What sets Carex Design Group apart from many landscape architecture or design firms and landscape construction companies in Knoxville, Tennessee is that we have a deep understanding of both sides of the work — design and construction. Here’s a peek at one of our latest projects where construction knowledge was critical to the design.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Patio Project, Before

This Carex Design Group customer in West Knoxville was having water intrusion issues in their crawlspace and planning to have foundation work done to address the major concerns. Because they called us early to participate in this process, we coordinated the landscape design plans with the foundation repair, tying in drainage systems, saving existing plants from demolition and lowering the patio to allow for better airflow through the crawlspace.

Knowing that water was a major concern, we designed multiple drainage systems including a trench drain, which was used to catch surface water. To ensure we maintained a “lived-in” look to blend the new patio with existing hardscape features, we installed an Iron Age Designs decorative grate cover in raw iron so it will patina over time. We also re-routed the downspout water into drainage systems beneath the patio, expanded an existing water swale in the lawn to carry water away and created a rain garden at the edge of the yard to help hold and release rainwater slowly.

Lowered patio base

Because we were lowering the patio but keeping an existing seat wall 18 feet from the house, the patio was designed with an unusual pitch in mind to ensure that we could direct water inward toward the trench drain rather than away, which would have necessitated moving the seat wall.

A landscape architect or landscape designer without knowledge of landscape construction would likely have removed the seat wall entirely, adding a great deal of additional cost. It’s also common for designers without a construction background to rely on a construction team to address drainage issues, which often leads to less-than-attractive drainage solutions for clients.

Patio with trench drain

Although it was challenging to design something that would work on the construction side with so many unusual factors at play, we were able to alleviate the water and drainage concerns of the client and preserve many of their existing landscape elements while providing them with a beautiful end result.

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