First, you need to determine if this is what you need and if it will be effective for your area. If you’ve got water puddling in a certain area of your lawn, a French Drain may be your thing!


  1. Decide what the best route of your drain would be. In other words, what will provide the least obstruction from trees, fences, etc. Determine your destination (where will it “daylight”). The trench needs to run horizontal across the length of the slope.
  2. BEFORE DIGGING, make sure that you’ve contacted your local utility company (you can do this with one call) to have underground lines marked.
  3. Start your dig making sure that you have at least a 1% slope towards your destination. 1% meaning 1′ decline¬†every 100′ Length.
  4. Once your trench is complete, you’ll want to fill the trench with landscape fabric to keep silt out of the aggregate. This is important because you need the water to be able to percolate.
  5. Place your perforated pipe in trench, preferably with a sock.
  6. Now, fill with a course aggregate.
  7. Cover with the loose ends of the landscape fabric.
  8. For aesthetic purposes, cover with soil and sod.

You can also run gutter drains with perforated pipe into the drain.

How to Build a French Drain

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