Landscaping and Patios

In today’s post, we wanted to educate you on what you need to know about your landscaping and patios. This information will make you a more informed homeowner and hopefully prevent any costly mistakes!

First thing to note: The grade of your lot has been established to drain water away from your home.

The soil around each home site is graded to create swales that channel storm water away from the home.

NOTE: Please consider that any changes you make in the grading and drainage of your lot. Failure to maintain the established grade and swales may result in damage to your home, your lot, and your neighboring property. Damages to your property and to neighboring property will be your responsibility.

Do not change the swales on your property. These swales are the graded areas designed to comply with local codes and engineering requirements by directing the flow of water away from your house. Alteration of the swales can result in serious damage to your foundation. Fill material next to the foundation that may have settled needs to be replaced and the original grade re-established to prevent ponding of water against the fence or home. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the original grading of your lot and preserve good drainage.

NOTE: Any alteration of the established grade net to your home that has been treated for termites may void the termite warranty.


Landscaping can change the grading of your lot. We suggest that you consult your professional landscape contractor when the time comes to landscape your lot.

Do not plant along your homes foundation of fence wall. Direct all irrigation away from your foundation, patio, porch, fence and sidewalks. Keep all plants a minimum of two to three feet from the foundation and fence wall. Irrigating at or near the foundation or fence wall will increase the likelihood of soil expansion or settlement resulting in cracked concrete or movement in the home or fence.

To prevent erosion and ponding of water:

  • Do not alter the soil grade.
  • Keep swales open and free of leaves and debris. Do not build sheds, sidewalks, hot tubs, decks, fences, pools, or gardens in the swales. Otherwise water may not flow properly through the swale.
  • Direct water runoff away from the home. Do not allow sprinklers to form puddles near or against the foundation.

Flowerbeds can significantly change drainage patterns. We suggest that you consult a professional landscape contractor before you dig flowerbeds. In any case, keep plantings in flowerbeds a minimum of two to three feet from the foundation. This will prevent excessive water from collecting at the base of the foundation.

Provide ample growth between plants and your home. The ground next to your home should always slope away to prevent standing water. If water is allowed to stand or pool next to your home, damage to the foundation and the home will result. The water could also seep into your home and damage the interior and furnishings.

Furthermore, other additions and changes can alter the drainage of your lot and cause water damage. These changes include sidewalks, patios, spas, pools, fences, walls, and planters and play structures. Before you make any additions or changes to your lot or the structures on your lot, give careful consideration to the effect the changes will have on drainage. If you have any questions, consult a professional before you begin the project.

If you have gutters and downspouts on your home, this gutter system is to help in keeping water away from the foundation of your home. The downspouts drain onto slabs or concrete diverters. The diverters are some times designed to channel the water into a swale. If the swale designed to channel the water from these downspouts is altered, be sure to provide proper drainage. It is your responsibility to keep all gutter and downspouts clear of debris.

Patios and other structures that you add to your home after your orientation will not be covered in your Limited Warranty. You must check with your homeowners association and local municipality before you begin any addition to your home.