How Much Gravel For French Drain

How much does a drainage system cost?

A drainage system costs $10 to $25 per linear foot or $1,000 to $4,000 for exterior yard and landscape applications, and $40 to $85 per linear foot or $4,000 to $12,000 for a basement or interior perimeter drain. An exterior footing or drain tile installation costs $6,000 to $15,000.

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$1,000 – $4,000 shallow exterior yard drain cost

$4,000 – $15,000 exterior / interior perimeter drain tile cost

A drainage system costs $10 to $25 per linear foot or $1,000 to $4,000 for exterior yard and landscape applications, and $40 to $85 per linear foot or $4,000 to $12,000 for a basement or interior perimeter drain. An exterior footing or drain tile installation costs $6,000 to $15,000.

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Sarah Noel

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Sarah Noel
April 5, 2023
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Yard, Basement & Tile Drain Installation Cost

Drainage system cost - chart

The average cost of a drainage system in a yard is $1,000 to $4,000. An underground downspout drainage system costs $150 to $350 per downspout. A basement or interior perimeter drain tile system costs $4,000 to $12,000. Exterior weeping tile installation costs $1,500 to $4,000 per side of house.

Drainage System Cost

Type Average Cost
Curtain / Shallow French Drain $1,000 – $4,000
Exterior Drain Tile (per side of house) $1,500 – $4,000
Crawl Space Interior Drain $800 – $3,000
Basement Interior Perimeter Drain $4,000 – $12,000
Yard Drainage System $1,200 – $8,000
Underground Downspout Extensions (each) $150 – $350
Window Well Drain $1,000 – $2,500
Dry Well / Vertical French Drain $300 – $1,500
Sump Pump $500 – $1,200
Swale / Irrigation Ditch $250 – $1,000
Yard Grading $500 – $3,000
Retaining Wall $2,500 – $7,000
Rain Garden $500 – $3,000

Get free estimates from drainage contractors near you.

  • Prevents water damage, backyard flooding, basement and foundation issues, and mold and mildew.
  • Removes seepage, standing, and excess water from pooling in your basement, foundation, and yard.
  • Redirects heavy rain, stormwater, groundwater, and surface water to sewers, dry wells, and rain gardens.
  • Reduces landscape erosion, and stops water damage to your foundation, patio, basement, crawl space, driveway, and sidewalk.
  • A professionally installed drain lasts 30 to 40 years with proper maintenance.

Average Cost of Drainage System Work

Each drainage system type solves different water problems. French drains remove water from around a home’s foundation or wet basement floor. A trench drain is used for driveways, and yard drainage systems works best for standing water in the lawn.

Yard & french drain cost per linear foot - chart

Yard Drain Cost Per Foot

Type Cost Per Linear Foot
Shallow French Drain / Curtain Drain $10 – $30
Exterior French Drain $10 – $35
Interior Perimeter Drain $40 – $85
Trench or Channel Drain $30 – $150
Yard Drainage System $8 – $15
Catch Basin / Storm Drain $8 – $15
Underground Downspouts $15 – $35
Swale / Irrigation Ditch $5 – $15

Get free quotes from drainage contractors

French Drain Cost

Exterior French drain installation costs $10 to $35 per linear foot or $1,000 to $4,000 for around the house, yard, and curtain drain systems. Interior perimeter French drains cost $40 to $85 per linear foot or $4,000 to $15,000 for crawl space and basement drain systems.

French drain cost per foot - chart

French drain cost

Type Cost per linear foot (LF) Average total cost
Surface-level French drain in yard $10 – $30 $500 – $5,300
Curtain drain / shallow French drain $10 – $35 $1,500 – $8,800
Exterior French drain / weeping tile around house (per side of house) $30 – $90 $1,200 – $4,500
Interior perimeter French drain for basement $40 – $85 $4,000 – $17,000
Interior French drain for crawl space $20 – $40 $2,000 – $8,000
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A French drain is a sloped trench filled with gravel and a perforated pipe that removes water away from the home using gravity or a sump pump.

Up close French drain laid in trench with gravel

  • Shallow French drains or curtain drains divert exterior surface water from around a house.
  • Interior perimeter French drains around a basement floor catch water that seeps inside and channel it to a sump pump or drain line.
  • Deep footing or weeping tile drains run around the perimeter of a house and stop groundwater from entering the basement.

Cost To Install Trench or Channel Drain

The average cost to install a trench drain is $30 to $150 per linear foot, depending on the grate and channel material (plastic, metal, or concrete). Trench drains are set into driveways, patios, concrete slabs, or between pavers with a flush grate surface that catches water in a channel.

Cost to install trench or channel drain - chart

Driveway Trench or Channel Drain Cost

The average cost to install a driveway trench or channel drain is $400 to $2,400, depending on the size, width of the channel (4" to 8"), and the grate material (plastic, metal, fiberglass, or concrete). Driveway trench drains or floor drains prevent water from pooling or accessing the garage.

Cost To Install Driveway Drain

Material Average Cost
1-Car (10′ – 12′ Width) $400 – $1,200
2-Car (20′ – 24′ Width) $800 – $2,400
1-Side (18′ – 30′ Length) $700 – $3,000

Channel / trench drain installed next to driveway

Sub-Surface Yard Drainage System Cost

The average cost to install a drainage system in yard is $8 to $15 per linear foot or between $1,200 and $8,000, depending on the lawn size. A sub-surface system of yard drainage pipes are connected to drop inlets or catch basins where water runoff is distributed by emitters.

Sub-Surface Yard Drainage System Installation

The surface is then graded to drain to the nearest drop inlet. Costs depend on the length of the run, pipe material, and number of inlets. Prices increase for working around obstacles such as root or sprinkler systems, swimming pool pipes, and utility lines. The water can be piped into a dry well or the municipal system.

Catch Basin & Storm Drain Installation Cost

Storm drain installation costs $8 to $15 per square foot for a system of catch basins connected to underground stormwater pipes. Plastic catch basins cost $20 to $130 each for the materials, with sizes up to 24" x 24". Pre-cast or cast-in-place concrete drain boxes are significantly more expensive.

Catch basin installed under gutter downspout

Catch basins or backyard storm sewers are similar to inlets, but the basins are larger. The drain box’s grate collects stormwater and filters debris before the water flows into drainage pipes. The grate is easily removable for regular cleaning.

Gutter & Downspout Drainage System Cost

An underground downspout drainage system costs $150 to $350 per downspout to install, which includes a catch basin, downspout extension, trenching, drain pipe, and bubbler system. Downspout extensions alone cost $5 to $25 each for gutter drainage, depending on the length.

Downspout Drainage System Cost

System Average Cost
Downspout Extension $5 – $25
Rain Barrel Kit $80 – $200
Bury Downspout Underground $150 – $350
Install Dry Well $300 – $1,500

Underground downspout drainage system installation

A gutter drainage system ensures the downspouts are 10’+ away from the property to prevent damage. Water is either directed above ground through a downspout extension or by burying a downspout underground and connecting to drain piping that leads to a bubbler system or dry well.

  • A bubbler system costs $30 to $85 to add, and it’s attached to shallow drain piping that’s connected to the gutter downspout. The water flows out through a “bubbling” pop-up vent away from the home.
  • Using one or more connected rain barrels attached to gutter downspouts is an affordable drainage solution at $80 to $200 each.
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Dry Well or Vertical French Drain Cost

A dry well costs $50 to $700 to install most gravel or plastic tank types, or up to $3,000 for a concrete model. A dry well is an underground drainage tank that collects storm water runoff and allows it to slowly replenish the water table.

Dry well / vertical French drain cost - chart

Dry Well or Vertical French Drain Cost

Type Average Cost
Gravel / Loose Stone $50 – $250
Prefabricated Plastic Tank $200 – $700
Concrete Tank $500 – $3,000+

Multiple dry wells may be installed in a large yard with extensive drainage problems or standing water. Dry wells work best in sandy soils that drain well and in areas with a low water table.

Excavated hole and dry well with top intel ready to be installed

Vertical French Drain Cost

A vertical French drain costs $50 to $250 to install, depending on the size, gravel type, and soil conditions. A vertical French drain or seepage pit is a deep hole filled with gravel that collects storm water runoff. This gravel pit releases water into the soil faster than dry wells.

Both vertical French drains and dry wells make good exit points for basement sump pump systems, backyard drainage systems, and downspout and gutter drainage systems.

Cost To Install Window Well Drain

The average cost to install a window well drain is $1,000 to $2,500, depending on the foundation type, size, materials, and grading. A complete basement egress window and well system costs $2,500 to $6,500 on average, depending on if it’s prefabricated or custom-built.

Window well drain installation diagram

Window well drains are a gravel filled base, typically with a grate and vertical pipe leading to existing drainage system. Window wells protect sub-grade egress windows and prevent foundation and basement water damage.

Landscape Drainage Cost

There are various types of above ground and landscape drain installation systems used for surface water problems.

Landscape Drainage Cost

System Average Cost
Yard Grading $500 – $3,000
Rain Garden $500 – $3,000
Drainage Swale $5 – $15 per linear foot
Retaining Wall $15 – $40 per square foot

Consult with landscape drainage contractors near you.

Drainage Swale Cost

A drainage swale costs $0.50 to $1.00 per square foot or $5 to $15 per linear foot, depending on the size, depth, and grading required. A swale or irrigation ditch slows and controls the flow of storm water runoff by grading a sloped channel into the lawn. The surface may be grass, vegetation, or crushed stone.

Yard Grading

Regrading and resloping a yard costs $500 to $5,000 on average, depending on the lawn size, soil quality, topography, and re-sodding. Regrading uses heavy machinery to change the direction of water flow permanently and helps with saturated sub-soils and landslides.

Rain Garden

A rain garden costs $5 to $15 per square foot or between $500 and $3,000, depending on the soil conditions, and the density and types of plants. Rain gardens are placed at the end of a French drain to help promote drainage and manage water runoff.

A rainwater collection system costs $200 to $2,500 for a barrel system and $2,000 to $12,000 for a cistern system.

Retaining Wall

Building a retaining wall costs $40 to $300 per linear foot, depending on the materials, excavation, drainage outlets, and if steps are added. Retaining walls control and slow the flow of water runoff, prevent slopes from eroding, and are commonly used with shallow French drains.

Drainage system costs by type

Drainage systems are typically installed near house foundations with only gravel covering the drain. Drains are placed in the basement, crawl space, or exterior of the home and are either deep or shallow, which drastically affects the cost.

  • Backyard drains more than 10 feet away from the house may have sod or soil above the gravel, with a proper soil separator around the trench to keep dirt out of the drain.
  • Professionals recommend installing a sump pump with most French drain systems to pump water out more efficiently.
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Interior Perimeter Drain Cost

An interior drain tile system costs $40 to $85 per linear foot to install on average. Interior perimeter drains cost $2,000 to $10,000 on average, to help protect a basement or crawl space from water damage.

Interior perimeter drain cost - chart

Interior Perimeter Drain Cost

Type Average Cost
Crawl Space $800 – $3,000
Basement Perimeter $4,000 – $12,000

Basement Drain Tile Cost

Drain tile installation costs $4,000 to $12,000 or $40 to $85 per linear foot, depending on the size of the basement’s perimeter and number of sump pumps. A full-perimeter drain tile system is not always necessary.

Drain tile cost - chart

Basement Drain Tile System Cost

Basement Perimeter Sump Pumps Average Cost
100′ 1 $4,000 – $8,500
125′ 2 $5,000 – $9,500
150′ 2 $6,000 – $10,500
175′ 2 $7,000 – $11,500
200′ 2 $8,000 – $12,000

A drain tile system is a perforated pipe embedded in gravel alongside the foundation footings. An interior French drain or interior footing drain catches water that seeps in and channels it to a sump pump that directs water away from the foundation or into a drain line.

Cost to install drainage system in crawl space

The average cost to install a drainage system in a crawl space is $800 to $3,000, which includes trenching, gravel, drainage pipe, and a sump pump. A drain in a crawl space prevents moisture, preserves the home’s structural strength, and improves indoor-air quality.

Drains require an existing backyard drainage system to direct the water out of the crawl space. Extra costs apply to install the backyard piping that connects to the drain.

Interior French Drain Installed In Crawl Space

After installing a drainage solution, consider crawl space encapsulation to further block out moisture, mold and pests. Crawl space encapsulation costs $3,000 to $8,000 on average or $3 to $7 per square foot.

Exterior Backyard Drainage System Cost

An exterior drain to divert backyard surface water costs $1,000 to $4,000, while a deep weeping tile or footing drain tile to block and redirect groundwater costs $6,000 to $15,000.

Exterior backyard drainage system cost - chart

Exterior Backyard Drainage System Cost

Type Average Cost
Curtain Drain $1,000 – $4,000
Perimeter / Weeping Drain Tile $6,000 – $15,000

Curtain Drain Cost

Curtain drains cost $10 to $25 per linear foot or from $1,000 to $4,000 for installation, depending on the number of collection boxes, length of run, and if tunneling under sidewalks or other obstacles is required.

Drainage Contractor Digging Trench and Installing French Drain

A curtain drain is a 2′ wide shallow exterior French drain dug horizontally in front or around a house to divert surface water. Curtain drains prevent water pooling in the yard or near the home and can be connected to a larger backyard drainage system.

Exterior Weeping Drain Tile Installation Cost

Exterior weeping drain tile installation costs $1,500 to $4,000 per side of the house or between $6,000 and $15,000. Exterior drain tile or footing drain costs depend on the excavation depth, foundation repairs, waterproofing, and removing or working around landscaping, decks, patios, or sidewalks.

Exterior weeping tile drain system

An exterior footing drain requires excavating 4 to 6+ feet down to the footings and exposing the foundation walls. A waterproofing coating or membrane is applied to the foundation walls. Then, an exterior French drain with perforated PVC pipe is installed next to the foundation footing, and the excavation is filled with drainage gravel.

Sloped lots rely on gravity to move the drainage to an exit point or storm drain. Otherwise, a sump pump is required to pump the water away from the foundation.

Exterior drain tiles are more expensive than interior drain tiles, but the large excavation and waterproofing barrier prevents water from entering the basement or crawl space completely.

Basement waterproofing costs $3 to $9 per square foot more to seal the foundation permanently.