Frech Drain Installation Cost

Last Updated on December 23, 2022
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

The typical expense to set up a 100 foot long, 2 feet deep exterior french drain in your yard will be somewhere around $1,200, or $12 per foot for a Do It Yourself project, without any trencher rental. Expert setup of the very same french drain on the exterior of your structure and the needed repair work for all disturbed soil will cost around $2,350.

The expense for professional setup will include all labor and trenching tools, perforated drain pipes, the fabric for preventing sand and dirt from permeating into the pipes, rocks, and gravel to cover the drain ditch, along with repair work of the landscaping when finished.

  • Typical Do It Yourself expense – $12/Linear Foot
  • Typical Professional Set Up Expense – $23/Linear Foot
  • Avarage Expense Range – $10 – $32/Linear Foot

Summary of Exterior French Drains Pipes

Setting up a french drain around the structure outside of your house is a budget-friendly and efficient method to divert water away from your home, and guarantee that your basement or crawl area will stay dry, specifically if you do not have gutters set up on your house. The principle of a french drain is rather simple: instead of water soaking into the ground up against your foundation, you divert the water away from the house utilizing a perforated pipe under the soil, surrounded by drain rocks that serve as a leach field. Among the most typical reasons for a dripping basement is water that soaks into the soil and moisture that seeps through basement walls and even up through the flooring. This can be prevented with an exterior french drain, which is much easier and more affordable to set up than an interior french drain. A french drain is also terrific if your yard collects a great deal of wetness, or if you see spots that tend to puddle up after rain.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a retaining wall installation, slab leak repair, or trenching cost per foot.

This article focuses on the expense to set up a french drain along the of exterior your house. We’ll go over the rate of the materials required, the amount of time that it will take to set up a french drain, and we will also tell you what you should be ready to pay if you choose to work with a local expert to do the task. Lastly, we’ll talk about licenses and/or assessments.

French Drain Expense

Exterior French Drain Cost Elements

An exterior French drain will need just a couple of materials (and a great deal of digging). The aspects listed below must be considered when getting a price for your french drain:

Linear Distance – The expense of a french drain corresponds directly to how long the drain will need to be. The length of the perimeter around your house and the distance to a drain spot will determine the number of linear feet you will have to purchase materials for.
Landscaping – When setting up an exterior french drain, you will be digging a drench a number of feet deep depending upon the depth of your structure and 1.5-2.5 feet large around the perimeter of your house. This means that you might need to consider the expense of replacing any blockages like fences, gardens, walkways, and driveways, landscaping features or shrubs, and add brand-new grass seed to cover the location once it is filled back in.

The expense of Installation Materials


French Drain SmallWhen you have actually identified the straight distance you will need to cover you can utilize the rates listed below to figure out the total expense to set up a french drain. These costs might differ based upon your location, however, it should provide you an excellent general indication of just how much you will have to spend:

$60 – $70 per 100 feet – 4″ perforated drain pipe – Drain pipe is placed in the trench on a bed of stone, at a small drain angle that diverts runoff water away from your house.
$20 per cubic foot – Drain gravel – Gravel is utilized to fill the trench below and above your drain pipeline. You’ll utilize around 2 square feet of gravel per linear foot of trench.

$20 – $25 per 100 feet – Landscape material – Landscape material is placed into the trench first and covered your drain pipeline to prevent blockage. You can also go for a perforated drain pipe that is pre-wrapped with the material, however, this will be at a greater expense. Regardless, you will need the landscape material on top of the trench too.

$5 – $10 – Plastic couplers to connect pieces of drain pipeline.
$150 – $200 dailyTrencher rental. (Optional, but very much recommended).

Licenses, Inspection, and Exterior French Drain Setup Expense

Because setting up a french drain will require substantial digging and even connecting to a city sewage drain, you might have to get a license. Consult your regional laws on drain system setup to figure out if this job will ask for authorization or an official inspection.

$50 – $200 each – Local licenses (if needed).
$0 – $75 – Before digging the trench for your french drain you will require to call 811 to have your utility lines marked so that you do not hit any underground pipelines or wires. A lot of locations within the United States will offer this service free of charge.

Installation Labor Elements

The expense to set up a french drain is mainly dependent on the amount of labor needed. You must take these elements into consideration when figuring out your total expense:

Length and depth of drain – The more you need to dig, the more time it will take and the more you’ll have to spend on labor. If you are doing the task yourself, you must think about renting a trencher to save yourself hours of time. Remember, time is the most expensive currency.
Blockages – If you have gardens, patio areas, pathways, decks, or other blockages the expense of setup will increase. The task is always the cheapest when you have a clear course to dig your trench.

Completed Setup Time

  1. 6 – 8 Hours – A basic french drain setup can be carried out in one day by a group of expert landscapers barring any issues.
  2. 1 – 2 Days – If you rent a trencher and do the job yourself, you should expect it to consume the majority of one of your weekends.
  3. 3 – 4 Days – If you are thinking of digging the whole trench on your own utilizing a shovel.

Do It Yourself or Work With a Pro

Digging and installing your own french drain system is not an extremely skill-requiring task, however, it is effort and labor extensive. If you want to do it by yourself, you will need to be familiar with how to utilize a level and stake a grade.

You’ll also have to understand how to drive a wheelbarrow and be friends with your shovel and iron rake. Renting a ditch trencher is the very best way to go if you want to do this by yourself. Getting the help of a few of your friends will also be a great idea.

  • Be ready for a couple of days of extremely labor-filled manual labor.
  • Rent a Trencher or work with a Pro to save yourself from headaches.
  • Always call 811 before starting the job.
  • Prepare a number of good friends to aid you – you’ll surely need their help
Alec Pow
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