How To Build A French Drain

Want to learn how to make a French drain? Read our guide for a step by step process on how to make a French drain yourself…

If you are considering a DIY project for your home which might include constructing an additional room in the house, overhauling the plumbing or perhaps building a French drain, you need to be able to plan the project properly to get the maximum benefit and minimum expenses.

If you are very prepared with the knowledge on how to build a French drain, then you would be able to either complete the project yourself or hire a contractor and guide him properly with all your knowledge. Further, you would benefit from knowing what a project like this should cost and what timeframe it should be completed in.

How to Build a French Drain

The French drain is by far one of the easiest solutions if you want to prevent water from logging into your basement. Unfortunately, most homeowners and contractors forget to install them when they are constructing new homes or making an addition to the home. It is not very expensive to install, since it only requires perforated PVC piping and 3/4 inch crushed stone. When you’re thinking of how to build a French drain make sure that it is installed around foundations.

How to Build a French Drain to Benefit your Home

The French drain is a very simple yet effective drainage mechanism which involves aiding groundwater to seek lower levels away from your home’s foundation by making use of the force of gravity.

It is simply defined as a network of plastic piping which surrounds your home and transports the water away from your foundation. When you have constructed the foundation and sealed it then what you need to do is, pour several inches of crushed stone encircling the outside of the foundation walls but near the base of the footings.

Make sure you pour the crushed stone properly to create a natural swale moving towards the abutting yard and the lowest finished grade around the foundation. This will ensure that the water moves away from your house.

Strengthen this system further by digging a small trench out to the yard so that it starts at the lowest finished grade location. The size of the trench should be one foot in width and should be deep enough to allow the water to drain from the foundation. It should be carried on in length until the drain gets to natural groundwater level. This will ensure that the water is actually delivered off away from the house.
Now you can complete the structure by placing a perforated 4 inch PVC or plastic pipe and connect it to the top of the crushed stone with the holes facing downwards. Make sure that the holes are placed downwards as the water tables start from the bottom up.

The idea is for the PVC pipes to funnel the water towards the trench. Now cover the pipe with more crushed stone up to 1 -2 feet high reducing the height as you get towards the end of the trench. Now backfill the foundation with a total of 2- 4 inches of topsoil and grow grass on it for a nice beautiful top.

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