Why Drainage Plans are an Essential Part of Any Landscape Design


When you’re dreaming about a new outdoor fireplace or covered paver patio, you probably aren’t thinking about the necessary drainage system that should accompany your fabulous new outdoor space. But drainage plans are an essential part of any landscape design. Without one, you’re setting yourself up for major problems down the road – everything from standing water and soil erosion to water in your crawl space and sunken spots in your foundation. Today, the licensed professionals at Harris Landscape Construction here in Reno are sharing five of the most common landscape drainage issues, and what can be done to fix them.

Common Landscape Drainage Issues

  1. Poor foundation elevation – Standing water around a home’s foundation or in the crawl space is a common drainage problem that can have enormous consequences. While it’s best avoided from the get-go with proper construction, that doesn’t help homeowners staring down into a wet crawl space. To remedy this drainage issue, proper grading around the foundation is necessary to create a new space for water to flow. A sub-surface drainage system is also a workable solution.
  2. Improper plant bed design – This issue goes back to the problem with impeding water flow. Plant beds should be designed with the appropriate slope for moving water in the right direction for the needs of your plants.
  3. Improper slope on paved surfaces – The same issue with improper plant bed design can apply to hardscape surfaces like walkways, patios, driveways, and pool decks. Proper grading and retaining walls may be needed to ensure these spaces don’t become gathering sites for water.
  4. Improper downspout exits – Gutter downspouts can dump high amounts of water onto paved surfaces or into plant beds. If this is a regular occurrence, saturation can become an issue. Properly directing downspout exits is easy enough.
  5. Water traps – Without proper grading prior to plant installation, depressions can be created that trap water, creating soggy areas. Strategically-placed creek beds can be a good solution.

The Trouble with Inexperience

These issues are usually the result of error or inexperience. Impeding the movement of water downhill will create drainage issues, and that’s true for a homeowner trying to correct a problem without the right experience and knowledge or an inexperienced or unqualified landscaper forgetting to design an appropriate drainage plan. While some of amount of water is essential for a healthy landscape, proper distribution is the key to preventing problems. Here at Harris Landscape Construction, our landscape plans are thorough and comprehensive, accounting not just for structural and aesthetic considerations, but proper irrigation now and as your outdoor spaces mature.

As soon as you notice drainage issues, it’s time to act. Don’t wait for problems to compound. In Reno and Sparks, Harris Landscape Construction can assess the issue and offer a solution to your water management issue. Contact us today.


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