Look at the picture of the downspout. Seems to me that even in
Minnesota, for almost a million dollars, the downspout should go
underground and come out somewhere else.
We had a pretty nice home where I lived my first 10 years, and its
downspouts drained underground all the way to the street. If that house
were now where property values had not slumped (because the town's
population dropped over 50%), it would still be no more than 300,000 I
think. Yet this almost one million dollar place drains the water onto
On Thursday, February 20, 2014 12:19:57 AM UTC-5, micky wrote:
The problem is that unless there is a lot of grade
and somewhere for the water to then exit, there is
no place for it to come out somewhere else.
You can try to use a drywell,
but they bring their own problems. In that photo one
choice might have been to design the gutters differently
so that the water exited at the other end, which might
have been better. I see similar to what he's showing in
new construction here in NJ on $1mil homes.
Clearly it's missing at the very least a splash block too.
I'd love to hear him explain how this would have been
solved for $5 in materials. It's not a materials problem,
it's an overall grading relationship to the driveway,
sidewalk, house, etc. He talks about a yard drain,
but that only works if the grading is there to support
it and many lots don't have the grade. If you look at
his photo, if you ran a 4" pipe under the sidewalk,
then what? Now you have a pipe that is ~8" below grade.
With most lots, no place to go with that to bring it
out someplace acceptable back above ground. IMO, some
of what he thinks are good ideas suck too. First pic
here for example, where they have ugly leaders run
on top of the ground everywhere:
That's nice if the grade allows it and it's permitted.
With runoff laws that exist today in many places, it's
not allowed. If everyone sent water out to the streets
that should remain on site, it just adds to the overall
storm water management problems.
If that house
I agree the whole thing should have been designed to
avoid that, but it's typically not a $5 problem and
takes planning at the project level with regard to grading,
where the sidewalks go, distance between the sidewalk and
On 2/20/2014 6:40 AM, email@example.com wrote:
I took that to mean that this was a situation where all that was
needed to get proper drainage was a little foresight and common sense
aided with a section of yard drain and the slotted drain cover. New
construction routinely grades the lot to slope away from the
foundation (at least hereabouts, which is where the home in question
is located). If that was the case, then yes, all that was needed was
to run the pipe down to where it will just peek out at ground level
several feet further away from the house. *Then* pour the sidewalk
That's the setup I installed at my home. The outlets are halfway to
the street, where the slope permits them to be just about at ground
level. The last half of the run consists of perforated drain pipe, so
the water can seep out and any excess can pour out the end and down
the rest of the lawn.
My next door neighbor lady had the very problem shown in the photo, so
when her son-in-law replaced her sidewalk I talked to him about it and
showed him how I'd dealt with it. There's a steep bank about twenty
feet away from the sidewalk, so all he needed to do was slope the
drain pipe to the bank and let it discharge down the embankment. Idiot
couldn't be bothered to trench that far, nor to use perforated pipe
for the last half of the run. Instead, he just found about eight feet
of drain pipe in a dumpster, dug a short sloped trench and installed
the drain pipe, then poured the sidewalk. No dry well, no outlet,
nothing to aid drainage and prevent a backup of water. Result: total
fail. She's back to using a metal downspout across her new sidewalk
because her son-in-law couldn't be bothered to do it right.
On Thursday, February 20, 2014 8:12:08 AM UTC-5, Moe DeLoughan wrote:
What happens in winter when the slotted drain cover
and the box below that's out in the lawn are full of frozen water? I saw this tried at a condo and it failed miserably for that reason.
When the top of the pipe is 4"+ below the bottom of the
sidewalk, it's almost impossible to get it to come back
out in the lawn, while maintaining a constant slope,
unless there is a substantial grade, more
grade than is typical. And if you make a U of it with a
low spot, then you get debris, leaves, etc that tend to
clog it, plus freezing since it's only 8" deep.
I agree that's a great solution, where you can do it.
I'd use perf pipe as soon as I got about 8 ft from the
house. Which is why more planning should go into the
overall design of everything related to it. In some
cases, you have a big enough planting area between the
house and sidewalk and can get rid of the water there
with perf pipe hidden by shrubs. Not as good as taking
it even further away, but it's better thand dumping it
on the sidewalk.
In million dollar houses here, typically some of it is
done perfectly, eg with an underground corrugated pipe
that takes it to a swale, much lower grade, etc. You
have some spots where the planting beds are large enough
that you can use perf pipe to get rid of it there. And
then you have something dumb, like in the cited pic.
A friend's house has one spot that is very much like that
in this pic, ie right at the intersection of the sidewalk,
and drivway pavement by the garage. On the other corner
of the garage, they dump the water right out onto the
driveway where it meets the garage. It flows OK, so
not a major problem. But 30 ft away is a sharp drop
off and all they had to do was run an underground pipe
over there, getting all that water totally away from
the driveway/garage area. The real problem here is that
this is an afterthought and not accounted for upfront.
Some codes related to this would be a good idea.
To me, what's shown in that photo is a danger in
freezing condition, as it's an ice generator for the
Instead, he just found about eight feet
When I was living in a new construction condo, I
discovered that my sump pump line went no where.
Like you describe, it had been run out past the sidewalk
and just ended a foot down in the dirt. Probably
because they intended to run it further, another 25 ft,
to a swale, maybe after grading was done, etc,
but it never got done.
So, I discover that not only was mine like that but
right next to it was the line from the condo next door.
So, I show it to the neighbor and told him that he
should make the condo assoc aware of it, since when
they were fixing mine, it would be trivial to do his
at the same time. He says, "Isn't it supposed to be
that way?" Despite my explaining that the water has
no place to go and it need to be routed just 25 ft over
to the swale, he just couldn't get it. He did nothing.
I always wondered what finally happened there.
She's back to using a metal downspout across her new sidewalk
I hate seeing those run around shrub beds, extended out
10 ft from the house, etc. They look like hell. And I
bet if someone trips over it, they have a good case
because no one expects an obstacle like that across a
On Thu, 20 Feb 2014 04:40:55 -0800 (PST), " firstname.lastname@example.org"
Indeed, about 3/4s of the way to the street, our house had a 3 or 4 foot
hill, going down, so the street gutter was 3 or 4 feet below ground
level at the house itself.
Next time I'm there, I'll look at the houses across the street, which
had flat front and back yards, no hill at all, and were a little
smaller and cheaper for that matter, and see what goes on with their
I've also wondered what happened to the downspouts in the back of my
house. I surely never saw a splash block when I lived in my home town,
so I guess there was a drain pipe from the back of the house around the
house to the street in front.
I don't think I ever saw a splash block at my house in Indianapolis
either, where the land was Indiana flat and the culvert next to the road
was 125 feet from the front of the house, but maybe there was no drain
pipe either, just a downspout that ran onto the grass. IIRC, the trees
are too big now, or one just can't get close enough, to see anything
with google satellite. The next occasion to go there would be my high
school reunion, in June.
None of these houses ever cost anywhere near a million dollars.
Here in Naperville, IL, there is an ordinance that any time there is new co
nstruction, it must not increase the stormwater runoff any more or any fast
er than before the construction was started. This leads to setting up drai
nage/ storage areas on new developed property. For the rebuilding of McMan
sions, where the new footprint is much larger than the original footprint,
those sites must also limit the runoff to what was there before the rebuidi
ng occurred. This must be shown on all plans before building permits are i
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