Exterior Worlds
Landscape Grade
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Landscape Grade

A landscape grade is an artificial slope created in a yard that moves water away from the house. This facilitates proper drainage of runoff water that would otherwise temporarily flood gardens and portions of the yard. Smaller slopes are also built around gardens, outdoor buildings, and courtyards when they are needed.

Level surfaces are created for the construction of outdoor floors and patios in order to create space ideally suited to luxury outdoor living. In these areas where the yard requires a perfectly level grade, concealed drainage systems will be integrated into the Houston landscaping elements themselves if it is not possible to utilize neighboring slopes for runoff. In either case, the end result is a Houston landscaping plan that features a natural blend between architecture and softscape that remains free of standing water even in times of very heavy Gulf Coast rains.


Before an intentional landscape grade can be constructed, however, it is necessary to understand the land’s natural roll and flow before any work should be done. This is why grading yards is something we urge do-it-yourself enthusiasts never to attempt under any circumstances. Even slight errors in calculation can create more problems than any self-generates solutions can eliminate.

Professional landscape designers from Exterior Worlds routinely integrate the conscious alteration of land grade into the Houston landscaping plans that we custom develop for our clients. This process begins in the early stages of our planning and design phase.

During our initial consultation with the homeowners, we request that original lot surveys be shown to our team so that our designers can look at official documentation of the original landscape grade at the time of home purchase. Comparing this to existing yard conditions will help us determine how quickly soil is eroding, and what exactly we need to do to prevent this in specific areas of the yard.

Next, we conduct a thorough survey of the yard that will allow our team to devise a strategy for grade management that is concomitant to the needs of the various Houston landscaping elements that we will be installing in the yard. The basic principle of developing these alterations in elevation is to keep water moving at all times away from any softscape or hardscape that would be damaged by even so much as temporary flooding.

Houston landscaping professionals then pinpoint the locations where various gardens and outdoor structures are to be built. They calculate just how much drainage each area of interest will need use this information to plan for changes in the landscape grade at the time of installation.

Since Exterior Worlds manages a turnkey service that creates a fully functional outdoor living environment, any necessary fill dirt or topsoil needed for grade alteration will be trucked in by our installation team.

Houston homeowners who feel they have a problem with standing water in their yards should consider hiring Exterior Worlds to plan and implement systematic changes to landscape grade. This will result in home with much better curb appeal in the long run because the level areas and planned slopes that we create on the property will be filled with functional and aesthetic elements that support the home and create a world of experience beyond its walls.