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DIY- Making a French Drain



If you have issues with standing water in your yard or wet, flooded areas near your home's foundation, a French drain may be the solution. French drains are landscape drainage systems that use gravel, pipe, and often landscaping fabric to divert water away from problem spots. Making one yourself can save money compared to hiring a landscaping company. This DIY guide will walk you through the entire French drain installation process step-by-step.


Planning Your French Drain


The first step is planning. Make sure you have a downhill slope or area of lower elevation where the water can drain away from the house. Check for buried electric, cable, or plumbing lines where you’ll be digging. And determine the necessary length, width, and depth for the drain - typically a minimum of 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Mark out the location with spray paint.


Assembling Your Materials


For materials, you’ll need perforated plastic piping, gravel or crushed stone, landscape fabric/weed barrier, a tamper or compactor, shovel, measuring tape, level, and more. Make sure to use the proper grade of gravel that won’t be carried away by flowing water, we recommend #4 or #57 Stone.


Installation Tips


Dig the trench to the proper width and depth. Line it with landscape fabric to prevent dirt from washing in. Partially fill the trench with gravel, install the perforated piping in the center, then finish filling with gravel. Ensure you maintain the necessary 1% downhill slope for proper drainage.


For a professionally finished look, cover with additional landscape fabric, then decorative stone and pipes to create a dry creek bed that hides the drain system underneath. Your French drain will now keep water diverted away from the house for years to come!


See video for details:



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