French drains are typically installed in a trench to help direct water away from the foundation. These drains are crucial in flood zones and water-heavy areas, as they can help prevent future water damage issues. There are interior and exterior French drains available, the latter of which is the least expensive option.
An interior French drain can be installed in existing homes, but it will be more labor-intensive. An exterior drain costs less because it is installed outside in a trench, so it doesn’t require access or demolition of the basement area. The only downside to an exterior drain is that it won’t help as much with water closer to the house. It will, however, handle groundwater overflow and other issues.
A French drain is usually installed on the interior of the home at the same time as a sump pump. In the basement, a hole will be dug for each. A sump pump is much shallower than the French drain, which needs a five or six-foot hole. That is why these drains are more expensive.
French drain installation: labor, sump pump, and other materials.
|Landscaping||$45-75 per hour|
|Excavation and labor costs||$35-75 per hour|
|Interior French drain||$5,500-$6,000|
|Exterior French drain||$900-$1,500|
Other considerations and costs
- To assist with better drainage, you can install an irrigation ditch or a rain garden. If there is excessive water, consider a retaining wall. This could set you back as much as $13,700.
- Permits and fees are not included. Especially in the case of an exterior drain, you need to check to see if you need to get a building permit for French drain installation.
- French drains are usually done as part of a larger basement renovation or water remediation project. You can expect to spend $3,000 to $15,000 on this type of work.
- French drains require digging into the foundation of your home or the drainage in your yard. Unless you are familiar with this type of work, it is probably not suited for a DIY project.
- You can take care of things like site prep, cleanup, and finishing or landscaping after the job has been completed. This will cut down on labor costs and the number of contractors you will need for the job.
- Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
- Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
- Literature review of DIY Web sites.