How Much Does a French Drain Cost- Estimate Per Foot


How much does a french drain cost? What is the average price of a basement or crawl space DIY French drain repair? In a situation whereby you are faced with a wet basement or a soggy yard, then a French drain is what you need to solve the problem. Hidden beneath the surface, typically French drains are installed in a dug trench and the purpose is to redirect from a particular structure or foundation of the home.

French drains are most of the times beneficial to prevent future damages as a result of water leakage. As regards their importance in the home, we will look into the cost of a French Drain in the course of this article.


It is a natural phenomenon for water to flow downhill and through the easiest means. That is just the concept behind the construction of a French drain. It is constructed to divert water away from the foundation of the home and it is a slightly sloped trench that is filled with gravel and pipes.

French drains are an easy channel for water to run through. The gravel filled trench will receive water and then the water flows through a perforated pipe, which is laid at the bottom of the trench. The water travels through these laid pipes and is emptied at a distance far away from the home

For you information that name does not originate from France, the French drain is actually named after Henry French, who was judge and a farmer based in Massachusetts. He promoted the idea in a book on farm drainage and it became accepted after then. It was just complementary to name the system after him.

The bottom of the trench should be sloped by 1 inch in every 8 feet and should be in the direction of flow of the water. The water can be diverted into:

  1. A drainage ditch
  2. A dry well
  3. A low lying area of the home


French drains are very important in the water system in the home to prevent clogging of the soil underneath as well crack in the foundation. French drains will be needed when:

  1. There is a problem with the water on the surface, especially on a soggy lawn or on the driveway. All that is needed to be done is simply to install a shallow French drain, which is also called a curtain drain. This kind of French drain will extend horizontally across your property. It will intercept water as it flows down the surface and diverts it around that soggy location.
  2. There is issue of water logging into the basement of the house. In this situation, what is needed is a footing drain which will run around the perimeter of the building and intercepts inflow water before it gets to your basement
  3. There is a construction of a retaining wall on the hill side. What you need to do in this situation is to include a French drain behind the first set of blocks. If this is not done, water flowing downhill will build-up just behind the wall and compromise it.


The French drain cost is calculated per linear foot. To get a professional install an outdoor French drain can cost about $10 to $30 per linear foot. The average cost can be $25 depending on the width and depth.

The total cost of a 30 to 50 feet French drain can be in the range of $300 to about $1,500. gave a report about 2 French drains that were installed in a home in Oregon for $1,475 and it was about 58’ and about $25 to $26 per foot.


Installing a French drain will require so much digging, irrespective of if it is an interior or exterior drain. The cost of filling the holes and then fixing the landscaping will be between $45 to $70 per hour as payment to a landscaper. The time duration to complete the installation can vary between 3 to 5 days depending on the landscaping required and the size of the hole.


To install a French drain in some locality may require a local approval or permit, most especially if you are considering an external drain. You can get information from your contractor as to the requirement to get this done in your area.

Also note that French drains will divert excess water into an open environment and for this reason, it will be necessary for you to get a compartment to hold up the water and allow it seep naturally into the surrounding soil. You can get an improvised well for about $50 or as much as $300 for a standard plastic model.


To install a French drain, you will need the service of a professional landscaper who is skilled with drainage issues. Although the job can as well be done by a labourer. What matter most is keeping the trenches always sloping downwards and away from the area where it could cause so much damage.

Since there are tons of landscapers in an area, it will be advisable to get several quotes before finally settling to work with one.

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