How to Install French Drains

how to install french drains

There are many steps to installing French Drains. You should know the cost, permit requirements, slop of your property, and location of the drainage system. Follow the steps below for a successful installation. Eventually, your basement will be free of water problems when heavy rains come. And when you are finished, your yard will look great! You can even add French Drains to your garden. And you don’t even have to be an engineer to install them.

Cost to install

There are several different types of French drains, each with a different cost and installation method. The type of French drain you choose will depend on its materials and effectiveness. The simplest type involves burying a perforated pipe in a trench and backfilling it with clay soil. No rock or fabric is used in this method. The more sophisticated, deep-rooted type includes a perforated pipe that can divert both surface and groundwater.

The cost of trenching for a French drain will vary from $0 to $75 per linear foot. Trenching for a French drain requires marking utility lines, which most areas of the US offer for free. Trenching requires more time and labor, depending on the depth and length of the drain. Any obstructions in the trench will increase the cost, so be sure to have a clear path. French drain installation requires a permit.

Permits required

Before you can install French drains on your property, you need to check the local regulations. Although state regulations may apply to the installation of French drains, your county and city may have their own rules and regulations. In the case of Oklahoma, there are certain factors that can affect the codes of local governments. In Choctaw, Oklahoma, for instance, a permit is required before you can install a French drain.

Before installing a French drain on your property, you may need to obtain multiple permits. Some jurisdictions require an inspector to sign off on the work. This inspector might be paid for by the community, but the fee could be as high as $250. Make sure you have the right permits and get multiple estimates. Once you have gathered estimates from several contractors, you can then make an informed decision about which contractor will be the best fit for your home.


The best place to install a French drain depends on the slope of the land, problem areas, and soil conditions. You can read more about the best location by following these tips. The best soil type for a French drain is sandy. Consult an installer before installing one in your yard. If you have trouble determining the slope, read the design tips below to get started. Once you have selected the right slope, it is time to plan the siting of your French drain.

The slope of a French drain is often a concern for homeowners. The slope of a French drain should be approximately 1% to 2 percent. This is a better design than a subsurface installation. This type of drain is more difficult to install because digging disturbs the natural flow of water. Additionally, perforated pipe and weeping tile are prone to clogging. If there are utilities underground, you may want to consider other methods before installing a French drain.


The best way to determine the best location for a French drain is to draw a plan of the proposed pipe route. A good plan will incorporate the guidelines discussed so far and show how the pipe will flow throughout the area. This plan should be illustrated on a scaled drawing that includes the proposed route, cross section details, and target elevations for the perforated pipe inverts along the proposed route. Once the plan has been completed, it is important to contact local utilities to mark any buried pipes and cables.

A French drain is typically installed behind a house, usually along a slope. Its main purpose is to direct excess water runoff from a house or building into a wet area, such as a lawn area. This can include a wet area along property lines. In any case, the goal is to divert water away from an area that may become soggy. If you don’t plan to use this system, you’ll likely end up with an expensive and unpleasant surprise.