How Much Does a French Drain Cost?
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A French drain, invented by a Concord, Massachusetts farmer named Henry French, is a technique of discharging water from low lying areas to prevent it from penetrating into building foundations. Without the proper drainage system, there can be significant water damage to the structure of the building, which can eventually cause the building to falter or even collapse. A French drain, which is also known as weeping tile or drain tile, is one of the many types of drains that can be installed under buildings. A French drain can also be used to distribute septic drain field or installed behind retaining walls to discharge ground water pressure.
Installing a French drain is cost-effective compared to your other options, and it requires low maintenance. However, it is prone to clogging because fine sediment can get into the rock and pipe over time, minimizing the drain’s ability. There are pros and cons of having a French drain installed, but you will also need to consider the cost.
How much does it cost?
- On average, depending on the type, the costs of a French drain can vary anywhere from as little as $10 to as much as $30 per foot.
- Thealternativepress.com provides the following average prices of French Drain from A-1 Basement Solutions:
- 100 foot perimeter basement (25’x25’) = $ 6,000 including 1 Sump Pump
- 130 foot perimeter basement (30’x35’) = $ 7,000 including 2 Sump Pumps
- 150 foot perimeter basement (40’x35’) = $ 8,000 including 2 Sump Pumps
- 180 foot perimeter basement (40’x45’) = $ 9,000 including 2 Sump Pumps
- 200 foot perimeter basement (50’x50’) = $ 10,000 including 2 Sump Pumps
- Houselogic.com provides the following prices of French Drain:
- Shallow French drains costs $ 10 to $16 per linear foot.
- A Deep French drain, however, costs $12,000 for a 1,500-square foot basement 6 feet deep, and $4,000 for a crawl space with footings 2 feet deep.
What is going to be included?
- The installation is commonly made underneath the basement floor on the inner perimeter of the basement. It excavates a deep channel, relieves the water pressure from the footing location, and bonds the drain to the house with a Polydrain wallboard.
- In essence, a french drain is filled with gravel and sand is thrown on top of it. After the drain has been installed, turf or grass can be placed on top of it.
- A good brand of French drain will include a transferable lifetime guarantee. This means that if you move into a new house and the previous owner had a French drain, the warranty he received would be transferred to you as the new homeowner.
- The installation cost includes preparatory work, moving the clients’ things and covering them with plastic, and spreading tarps across the floor.
- Clean-up work, including the removal of the plastic and debris from the clients’ property.
- Treatment of the basement with an anti-microbial agent will be done in order to properly clean and disinfect the area.
- Sealing of any cracks on the floor and walls must be completed to avoid leaks and loss of heat.
What are the extra costs?
- It is recommended that you integrate a French drain behind the first course of stones when building a retaining wall on a hillside to prevent water accumulation behind the wall. For this, you need to pay for gravel and the piping.
- You may also add an interior French drain to eliminate water where it comes in, and this may cost you around $3,000.
- After the drain has been installed, sod or turf will have to be laid out. Hiring a contractor or doing it yourself can incur additional expenses.
- Some cities will require that you pull permits if installing one. Be sure to check with your local government office to get more information.
Factors that influence the price:
- The cost of a French drain depends largely on the condition of the soil, the length of the drain, as well as on the depth and width of the trench. These factors will be determined by the size of the building.
- The cost of a shallow channel French Drain is different from that of a deep channel system.
Tips to know:
- The cost of French Drain is determined by linear feet round the boundary of the basement.
- A shallow French drain is suitable in areas where surface water is always soggy or keeps rushing across it.
- A shallow drain is usually two feet deep and 1.5 feet across.
- A deep French drain runs around the perimeter of the house at the footing level.
Questions to ask
- What are the advantages of a French drain over other types of system?
- Are there any alternative to a French drain?
How can I save money?
- Since the cost of French drain installation varies, be sure to secure multiple estimates from different contractors and compare their prices. Don’t know where to get an estimate? Consider getting multiple quotes for free from free services such as HomeAdvisor.com.
- Check the contractor’s insurance and license information to ensure that you get what you pay for.