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Old 09-19-2011, 02:31 PM
 
18 posts, read 74,691 times
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Does anyone know how much a typical french drain costs? During rains, water collects in my backyard and doesn't drain properly. I am planning to get a french drain installed to drain the water. I got a quote from a contractor for $3 per foot. Is that the typical price? I appreciate if anyone has any references.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:30 PM
Status: "Bored With The Yardarm" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Holly Springs
3,535 posts, read 6,041,156 times
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If you got a quote for $3 a foot, including trenching, the pipe, gravel, and recovering that would be a discount of epic proportions.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,014 posts, read 1,085,140 times
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$3/foot installed sounds like a great deal, but I'm a bit concerned about if this is the proper solution.

As I understand it, your problem is:
The amount of water that rains into your back yard, exceeds
the amount that soaks into your yard PLUS the amount that runs out (if any).

Simple, eh?

My concern is, that it sounds like your back yard can't absorb up any more water than it already is, and a french drain won't substantially help that. They are good for surges, where you have (say) 100 gallons all of a sudden, that will run into the FD and saturate the drain field, which then has several hours to drain out into the undisturbed dirt. It's like a sponge, soaking up the water fast, then slowly releasing it. But the water does get released. If your back yard is already saturated, then the FD will fill up quickly, and then that water will not have anywhere to go and it will just back up out of the FD and into your yard anyway.

You might just need to have some landscaping so that there is some sloped path for the water to take out out of your yard.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:46 AM
 
1,752 posts, read 1,890,840 times
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I respectfully disagree with Ed. The properly installed french drain ties into whatever means you have of running your gutters/downspouts out to the storm drains.

We had a very soggy back yard. It was a problem when it rained and remained a sea of mud for days afterwards. We dug a ditch in an arc across the backyard, used Aquachannel and connected it to our storm drains. Buried it in gravel, and it took care of the problem. We opted not to cover the gravel since we were able to make it look like a path from the deck to the side gates.

I won't be one of those handyman heroes and tell you it can be done in a weekend with a few good friends, a ditch witch and some beers, even though that is how we did it (we were young then). I don't know if $3 per foot is a good price or not, but IMHO a usable backyard that doesn't smell like a swamp is worth some effort.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:18 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,014 posts, read 1,085,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by librarySue View Post
I respectfully disagree with Ed. The properly installed french drain ties into whatever means you have of running your gutters/downspouts out to the storm drains.

We had a very soggy back yard. It was a problem when it rained and remained a sea of mud for days afterwards. We dug a ditch in an arc across the backyard, used Aquachannel and connected it to our storm drains. Buried it in gravel, and it took care of the problem. We opted not to cover the gravel since we were able to make it look like a path from the deck to the side gates.

I won't be one of those handyman heroes and tell you it can be done in a weekend with a few good friends, a ditch witch and some beers, even though that is how we did it (we were young then). I don't know if $3 per foot is a good price or not, but IMHO a usable backyard that doesn't smell like a swamp is worth some effort.
I disagree that you are disagreeing with me.
I was saying that they sounded like they needed to be careful and pay attention to providing a place for the water to go, and your solution did that too. Actually, I really like your concept of having an open top gravel filled trench drain, disguised as a walk-path. That's a cool idea!
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:34 PM
 
422 posts, read 534,934 times
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I wrote up a nice reply and lost it. I used Greenscapes to do half of our french drains as part of a larger project. I think I paid about $17/foot. They will be on the higher end. $3 a foot sounds like materials only. It isn't rocket science to do, just labor intensive and you need to find somewhere to get rid of the dirt you dig up. We liked this site for how to dig a drain. How to dig and install a French drain
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,014 posts, read 1,085,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mocharoman View Post
I wrote up a nice reply and lost it. I used Greenscapes to do half of our french drains as part of a larger project. I think I paid about $17/foot. They will be on the higher end. $3 a foot sounds like materials only. It isn't rocket science to do, just labor intensive and you need to find somewhere to get rid of the dirt you dig up. We liked this site for how to dig a drain. How to dig and install a French drain

I agree.
I'd like to ad that I suspect the cost a company would charge to haul away the dirt would probably be close to what they would charge to place it around some of your trees, or some other area where nice topsoil would help your landscaping. That's good dirt! Don't waste it.
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:54 AM
 
513 posts, read 1,060,392 times
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I would have said $25-30 per foot
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:39 AM
 
Location: near Cary High School/Cary Towne Mall
228 posts, read 652,988 times
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Default Cost of Installing a French Drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by schebro View Post
Does anyone know how much a typical french drain costs? I got a quote from a contractor for $3 per foot. Is that the typical price? I appreciate if anyone has any references.
The cost of excavation of the proper sized trench, gravel under the drain pipe, the geo-sock, the perforated drain, additional gravel, silt fabric, and top dressing would FAR exceed the $3 per foot of the quote you received. Then the removal or placement of the excavated soil, cleanup, and debris removal would add even more to these costs.

There MUST have been an error (in the contractor's math, the amount of work proposed, the amount of the written contract amount) because the cost of performing such work is closer to TEN TIMES the amount quoted.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:05 AM
 
4,898 posts, read 10,452,338 times
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I had a "Mike Holmes" moment yesterday. . . . .

We bought a house that had a poured concrete patio in back. We could see that the contractor had somehow installed underground pipes that received water from the downspouts and diverted it under the poured slab. . . . .to some unknown location. . . .we had no idea where.

The pipes must have clogged with debris and the previous owners had just redirected the downspouts away from the pipes and rainwater was now just flowing over the poured patio.

We tore out the concrete patio this week and I was determined to find out where those pipes went to. I was surprised to find that 2 of the downspouts were connected to a "Y", which then fed into a 3' section of French drain. That's it. The 3' section of French drain was packed with soil.

How on earth anyone could believe that 2 downspouts could be handled by a 3' section of pipe buried in 6" of sand and under a concrete slab is beyond me.
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