Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Driveways, Pools & Outdoor Living > French Drain

French Drain Cost


How Much Does a French Drain Cost?

 
average costOutdoor French Drain: $300-$1,500high costInterior French Drain: $2,000-$15,000+
post E-mail post Post  

Also called a trench drain, blind drain, rubble drain, drain tile, perimeter drain or land drain, a French drain is a trench covered with gravel or rock which directs surface groundwater away from an area. They typically include a perforated PVC pipe and are installed underground, hidden from view by a layer of sod or dirt. French drains are primarily used outdoors, although they can be installed indoors to dry out a soggy basement.

Typical costs:

  • Having a landscaper or other professional install outdoor French drains can cost $10-$30 a linear foot but averages about $25/foot depending on depth and width (typically 12"-24" deep and 6"-18" wide), and local rates. A French drain 30'-50' long might cost $300-$1,500, with prices averaging about $750-$1,250. For example, Galtech.com[1] reports having two French drains installed at an Oregon home for $1,475 for 58' total, about $25-$26 a foot.
  • French drains can be a do-it-yourself project for those who are willing to dig, or to rent equipment to dig the trench. DoItYourself.com[2] describes the 4" PVC pipe and fittings as relatively inexpensive and easy to work with, and estimates that crushed rock will cost $2-$4 a square foot and renting a compactor at $65-$85 a day. Renting a trencher can cost $50-$80 a half-day or $90-$105 a day, while a small backhoe rents for $150-$200 a day.
  • Interior French drains are often a last resort when other basement waterproofing methods don't work. They typically cost $2,000-$6,000 but can be $10,000-$15,000 or more with a sump pump and basin. Installation requires cutting/chipping a channel around the perimeter of the basement floor and filling it with gravel and perforated PVC pipe.
Related articles: Dry Well, Rain Garden, Basement Waterproofing

What should be included:
  • Named for Henry French, who wrote a book on drains in 1859, French drains direct excess water away from a house or soggy area, often into a dry well (an underground structure that allows the water to percolate into the water table) or a rain garden (designed to let the water percolate into the ground or be absorbed by plants).
  • French drains are typically needed if a property is lower than the surrounding properties or if the home foundation is lower than the surrounding land, to direct the water away from the foundation or to avoid having a permanently soggy area. DoItYourself.com explains how to plan a French drain[3] .
  • A trench is typically dug along the primary route the runoff water follows, and directs the water into a specific area. The trench must always slope downward (about a 1% grade or 1' for every 100') so the water flows freely and doesn't puddle in the trench. The perforated PVC pipe is laid with the holes facing down to make it harder for silt or gravel to enter the pipe. The pipe may be wrapped inside landscape fabric and/or covered with a fabric pipe sleeve to keep out roots and dirt. EasyDigging.com describes the installation process[4] and DIYNetwork provides a video showing French drain installation[5] .
  • Check on local, state and federal regulations which may regulate the use of French drains in order to keep contaminants out of the water supply.
  • Also before digging, call 811[6] ) to have utility companies come out and mark any underground utility lines; or contact local utility companies directly.
Additional costs:
  • French drains can direct excess water into an open or area, but it might be necessary to add something to hold the water until it naturally percolates into the surrounding soil. A do-it-yourself dry well can cost $5-$50, or $90-$380 for a DIY installation of a prefabricated plastic model; having a concrete drywell professionally installed can cost $300-$5,000 or more. Installing a rain garden can cost $100-$750 for a do-it-yourself project of 150 square feet.
Shopping for a french drain:
  • Do-it-yourself materials (PVC pipe and fittings, landscape fabric, pipe sleeves, and gravel or crushed rock) are available at most home improvement and hardware stores or plant nurseries.
  • Professional installation is typically done by a landscaper or gardener familiar with drainage issues, although it can be done by a handyman or day laborer if attention is given to keeping the trench always sloping downward. Check with neighbors with similar drainage problems, or ask for referrals to landscapers and gardeners at local home improvement, hardware or plant nursery centers. A landscaping company lists guidelines for hiring a landscaper[7] .
  • Get several estimates; verify that the company is properly bonded and insured; ask for and check references; and search for any complaints with the Better Business Bureau[8] .
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News


10 Key Ways to Prepare for Extreme Snow
Forecasters are predicting a true nor'easter will hit the eastern and central states with rain, thunderstorms, ice, snow and high winds over the Thanksgiving weekend. It's crucial to plan ahead, before bad weather hits. || Posted November 26 2013


10 Most Popular Cosmetic Procedures Before the Holidays
With reunions and other get-togethers scheduled during the holiday season, most people want to look their best at this time of year. For some, that means filling in those wrinkles with a bit of botox, or having a nip and tuck down here and there. || Posted November 23 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With a French Drain
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Size: Installer: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.galttech.com/research/household-DIY-tools/french-drain-installation.php
  2.  www.doityourself.com/stry/diy-french-drain-construction-costs
  3.  www.doityourself.com/stry/planning-french-drain
  4.  www.easydigging.com/Drainage/installation_french_drain.html
  5.  on.aol.com/video/how-to-install-french-drains-172961582
  6.  www.call811.com/state-specific.aspx
  7.  groundsinc.blogspot.com/2010/05/selecting-landscape-contractor-for.html
  8.  www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews/
More Home and Garden Topics
Check Out All Costs for Home and Garden How Much Does Painting a House Cost? How Much Does a Fence Cost? How Much Does a Furnace Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com




Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
24hour locksmith
Paid: 115.00
This is a crooked company.24 hour locksmith in Omaha ne... [more]
-stuart
Locksmith Cost
A very long driveway! 50 YARDS
Paid: 40.00
Gave a $10 tip, so a total of $50. He ran truck thru driveway and hand shoveled the sidewalks, deck and steps. I tried to get a head start last night -but overnight the drifts grew to 5 and 6 feet or more... [more]
-Tuffy
Snow Removal Cost
Geo-Thermal
Paid: 0.00
We purchased a home built in 1992 with a Geo-Thermal. We were so excited, now we are Not impressed. Yes it is quieter, but the savings are not significant. Every year we have an issue and very few companies work on them... [more]
-LISAM
Geothermal Heat Pump Cost
Oil burner prime
Paid: 80.00
This seems like a lot of money to prime an oil burner. A task that takes 5 minutes and a bill for $80... [more]
-Mark Stevens
Furnace Tune-up Cost
Tummy tuck
Paid: 0.00
I'm a 46 yr old beautiful woman I only look about 35 I'm often mistaken for my 25 yr old sons wife however I'm fairly thin and fit but my tummy is large & sagging and gives me a huge complex I've done exercise dieting the rest of me ge... [more]
-Ahagg
Tummy Tuck Cost
Interpreter
Paid: 200.00
$200 was the best money ever spend in hiring Albanian court interpreter Mr Oliver Kici to interpret for a deposition my mother had on December of 2014 Having a professional interpreter made a huge difference on the way the deposition was h... [more]
-Edmond
Interpreter Cost