A DIY French drain is a perfect solution for a wet basement or soggy yard. There are several different ways to build a French drain and it can be customized to meet your needs and work with your landscape.
The DIY French drain was named after the man that invented it, Henry French, a Massachusetts farmer that needed to devise a method of draining away excess rainwater from land so it would be profitable for farming.
Creating a French drain will channel excess rainwater downhill to the lowest spot in the landscape. As the water travels downhill it will collect into a DIY channel that is a perforated pipe covered with gravel. From there the water will be directed away from the property you want to keep dry.
If you have a landscape area that remains soggy and unusable, reclaim the land and put it to use with one of these 13 DIY French drain ideas.
1. Cheap Drainage Solution
Watch this YouTube video to learn how to build a French drain that will be a cheap drainage solution for your landscape.
Landscapes often have a low-lying spot where water collects and renders that spot almost useless. Anything planted in the spot will drown and the soil is slowly eroded away with each rainfall.
These free plans will show you how to dig a trench for a French drain and install all the other components so all the landscape will be usable and attractive.
2. Drainage For Flat Lawns
Flat lawns are pretty to look at but often hard to use. Water will not drain from a flat lawn quickly so it will remain wet and soggy for much of the time. Soggy, wet soil is difficult to build on, grow grass or other plants in, and unpleasant to walk on. Even your dog will object to walking around in a soggy yard.
Watch this YouTube video and learn how to install a French drain so you can channel excess rainwater away from your lawn and make the flat outdoor space usable. Think of all the fun stuff you can do with a well-draining backyard that doesn’t get your feet wet everytime you walk on it.
This DIY French drain project detailed on a YouTube video will show you how to takea soggy flat yard and transform it into a dry and attractive outdoor space.
3. DIY Dry Well
Creating a dry well at the end of a DIY French drain is the ideal drainage solution for small yards with poor drainage. This will allow the rainwater to drain away from the yard and provide a place for it to be collected so it won’t drain into your neighbor’s yard.
A dry well is placed underground at the end of the DIY French drain. The dry well is usually a 55-gallon barrel with holes poked in it but you can improvise and use whatever you have on hand to create the dry well dry.
These step by step instructions will show you how to dig a French drain with a dry well at the end so you can enjoy every inch of your small yard without soggy soil.
4. Easy DIY French Drain
All the effort, time, and money you put into landscaping around your home can be lost if the soil does not drain well. Most plants will not tolerate soggy soil and will quickly drown unless a drainage solution is provided.
This easy DIY French drain system will channel excess rainwater away from the foundation of your home so the landscaping plants can thrive. Channeling the rainwater away from your home will also keep the rainwater from seeping into the basement and crawl space of your house.
Damp soil under a house will cause the foundational support to slowly rot and attract terminates and other destructive pests.
Follow these instructions to create an easy French drain system that will prevent pudding near the foundation of your home.
5. Sloping French Drain
The most important part of building a DIY French drain is the slope. The drain must be created at just the right slope to channel water away from the soggy landscape area.
These free plans will show you how to dig the drainage ditch at the right slope so excess rainwater will be swiftly channeled away from the landscape. If the drainage slope is at the right angle, the rainwater will follow it with any issues and the landscape will remain dry.
The use of a level when digging the trench will ensure the slope is at the right angle and even the heaviest rainfall won’t cause puddling issues in the landscape after the drain system is installed.
6. Slotted Pipes
Good drainage in the landscape is essential for keeping your home dry and free of mold and mildew. Excess rainwater that puddles around the foundation of your home can seep into the basement and create a damp environment in which mold, mildew, and wood rot will occur.
These written instructions along with a video tutorial will show you how to make a French drain that will channel water away from your home. A home is the biggest investment most of us will make in a lifetime, spend a little time creating a DIY French drain to keep damaging mold and mildew from taking over your home.
7. Flower Bed French Drain
Transform the flood prone area of your landscape into an attractive flower bed with this DIY project.
A flooding problem can be turned into a thing of beauty when you learn how to build a French drain like this one. All the typical components are used during the building process but after it’s completed and the final touches are added transforms this DIY project from functional to beautiful.
On each side of the drain use this idea to create rows of colorful flowers that extend the length of the DIY French drain. This will create an acttractive flower garden that will hide the gravel used on top of the drainage trench.
8. Permaculture French Drain
Permaculture works with the landscape and not against it, and utilizes everything the environment has to offer to the fullest extent. A flood prone area is not viewed as a problem in a permaculture design, it’s viewed as a means of harvesting rainwater for use in the garden and landscape.
A French drain is ideal for use in a permaculture design and is a perfect tool for catching rainwater runoff in one area so it can be used in another area of the landscape. Water will always take the path of least resistance and will find its’ way to the lowest spot in the landscape.
From that low spot, the excess rainwater runoff can be channeled into a dry well or other catchment system and reused in a high and dry area of the landscape.
Nothing is wasted in the permaculture and these free plans will help harvest and reuse rainwater while keeping your landscape from being soggy.
9. Gravel Pathway
Here is a great idea for creating a gravel pathway and a drainage trench in the same location. No need to use twice the amount of landspace for two needful things when one thing can serve two purposes, like this gravel pathway/French drain.
No one has to know that under that attractive gravel walkway along the side of your home is a drainage ditch with a large perforated pipe. All anyone needs to know is that you have a lovely gravel pathway that keeps shoes clean and dirt out of your home.
Add mulch and garden beds on each side of the gravel pathway so the extra moisture that travels down the drainage trench will keep plants well hydrated.
10. Inexpensive French Drain
Watch this YouTube video and learn how to build a french drain for less than $250. This instructional video details each step of the DIY project and shows you everything needed to complete the project.
Hiring a professional to install a drainage trench like this to drain away excess rainwater from your landscape can cost around $10,000, but you can do it yourself for a fraction of that cost. Excess water needs to be diverted away from your home to eliminate moisture that can cause dangerous mold and mildew to grow inside your home. Soggy soil around the foundation of your home can also lead to structural damage caused by wood rot and termites.
11. Install A French Drain
Any region that receives a lot of rainfall and has clay soil is going to have standing water in the landscape. Installing a French drain Installing a French drain to channel the standing water out of your yard and away from your home is the best solution to the flooding problem.
Protect your home and make all of your yard usable all the time by installing a French drain. A muddy yard is only attractive to kids and pets but you can make it a thing of beauty with this DIY project.
Follow these step by step instructions and pictorial guide and install one of these easy to build drainage systems in your landscape this weekend. A little hard work and a few dollars will improve your outdoor living space and increase the value of your property.
12. French Drain Installation
Easy to follow step by step instructions for a French drain installation are found on this website. The water damage being done to your yard can be stopped with this simple DIY project. If you’re tired of your yard being a wet, muddy mess that won’t grow grass or flowers, improve the drainage and reclaim your yard with a French drainage system.
The underground trench is placed in the lowest area of the yard so rainwater will naturally run towards it. The excess water enters the trench and is carried away from the yard and into a storm ditch or other underground catchment system.
The trench can be used as part of the landscape design and it doesn’t cost much money to build it when you do it yourself.
13. Quick French Drain
If your landscape is a soggy wet mess and time is of the essence, then this quick French drain installation project is what you need.
This YouTube video will show you how to build a French drainage system quickly to effectively remove water from your landscape. Remove the standing water from your property so construction or playtime can continue without having to wait for natural drainage to occur.