Are you finding water pooling on your lawn? Then a French drain might be what you need to avoid them. Here’s our guide on how to install a French drain yourself, step-by-step.

French lawn drain system

Image Credit: Unsplash

Understanding what French drains are

It might sound fancy and feel like it belongs to posh homes, but it is a simple drainage system that filters water from the surface. A simple yet versatile landscaping technique that can drain standing water from problem areas in your yard.

Simply put, French drains are just buried pipes that lead water down to an outside drain. The construction process is simple and needs a little preparation, planning, and the right tools and materials.

Materials needed:

Depending on how big your lawn is, you might need different materials. These are the materials you need for a standard-sized lawn. All these materials can be found at your local home-building store:

  • Drain pipe
  • Drills
  • Pipe connectors
  • Gravel
  • Shovel
  • Landscape fabrics

Before you start, you need to identify the problem area so you can dig from there. Choosing an exit point for your French drain is important, as you want to filter the water away from your yard. 

French drainage system around the house.

Image Credit: Pexels

A step-by-step guide to installing a French lawn drainage system

Step 1

Digging your french drain hole

You must be sure that your holes are deep enough. It should be wide enough to accommodate the drain pipe, plus a bit of room for the gravel.

Step 2

Line the hole with landscape fabric

Installing the landscape fabric is straightforward. The landscape fabric keeps soil and plant roots out of your French drain making sure it is clog-free in the future.

Since the pipe used is usually perforated use a landscape fabric to keep the pipe from ruin. Lay the landscape fabric to cover the bottom and sides of the hole. Get a landscape fabric that will allow an easy water flow. 

Step 3 

Fill the hole with gravel

Add the gravel on top of the landscaping fabric. The gravel will act as a foundation for the drainage pipe, keeping it securely in place. Gravel will allow the water to filter through and improve drainage.

Step 4

Lay the drainage pipe and cover it with gravel 

Choose a perforated pipe to avoid unfortunate clogging. The installation is easy. All you need to do is lay the pipe on top of the gravel bed with the perforated holes facing the ground. After you have installed the pipe, cover it with more inches of gravel.

Step 5

Cover with some landscape fabric and soil

Cover the gravel with some of the excess landscaping fabric. This helps protect the pipe from dirt and plant roots on top of your french drain pipe. Fill in the rest of the hole with soil or sand.

Lawn with french drain system

Image Credit: Unsplash

Creating your French lawn drainage system might sound like a lot of work, but it is worth it to avoid excess pools of water on your beautiful lawn. 


Essential maintenance techniques for your gravel driveway

Feature Image: Unsplash