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I am trying to help a friend design a patio off the back of their house. They want Saltillo tile to match their front porch, over a concrete pad with shared steps coming off the two back doors. How would that be done with this downspout right between the doors?

Seems like such an odd place for a downspout anyways. Even if each door had its own step down it’s still weird to have that downspout just dumping onto the patio.

Maybe put a drain grate right under the downspout? Or I guess the downspout could tie in to an underground French drain but then you’d essentially be burying it under concrete and tile to be totally inaccessible for repairs etc. Running it at an angle across the house over to the side would look ridiculous. Is there any good fix to maintain drainage without looking terrible?

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    "Seems like such an odd place for a downspout anyways", nope. The flat roof is not actually flat. It has a V shape to it, and the low point is at the downspout. This is a common design. You end up with exactly one spot where the water runs towards the wall, minimizing the chance of leaks where the roof meets the wall.
    – longneck
    Feb 24, 2023 at 19:18
  • I’ve seen these roofs before but the ones I have seem are all on one plane slanted towards a corner where the downspout can then drain down the side of the house, typically down the slanted driveway. Never seen the v-shaped “flat” roof. And having all the water drain right at the back door?
    – 917caitlin
    Feb 25, 2023 at 7:04

2 Answers 2

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Bury a drainpipe under the patio, with the downspout emptying into it.

You could route that pipe to a drywell farther from the foundation, or possibly back to the surface if there's a place downhill for it to come out (street curb, for example).

Maintenance would be like any buried drain: run a suitable snake or root-cutter down its length if/when it clogs.

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  • Thank you! Glad to hear it’s do-able
    – 917caitlin
    Feb 25, 2023 at 6:59
  • OP would need to be able to daylight the underground downspout...lot looks pretty flat to me.
    – Huesmann
    Feb 25, 2023 at 15:03
  • Not if it's going to a drywall, @Huesmann.
    – keshlam
    Feb 25, 2023 at 17:11
  • @keshlam assume you mean dry well. But you didn't mention a dry well. And those are only any good if you have well-draining soil. If you have C or D HSG soil a dry well may not be applicable. And then you still have to figure out where to put it, and excavate an underdrain to that location. OP isn't clear about how big the patio needs to be, so the location for the dry well may end up in the tree's CRZ.
    – Huesmann
    Feb 26, 2023 at 14:14
  • I see "drywell" in my answer, top of second paragraph. Granted, it isn't always a solution, just as daylight isn't always a solution.
    – keshlam
    Feb 26, 2023 at 14:23
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You can route a downspout anywhere you want on that wall. You would just have to look at it, the aesthetics might not be the best. The other option would be a buried pipe under the patio that ends in a popup bubbler in the yard.

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    Yeah they’re trying to improve the look out back so I feel like a funky angled gutter might make it worse lol. But definitely a good idea to tie into a bubbler farther from the house.
    – 917caitlin
    Feb 25, 2023 at 7:04
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    It's already ugly, can't get much uglier. I'd fabricate an elbow at the collector and run a pipe sideways to the left at 1/4" per ft, connecting to a vertical downspout and outlet at the corner of the house. And paint it to match the stucco (?).
    – Huesmann
    Feb 25, 2023 at 15:05
  • Pipe along wall is cheap, and will leave money to 1) paint the pipe and 2) do other beautiful things that will enhance the patio. Ploughing money into an expensive dry well or other new underground drain will probably achieve less overall.
    – jay613
    Mar 27, 2023 at 17:01

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