenance front yard with a few simple bushes, trees, but I'd like to use gravel all around with simple 24x12 pavers.
The goal is a for a simple and low maintenance front area, but one where water drains away from the house. I was picturing some like this but using regular pavers. http://www.flickr.com/photos/73254522@N00/845849108/#/
1. Do grows well in gravel and what doesn't?
2. Should I consider using mulch instead? If so, why?
3. Should cloth or sand be used below the gravel?
4. Will the gravel make the water drainage worst?
As far as what to plant etc., a lot will depend on where you are? Alaska? Arizona? Where?
Grading is important, especially when you have a lot of rock or gravel (non-absorbent surfaces) close to your house. Plants suck up a lot of water, so if your grading isn't perfect, plants will help keep water away from your foundation. Here in Kansas, the soil is heavy clay, and my house isn't well-graded--the garden area in front of the house was a swamp when I moved in! We extended the guttering, but that wasn't enough, so we mixed in a lot of fluffy cotton boll compost into the garden area and planted some boxwood shrubs. Now there is no swamp--the water absorbs more easily into the soft earth, and the boxwood shrubs soak it right up!
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