I don't like gutters. They are hideous and often look like they are forgotten until the end. They scar building elevations much the same way overhead wires and telephone poles used to. But they are necessary, right?
It has been raining here. A lot of water has come down. I live in an old house, and in many houses of this age, there may be waterproofing and basement water penetration issues. In most cases, this is caused by the hydrostatic pressure exerted on the wall from water naturally in the soil being trapped as it tries to flow. Seepage is the most common type of water in a basement. Not here though. And that is thanks to a detail that often gets overlooked in the design of newer construction. On top of that, no unsightly gutters. Bonus!
As you can see from the image above, I do not have the typical row of shrubs in front of my home. Instead, the design of this house called for a drain that would be placed under the edge of the roof overhang above. This drainage trench would be filled with rock and run to daylight around both sides of the building. In effect, this is a natural, landscaped gutter system, a kind of hidden architecture that also looks good!
After a spring and summer of what feels more like Florida level rain (friend in my old life liked to call them gulley washers), I have yet to see any water near my foundation. This simple detail, well thought out by the designer of this type of home (Deck House) has allowed for decades of dry basement. It relieves the hydrostatic pressure that accumulates against any foundation wall by moving the drip line over three feet away from the foundation. By doing this, and catching the run off from the front yard and carrying it around and out the back, a landscaped, designed element that sets the building off from the lawn also sets it up for proper drainage. And yet, without the thought and foresight to detail the site and the home (deep overhangs, cantilevered upper floor, properly sited home on a sloping site) this home may not be as comfortable to use.
Just another reason why holistic, 'everything is designed' thinking can make a home last with lower maintenance and operational issues. There are many of ways to do this, and I look for those in each project.