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How to Install a French Drain in 10 Easy Steps

French Drain in 10 Easy Steps

Drainage problems in your basement or yard can lead to pooling, mold, or water damage in or around the home. Luckily, you can keep these problems away by installing a French drain. When it comes to process, a French Drain installation is recalled as a trench filled with a perforated pipe and gravel that allows water to drain naturally from your yard. Depending on the size of your space or yard and the scale of your drainage issue, you can purchase pipes and equipment to create a French drain yourself.

In this context, let’s look at the finest steps to seek French Drain Installation services with ease.

Check out the Safety Inside the Underground Region

The most important thing to do while looking to install a French drain is to look for the underground situation. Ensure you know where all the cables and pipes installations are. If you don’t do it, you might damage them if you start digging in the wrong spot. Then, you must ensure that you have a free area to develop the drain. Also, ensure that you seek the help of Professional French Drain installers that can help you with their experience.

Remember that the drainage route should be 1 meter away from any fence or wall per the standard directions. Try to get around posts, tree roots, or other shrubs. Think about the water level and what amount you are expecting, its source, and whether the source might be hazardous or contaminated.

Check Runoff of Zoning Issues

Some top cities control what you can dig or build on your property. Before pondering how to install a French drain, connecting with a city or country, French Drain basement solutions providers would be better. It may be time-consuming and nerve-consuming, but remember to stay patient and active every time. It is good to get along with the French Drain companies, so keep that in mind. 

Another thing to keep in check is the neighbors and how they are seeking French Drain installation services. Check if the French Drain you are installing isn’t making any problems to the neighbors regarding groundwater fallout. If you run the excess water on your neighbor’s space or land, they might not welcome this idea and may go legal with you, so you should be careful with that. Ideally, you should install the French Drain System on the part of the land that is not used for a long time. It should be found away from the spaces or buildings and set into sandy oil so the water can go quickly through it. 

Find A Slope

For proper functioning, the French Drain system has to be built on the downhill sloped side. This means that the water will run or drain away from the problematic region in accordance with the science of gravity. If there is no natural slope somewhere, you can even create one. As you dig the trench area, you can go deeper and deeper somewhere. Ideally, you should have one inch for every 10 feet of drain run. 

 If you are not sure about the pitch of the drain, then you can ask a professional French Drain Installer to help you with this approach. It’s something you can do yourself, but it would be better to know the correct placement and dimensions accordingly. Use special paint for landscaping to mark the trench inception line you want accordingly. Then add a couple of stakes, some string, as well as a string level in order to set the incline of the trench. 

Get The Right Materials and Tools

The list of tools and materials is not long when you set up a French Drain system, but it’s better to take care of it with expert consultation. Here is the list of tools and options you need when planning on French Drain installation: 

  • Tools – besides the basic construction tools list, a digging hoe or a spade is necessary if you do it manually. You can rent a backhoe operator if you don’t want that. Choose the right size for your French Drain system, and remember that most walk-behind trenchers have a size equivalent to a 4-6 inches wide trench.
  • Drainage Gravel – the washed drainage gravel options should be chosen according to the French Drain size you require. You can find online gravel calculators, an essential part of the guide on installing a French drain. They help you calibrate how much gravel you need, depending on the depth and width of your future trench.
  • Perforated Plastic Drain – Choose the correct diameter, which depends on how large your drainage flaw and the trench are. There are flexible or rigid drain pipes to maintain the same. The rigid options in this are indeed more expensive, but you can unclog them quickly and sturdier. Again, pay attention to the size and seek help from the experts if you cannot find the answer.
  • Water-permeable Fabric – the landscape fabric helps keep the drain pipe clean and up-to-date. At the same time, it keeps away from clogging it by keeping soil, roots, or silt at bay. ADS perforated pipes also come together with a fabric “sock” around them. 

Dig the Trench

Perhaps the easiest step in all the guides on installing a French drain is digging the actual trench. However, it requires quite some work, so if you can get another person to help you, go for it. You should set the size of the trench depending on how severe your drainage condition is, as well as the size of the digging devices. Usually, a French Drain often measures 6 inches in width and 18 to 24 inches in depth.

If you choose to say YES to a trenching tool, then you can easily dig wider trenches with ease. Despite this condition, you will have to pay more since you have to rent it and buy extra driveway gravel to fill the oversized trench. Moreover, such a tool can be dangerous if you don’t know how to use it ideally. If you still want to use the one, it’s better to ask for professional help or use a hoe. The same resume to backhoe since they require more cash, but it can be pretty helpful.

Place The Landscape Fabric

When the trench is fully ready, use the water-permeable landscape fabric to line it. On either side of the French Drain installation system, you should leave 10 inches of space in excess. The material is going to be pulled down when you fill it with rocks, but you can always trim it at a later time. Make sure there is enough fabric to be folded over the drain rock. As such, it won’t contaminate or plug the pipe.

Add The Gravel

The next step in our simple guide on installing a French drain is to use a shovel to add 2-3 inches of gravel to the bottom. Place the gravel over the landscaping fabric all along the bottom.

Place The Pipe

Put the perforated pipe into the trench over the driveway gravel. Check the drain loopholes and often face down so that you will have the best drainage.

Cover The Pipe

Use the shovel and place some more gravel over the pipe. The ideal space between the top of the trench and the gravel should be 3-5 inches (7.6 to 12.7 cm). Unpin the excess fabric you left on the sides of the trench, and then fold it over the gravel. Thus, you will ensure no debris will enter the drain, but the water will still go through.

Fill The Trench

Put the displaced land soil back into the rest of the trench selected for setting the French Drain system. You can choose how you ideally want to finish the whole job. One option when you consider installing a French drain and exhausting it is to place sod on top. Reseed it with grass or cover it up with some decorative stones somewhere. Some individuals often choose to include a curve in their drain pipe, so it will have a more sophisticated look when you’re done. Sometimes, the final touch perfectly matches the drip irrigation systems in the yard.


Now that you have ten easy steps to follow, installing a French drain alone shouldn’t be that hard. Preparing and planning make everything seem easier, so gather everything you need beforehand. Remember the most important things: don’t install the pipe too close to a building, and ensure that you are authorized to do it. When in doubt, always ask the help of a French Drain Installer. If you are looking to seek services from them at the most reputed rates, never miss connecting to Attic Pros official websites. When it comes to work, our experts work on securing your attic space with the best construction services.

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