How Much Does It Cost To Put In A French Drain?

An essential part of any home waterproofing plan is a working French drain. This simple system collects water as it falls to the foot of your foundation and directs it to a storm drain or sump pump. If your home needs a system put in, or you need to replace the existing one, you may wonder about the price of a French drain installation. 

It varies based on many factors, but you may be able to ballpark it at between $2,000 and $6,000. Here’s what goes into making the final cost.


What Work Is Involved In Putting In A French Drain?

For most French drain installation jobs, there’s more work than just digging a hole and putting some piping down. We must clear the area where the French drain will be added – usually the entire French Drainpipes houseperimeter of the home. This means removing all gardens, porches, steps, and anything else that gets in the way of the excavation work. We then dig out the perimeter of the building, with the excavated dirt heaped around.

The drain will be laid in a bed of stone along the bottom, with a backfill of recycled 1-inch round stone put on top to allow for drainage without clogging the weeping tiles. The excavated soil will be backfilled on top, with a new layer of sod covering the digging.

This is what goes into a typical French drain project, but not all homes are the same. Many factors can make the final bill more or less expensive.


How Much Is A French Drain Installation, And The Factors That Determine The Price

The material for French drains – a perforated pipe called weeping tile, along with the crushed round stone that goes above and below it – averages about $20 to $30 per linear foot for exterior installations

The main factor is tough to quantify because what you pay for the work of installing your French drain can depend on many factors. These include:


  • Where the French drain is being installed (around your foundation vs. in another part of your landscaping)
  • The time it takes to complete the work
  • Your home’s distance from a sewer or other outlet
  • The soil type surrounding your foundation
  • The state of your concrete foundation
  • Ease of access for excavation
  • The location of the home (town vs. country)


French DrainWhile homeowners primarily use French drains around the perimeter of their foundation, they are valuable in many different parts of the property. If you have low-lying areas on your lawn or are having drainage issues around your pool, driveway, or patio, French drains can be very useful. These projects are lower in cost because they take less time, require less excavation work, and use fewer materials.

If your home lacks a French drain, it may lack a sump pump, too. The sump pump is a device installed in the lowest part of your foundation. If too much water accumulates in the pit, the sump pump will kick on and discharge the water out of a pipe and away from your foundation and basement. Adding a sump pump will add to the final cost, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run!