French Drains Costs

What is the cost of french drain installation?

The cost of french drain installation is $21.80 per linear foot (exterior drain).*

2018 French Drain Installation Guide

By Johnny Flynn

ProMatcher’s French Drain Cost Report is designed to help you learn about the cost of installing a french drain. Use this guide to get pricing information about french drain installation and replacement. You will see that installation costs may vary significantly from city to city. Use our free matching service to request free price quotes from local cleaning companies.

What is a French Drain?

A french drain (which may also be called a curtain drain, perimeter drain, or a footing drain) helps to direct water from your home's foundation. This helps to keep your basement dry, while protecting the structural integrity of your home. In many cases, an exterior french drain is just a sloped, gravel-filled trench with a PVC pipe that helps to move water in the right direction. Installing an interior french drain is a little bit more complicated. The drainage system is usually installed underneath the basement floors and a sump pump helps to move the water out of your home.

You may need to put in a french drain if:
  • You have a wet basement or a basement that floods frequently
  • You have a "soggy yard" or water pools on parts of your lawn when it rains
  • You usually have standing water on your driveway during a rainstorm

How Much Does a French Drain Cost?

On average, it costs about $20.79 to $22.80 per linear foot install an exterior french drain. This typically covers the cost of labor, materials, and equipment rental fees. However, the cost may vary based on a number of different factors including the length of the drain pipe and the unique site conditions.

Average Cost to Install a French Drain
Charlotte, NC$18.55 - $20.32 per linear foot
Chicago, IL$23.26 - $25.48 per linear foot
Columbus, OH$18.31 - $20.06 per linear foot
Houston, TX$18.35 - $20.10 per linear foot
Indianapolis, IN$17.35 - $19.01 per linear foot
Jacksonville, FL$18.49 - $20.25 per linear foot
Los Angeles, CA$27.18 - $29.78 per linear foot
New York, NY$43.12 - $47.24 per linear foot
Philadelphia, PA$25.17 - $27.58 per linear foot
San Antonio, TX$19.04 - $20.86 per linear foot
San Diego, CA$26.33 - $28.84 per linear foot
Seattle, WA$24.16 - $26.47 per linear foot
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Factors Impacting the Cost of French Drain Installation

1. Your geographic location
Prices can vary significantly by region. Labor costs, in particular, will can vary greatly - even within the same state. For example, the cost to install a french drain in Brooklyn, NY may be very different than the cost in Buffalo, NY. Overall, wages tend to be higher in major cities where the cost of living is well above the national average.

2. Exterior or interior french drains
Interior french drain can be much more expensive than exterior french drains. These projects tend to be more labor-intensive and they may require additional equipment and materials. For example, you may also need to install a sump pump or additional basement waterproofing.

3. Length of drain
French drain installers typically quote jobs by the linear foot. The longer the drain, the more you can expect to spend.

4. Trench depth
Most exterior french drains will have a trench that is about 3 feet deep. Interior french drains usually require deeper trenches. This additional excavation work may increase the cost of the job.

5. Equipment required
What type of equipment does the job require? Can the trenches be dug by hand? For larger projects, it may be more efficient to use a backhoe excavator.

6. Permitting
Putting in a french drain may require a permit in some areas. If this is the case, you will be responsible for any additional permit inspection fees.

Last Updated: September 20, 2018

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* Disclaimer: Costs and prices shown on the ProMatcher site are intended to be used as general information, not as guaranteed estimates. To obtain cost information relevant to your project, request a quote or estimate from a local service provider.