Back door to patio clearance

by Julie
(Potomac Falls, VA)

We have a back patio that needs to be replaced. My husband installed the back patio at the same level as the door and without the proper slope away from the house. Needless to say, we have had alot of water in the basement...

I would like to make sure that the contractor that we hire will be installing the next patio correctly. In addition to the slope away from the house, how much clearance should there be between the base of the back door and the patio? I would think at least 3 or 4 inches, but loved your website and thought I would ask.

I am very inpired by your story...I have been thinking alot about what I want to do with my next "career" and have considered taking courses locally in landscape design.

I look forward to your reply and will be purchasing your e-book!

Best regards,
Julie Hopkins


Hi Julie,
Thanks for your kind compliments about my site (and my story)! I used to live in Virginia.

I would do a minimum of 4 inches below the interior floor elevation. In addition, have the patio slope away from the house at 2% which is the same as 1/4 inch per foot. Then the land adjacent to the patio must be led away also.

I don't know the grade of the rest of your house in relationship to the land, but hopefully there is a fair amount of foundation.

By the way, I started out taking classes at the NY Botanical Garden before I actually went to Rutgers. Perhaps they have some interesting classes at the Washington D.C. Arboretum. I'm sure you'll find something if you decide to do that.

Thanks again and good luck to you. Let me know if I can ever be of further help. You can also visit my page on landscape grading.


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