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How Much Does A French Drain Cost?

Typical Range: $500 - $18,000

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French Drain Cost

French drain costs $10 to $50 per linear foot or between $500 and $10,000 in exterior and perimeter applications and $40 to $100 per linear foot or $1,000 to $18,000 for internal ones. These systems can benefit your home in a variety of ways.

A French drain is a trench filled with gravel with a perforated pipe at its center. You can install them anywhere you have issues with pooling or standing water so long as it’s in gravel, dirt or beneath concrete. You’ll hear it called a variety of names, all of which indicate where it’s located and how it’s installed. These include:

  • Weeping tile, perimeter drain, footing drain, drain tile, deep French drain and foundation drain: Laid at the level of the foundation around the exterior or interior.
  • Curtain drain: Laid at or near the surface of the soil around the outside of your house. It diverts surface water (rain and snow) rather than groundwater.
  • Trench, yard or garden drain: Typically a surface level style used in yards, driveways and gardens.

On This Page:

  1. Average Cost of French Drain
  2. French Drain Cost Per Foot
  3. Interior French Drain Cost
  4. Exterior Perimeter Weeping Tile Drain Cost
  5. Cost to Install in Yard
  6. Labor Cost
  7. Material Cost
  8. DIY vs. Hire an Installer
  9. FAQs

Average Cost of French Drain

Average Cost $5,000
High Cost $18,000
Low Cost $500

French Drain Cost Per Foot

Type Cost Per Linear Foot
Exterior Perimeter $10 - $50
Interior French $40 - $100
Curtain Drain $10 - $25
Trench or Yard Drain $30 - $90

Interior French Drain Cost

Interior basement French drains cost $40 to $100 per linear foot or $5,000 to $13,500 on average. Most basements need 100 to 150 linear feet of drain. They require more work and materials since they’ll need to go under the concrete and often need specialized membranes for drainage. Putting one in a crawlspace costs about half as much.

Cost to Install Sump Pump and French Drain

Installing a sump pump and a French drain in your basement costs $8,000 to $18,000. Alone, a sump pump costs $650 to $2,000 to install. You don’t always need both installed at the same time, but they’re often put in together.

The drain tile or perforated pipe of the French drain allows perimeter water to end up in the sump basin, set lower than the tile. The sump pump then sends it outside your home to a storm drain or to your internal sewage outlet where allowed.

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Interior Perimeter or Basement French Drain Cost

Basement French drains, also called drain tiles or perimeter drains, cost $5,000 to $9,000 on average but can reach $18,000 or more.

Crawl Space French Drainage System Cost

Installing a French drain in a crawlspace costs $1,000 to $5,600. If you have a finished crawlspace, expect to double that cost. For damp crawlspaces, consider adding crawlspace encapsulation costs.

Exterior Perimeter Weeping Tile Drain Cost

Exterior perimeter weeping tiles and French drains cost $1,000 to $10,000 or more depending on the depth you dig to and the size of your home’s footprint. A 4,000 square foot single-story ranch style may need 200 linear feet, while a three-story, 2,000 foot brick home may only need 120 linear feet or less. Perimeter drains sometimes run on both the exterior and interior of a house.

Exterior Basement Drain Costs

Type Total Average Cost
Curtain drain $1,000 - $5,000
Deep French drain $2,000 - $10,000
Surface level French drain $500 - $2,000

A few notes to remember about exterior perimeter drains.

  • International building code requires the installation of perimeter drains on all new homes where natural drainage doesn’t occur.
  • They run along the perimeter of the home at the level of the footings.
  • Easy to install during building, tough and costly after the fact.
  • They are also known as deep French drains, footing drains or weeping tile systems.

Curtain Drain Cost

Curtain drains cost $1,000 to $5,000. They’re usually 2 feet in the ground against the foundation. This perimeter style French drain slopes away from the foundation. Unlike deep drains, these divert surface water like rain and roof runoff.

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Cost to Install French Drain in Yard

French drains in yards run $10 to $35 per linear foot. They’re typically installed to drain off standing water. You might also attach them to buried downspouts or a perimeter drain to move water away from your foundation.

The material expenses include:

  • Piping: $50-$300
  • Labor: $50-$100 per hour
  • Gravel: $100-$400
  • Daily trenching equipment rental rates: $100-$200

French Drain Installation Cost

Professional landscapers charge $50 to $100 per hour. Most of your cost comes from labor, since the pipe and equipment cost little in comparison. Basement French drains require more labor, since your pro needs to demolish the concrete around the perimeter, install the drain, flashing and waterproof membrane. Then they’ll need to redo the concrete.

French Drain Pipe and Material Costs

Pipe $50 - $200
Gravel $500 - $1,000
Sump pump 150 - $300*
Dry Well $500 - $3,000*
Equipment $100 - $500

*Optional expenses

Perforated Pipe Cost

Perforated drainage piping costs $0.50 to $3 per linear foot. You’ll also need to buy a dirt cloth or a pipe with a cloth membrane on it, called a sock. The “sock” keeps small pieces of dirt out of the pipe, preventing it from clogging.

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DIY vs. Hire a French Drain Installer

You should hire a professional to install a French drain, especially those around your basement or perimeter. As with any digging, you might run into buried utility lines, sewer or drain lines. You also need to understand how water gets into your basement and how it drains away to effectively. Cutting lines or improper installation can cost you thousands in repair and replacement fees. Find a local French drain installer for quotes


How long do French drains last?

French drains last 30 to 40 years on average. But newer styles with cloth socks that keep the dirt out claim to last longer. Improper installation can shorten the lifespan.

How deep do I need to dig a French drain?

You can install a French drain anywhere from 20 inches below ground level to the level of your footings of your foundation.

Are interior French drains effective?

Interior French drains are effective if you have a way to drain off the moisture. Usually, you’ll want to combine it with a sump pump.

Still Have Questions About French Drains?
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