How Much Does a French Drain Cost in 2024?

The cost of a French drain depends on your needs, but on average, prices range from $2,800 to $6,500 for professional installation.

The cost of a French drain depends on your needs, but on average, prices range from $2,800 to $6,500 for professional installation. Depending on several factors we’ll cover in this guide, you might spend as little as $500 or as much as $18,000

What is a French Drain? A French drain, also known as a curtain drain or perimeter drain, collects excess water using a trench filled with gravel and a perforated pipe. It leads the water away from your house, preventing mold and water damage. Let’s see what drives the pricing for a professional French drain installation.

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Average French drain costs in 2024

National average cost$5,000
Typical price range$2,800 – $6,500
Extreme low end cost$500
Extreme high end cost$18,000

Depending on the placement and length of the PVC pipe, you can expect to pay between $2,800 and $6,500 for a French drain. The national average cost of a French drain, across projects of all sizes, is $5,000

French drain cost by type and size

There are two types of French drains you can choose to install on your property: 

  • Interior French drain: installed inside your home; costs $40 to $100 per linear foot
  • Exterior French drain: installed on your lawn; costs $10 to $75 per linear foot

Interior French drains are meant for waterproofing the basement or draining your crawl space. They cost more because contractors must tear out the basement floor (most often made of concrete), install the drain, and then repair it. 

Pipe length of interior drainAverage overall cost 
100 linear feet$4,000 – $10,000
200 linear feet$8,000 – $20,000
300 linear feet$12,000 – $30,000

An exterior French drain is less labor-intensive to install than an interior drain, so projects tend to go quicker and cost less. 

Pipe length of exterior drainAverage overall cost
100 linear feet$1,000 – $7,500
200 linear feet$2,000 – $15,000
300 linear feet$3,000 – $22,500

Other factors that affect cost

Besides the type and size of French drain, the following factors can also affect installation costs:

Soil type

Depending on the type of soil you have on your property, the cost of installing a French drain can vary. For example, if your contractor has to dig through rocky soil, heavy clay, or any other difficult material, the project will take longer, and you’ll pay more in labor costs.

On the other hand, if you have softer or looser soil, the cost will most likely decrease, as the time and labor needed will also decrease. 

Sump pump

Installing a sump pump with your French drain will cost about $625 to $2,625 extra. For interior French drains and basement waterproofing, they are absolutely necessary. If you don’t install a sump pump, you may begin to experience drainage problems, water flow issues, and clogs. 

Landscape repair

To install a French drain on your property, you will need to dig up part of your lawn, creating the need for landscape repairs once the drain is installed. Landscape repair can include things like adding topsoil or laying new sod to replace damaged grass. Here are some costs associated with landscape repair:

Repair typeTypical cost
Adding topsoil$11 – $53 per cubic yard
Laying sod$0.90 – $1.80 per square foot
Seeding new grass$0.10 – $0.19 per square foot

Installing a French drain is one option for dealing with excess water in your yard, but here are some other landscaping services and projects that can help. 

Lawn dethatching

If your lawn has water problems, it might be time to check the thatch layer. When thicker than 1/2 inch, thatch keeps water from soaking into the soil, so it starts pooling. Lawn dethatching costs about $160 to $225 for a medium-size yard, and it can solve this problem.

Lawn aeration

Compacted soil also hinders surface water absorption and causes standing water. Use aeration to loosen the soil so water can drain properly. You’ll typically pay a lawn aeration cost of $75 to $225 for a medium-size yard.

Land grading

Consider land grading or re-sloping as another option to improve drainage if installing a French drain, aerating, and dethatching don’t do the trick. Keep in mind that this is one of the most intrusive and expensive methods of dealing with standing water. Land grading costs $800 to $4,000 most of the time, depending on how much work your yard needs. 

We only recommend land grading if:

  • You’re already considering extensive landscape renovation
  • Severe water drainage problems endanger your home’s foundation
  • Your lawn is constantly flooded 

Dry well installation

Typically, dry well installation costs from $1,350 to $4,255. A dry well is a vertical pit that receives and stores excess water collected by a sump pump, gutters, and French drains. The well gives water time to infiltrate the soil toward the groundwater layer slowly and keeps it from flooding the yard.

Pond installation

Another way to catch drained water is by adding a pond with water-loving plants to your landscape design. Just install it at a low spot in the yard, where water will drain into it. Pond installation costs between $1,900 and $6,500.

Retaining wall price

Sloped yards with water problems often face issues with soil erosion. You can stabilize the topsoil by installing retaining walls where needed. The average cost of a retaining wall is $3,600 to $9,500.

Pro cost vs. DIY cost

Installing a French drain or footing drain can appear incredibly simple. Still, technical details and costs advise more towards a professional setup. Keep in mind that a faulty drainage system can do a lot of harm to your property. 

That being said, if you really want to try a DIY French drain installation, here are the tools and materials you’ll need and their associated costs. The total cost given here is for a 25-linear-foot French drain with one catch basin.

DIY equipmentAverage cost
Renting a sod cutter for a day (or use a shovel)$110 
Tape measure$10
Marking flags – 100 pieces (or use spray paint or stakes)$13.50
Trencher rental for 4 hours$60
Level (to measure pipe angle)$20
Wheelbarrow (to carry dirt after digging)$140
4 to 6 oz. non-woven drainage landscape fabric $59
1 ½ cubic feet of pea gravel $38
4-inch PVC pipe $30
Catch basin$47
Total DIY cost (Project size: 25 feet long, 10 inches wide, 18 inches deep)$528 or $21.12 per linear foot

A professional French drain installation costs around $10 to $75 per linear foot. As you can see, with a DIY cost of $21.12 per linear foot, you might actually spend more doing this on your own. 

More than that, you might expose the property to damage by:

  • Trenching on utility lines or water pipes
  • Mistaking the pipe tilt and causing the water to flow in the wrong direction 
  • Choosing the wrong gravel and causing clogs 
  • Skimping on landscape fabric or choosing the wrong type, which leads to pipe clogging
  • Getting the water away from the house but into your neighbor’s yard

Because standing water can seriously damage your yard and house, we recommend leaving drainage system installation to professionals who can guarantee the best results.

Cost of a French drain by location

There aren’t any huge differences in cost by location for a French drain. However, you can expect to pay more in areas of the country with a higher cost of living (cities like New York, San Francisco, Seattle, etc.) than in areas of the country with a lower cost of living. 


How long does a French drain last?

On average, French drain pipes will last you 30 to 40 years if installed properly.

Does homeowners insurance cover French drains?

Most Homeowners insurance does not cover French drains. However, there are special provisions to cover French drains that you can add to your existing policy, so be sure to check with your insurance provider. 

How deep do I need to dig for a French drain?

When installing a French drain, be sure to dig at least two feet below ground level for proper drainage. This will help solve any drainage problems during days of heavy rain. You can also choose to go for the curtain drain option, which is only 9 to 12 inches deep and suitable for sloped yards.

Final thoughts 

Depending on the placement and length of the pipe, the cost of a French drain will range from $2,800 to $6,500. There are also a variety of factors that will affect the overall cost of a French drain, from the soil content to landscape repairs.

By hiring a trusted landscaper to install a French drain, you can expect to have your lawn and your property protected against water damage for years to come. 

Sinziana Spiridon contributed to this article.  

Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.

Main Photo By: Robin Stott – Geograph – CC BY-SA 2.0

Sashank Sankar