The planning guidance on this page can help you determine which RainScapes technique(s) will be most effective for your property. An options matrix below summarizes cost, maintenance needs, and stormwater control effectiveness.
General Considerations for Installing RainScapes
- Your budget should help narrow down the choices of RainScapes techniques.
- Are you interested in better soil drainage and have you identified problem spots?
- Do you have a large lot or a small lot to work with and are there any setback requirements on your lot?
- Underground utilities might be a factor and before any digging you must consult MISS UTILITY.
- Do you want to capture rainfall to re-use it?
- Evaluate how much time you have for maintenance of your yard.
- Consider if you want to change the look of your landscaping or achieve stormwater control without too much change.
- Do you have the equipment required to install some RainScapes?
- Do you want a do-it-yourself project, or would you prefer to hire a contractor?
Design Considerations for Specific Techniques
- This is a good option if your property has sufficient space for the rain garden and overflow area
- You need adequate space in your yard
- You must have soils that drain well
- They can vary in cost depending on the size and type of plants used and how much of the installation labor is done by the owner
- They have maintenance requirements that vary depending on plant selection
- This type of landscaping may be limited by your community restrictions (condo/subdivision regulations)
- This may not be compatible with your neighbors’ landscaping (native plants do not look the same as a manicured lawn)
- Although you may not need to fertilize or water as much, native plants do require regular gardening/maintenance
- Trees provide shade, enhance visual appeal and increase property values
- Trees help save on home energy costs once the tree becomes large enough to shade the house or air conditioning unit
- Trees are a long-term investment
- Trees require a little maintenance (e.g., mulching) but they are relatively low cost
- This is a good option if there are large amounts of hard surfaces (concrete, asphalt)
- This is typically more expensive than other RainScapes techniques
- This requires proper installation by a certified contractor
- This requires annual maintenance with sweeping and gravel replacement
- Pavers enhance curbside appeal and increase property value
- They are only eligible for rebates if they are extensive green roofs, which restrict plant types
- They are expensive (the cost can be recouped if you plan to be in the building a long time, as they can provide a longer roof life and decrease building energy usage)
- They must be properly designed and installed by a certified contractor
- They have weight load restrictions (however, modular systems reduce this problem)
- They need a maintenance plan, which includes seasonal roof drain inspection and weeding
Rain Barrels and Cisterns
- They reduce the use of potable, treated water for landscaping purposes
- They provide a small amount of storage for stormwater runoff from the roof
- They are a good option if roof downspouts currently discharge to a driveway or sidewalk
- They are relatively easy to install and are inexpensive
- They require some maintenance: the rain barrel or cistern must be emptied between rain events from April to November
- They are a good option when space is limited because they are built underground
- They require soils that drain well
- They are more expensive than other RainScapes techniques
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||Stormwater Reduction Ability
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