How much does a drainage system cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a drainage system cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a drainage system cost?

$1,000 – $4,000shallow exterior yard drain cost
$4,000 – $15,000exterior / interior perimeter drain tile cost

A drainage system costs $10 to $25 per linear foot or $1,000 to $4,000 for exterior yard and landscape applications, and $40 to $85 per linear foot or $4,000 to $12,000 for a basement or interior perimeter drain. An exterior footing or drain tile installation costs $6,000 to $15,000.

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$1,000 – $4,000 shallow exterior yard drain cost

$4,000 – $15,000 exterior / interior perimeter drain tile cost

A drainage system costs $10 to $25 per linear foot or $1,000 to $4,000 for exterior yard and landscape applications, and $40 to $85 per linear foot or $4,000 to $12,000 for a basement or interior perimeter drain. An exterior footing or drain tile installation costs $6,000 to $15,000.

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Sarah Noel
Written by
Sarah Noel
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Yard, Basement & Tile Drain Installation Cost

The average cost of a drainage system in a yard is $1,000 to $4,000. An underground downspout drainage system costs $150 to $350 per downspout. A basement or interior perimeter drain tile system costs $4,000 to $12,000. Exterior weeping tile installation costs $1,500 to $4,000 per side of house.

Drainage system cost - chart
Drainage system cost - chart
Drainage System Cost
Type Average Cost
Curtain / Shallow French Drain $1,000 – $4,000
Exterior Drain Tile (per side of house) $1,500 – $4,000
Crawl Space Interior Drain $800 – $3,000
Basement Interior Perimeter Drain $4,000 – $12,000
Yard Drainage System $1,200 – $8,000
Underground Downspout Extensions (each) $150 – $350
Window Well Drain $1,000 – $2,500
Dry Well / Vertical French Drain $300 – $1,500
Sump Pump $500 – $1,200
Swale / Irrigation Ditch $250 – $1,000
Yard Grading $500 – $3,000
Retaining Wall $2,500 – $7,000
Rain Garden $500 – $3,000

Drainage systems improve your home in the following ways:

  • Prevents water damage, backyard flooding, basement and foundation issues, and mold and mildew.

  • Removes seepage, standing, and excess water from pooling in your basement, foundation, and yard.

  • Redirects heavy rain, stormwater, groundwater, and surface water to sewers, dry wells, and rain gardens.

  • Reduces landscape erosion, and stops water damage to your foundation, patio, basement, crawl space, driveway, and sidewalk.

  • A professionally installed drain lasts 30 to 40 years with proper maintenance.

Get free estimates from yard drainage contractors near you.

Average Cost of Drainage System Work

Each drainage system type solves different water problems. French drains remove water from around a home's foundation or wet basement floor. A trench drain is used for driveways, and yard drainage systems works best for standing water in the lawn.

Yard & french drain cost per linear foot - chart
Yard & french drain cost per linear foot - chart
Yard Drain Cost Per Foot
Type Cost Per Linear Foot
Shallow French Drain / Curtain Drain $10 – $30
Exterior French Drain $10 – $35
Interior Perimeter Drain $40 – $85
Trench or Channel Drain $30 – $150
Yard Drainage System $8 – $15
Catch Basin / Storm Drain $8 – $15
Underground Downspouts $15 – $35
Swale / Irrigation Ditch $5 – $15

French Drain Cost

Exterior French drain installation costs $10 to $35 per linear foot or $1,000 to $4,000 for around the house, yard, and curtain drain systems. Interior perimeter French drains cost $40 to $85 per linear foot or $4,000 to $15,000 for crawl space and basement drain systems.

French drain cost per foot - chart
French drain cost per foot - chart
French drain cost
Type Cost per linear foot (LF) Average total cost
Surface-level French drain in yard $10 – $30 $500 – $5,300
Curtain drain / shallow French drain $10 – $35 $1,500 – $8,800
Exterior French drain / weeping tile around house (per side of house) $30 – $90 $1,200 – $4,500
Interior perimeter French drain for basement $40 – $85 $4,000 – $17,000
Interior French drain for crawl space $20 – $40 $2,000 – $8,000

A French drain is a sloped trench filled with gravel and a perforated pipe that removes water away from the home using gravity or a sump pump.

Up close French drain laid in trench with gravel
Up close French drain laid in trench with gravel
  • Shallow French drains or curtain drains divert exterior surface water from around a house.

  • Interior perimeter French drains around a basement floor catch water that seeps inside and channel it to a sump pump or drain line.

  • Deep footing or weeping tile drains run around the perimeter of a house and stop groundwater from entering the basement.

Cost To Install Trench or Channel Drain

The average cost to install a trench drain is $30 to $150 per linear foot, depending on the grate and channel material (plastic, metal, or concrete). Trench drains are set into driveways, patios, concrete slabs, or between pavers with a flush grate surface that catches water in a channel.

Cost to install trench or channel drain - chart
Cost to install trench or channel drain - chart

Driveway Trench or Channel Drain Cost

The average cost to install a driveway trench or channel drain is $400 to $2,400, depending on the size, width of the channel (4" to 8"), and the grate material (plastic, metal, fiberglass, or concrete). Driveway trench drains or floor drains prevent water from pooling or accessing the garage.

Cost To Install Driveway Drain
Material Average Cost
1-Car (10' – 12' Width) $400 – $1,200
2-Car (20' – 24' Width) $800 – $2,400
1-Side (18' – 30' Length) $700 – $3,000

Channel / trench drain installed next to driveway
Channel / trench drain installed next to driveway

Sub-Surface Yard Drainage System Cost

The average cost to install a drainage system in yard is $8 to $15 per linear foot or between $1,200 and $8,000, depending on the lawn size. A sub-surface system of yard drainage pipes are connected to drop inlets or catch basins where water runoff is distributed by emitters.

Sub-Surface Yard Drainage System Installation
Sub-Surface Yard Drainage System Installation

The surface is then graded to drain to the nearest drop inlet. Costs depend on the length of the run, pipe material, and number of inlets. Prices increase for working around obstacles such as root or sprinkler systems, swimming pool pipes, and utility lines. The water can be piped into a dry well or the municipal system.

Catch Basin & Storm Drain Installation Cost

Storm drain installation costs $8 to $15 per square foot for a system of catch basins connected to underground stormwater pipes. Plastic catch basins cost $20 to $130 each for the materials, with sizes up to 24" x 24". Pre-cast or cast-in-place concrete drain boxes are significantly more expensive.

Catch basin installed under gutter downspout
Catch basin installed under gutter downspout

Catch basins or backyard storm sewers are similar to inlets, but the basins are larger. The drain box's grate collects stormwater and filters debris before the water flows into drainage pipes. The grate is easily removable for regular cleaning.

Gutter & Downspout Drainage System Cost

An underground downspout drainage system costs $150 to $350 per downspout to install, which includes a catch basin, downspout extension, trenching, drain pipe, and bubbler system. Downspout extensions alone cost $5 to $25 each for gutter drainage, depending on the length.

Downspout Drainage System Cost
System Average Cost
Downspout Extension $5 – $25
Rain Barrel Kit $80 – $200
Bury Downspout Underground $150 – $350
Install Dry Well $300 – $1,500

Underground downspout drainage system installation
Underground downspout drainage system installation

A gutter drainage system ensures the downspouts are 10'+ away from the property to prevent damage. Water is either directed above ground through a downspout extension or by burying a downspout underground and connecting to drain piping that leads to a bubbler system or dry well.

  • A bubbler system costs $30 to $85 to add, and it's attached to shallow drain piping that's connected to the gutter downspout. The water flows out through a “bubbling” pop-up vent away from the home.

  • Using one or more connected rain barrels attached to gutter downspouts is an affordable drainage solution at $80 to $200 each.

Dry Well or Vertical French Drain Cost

A dry well costs $50 to $700 to install most gravel or plastic tank types, or up to $3,000 for a concrete model. A dry well is an underground drainage tank that collects storm water runoff and allows it to slowly replenish the water table.

Dry well / vertical French drain cost - chart
Dry well / vertical French drain cost - chart
Dry Well or Vertical French Drain Cost
Type Average Cost
Gravel / Loose Stone $50 – $250
Prefabricated Plastic Tank $200 – $700
Concrete Tank $500 – $3,000+

Multiple dry wells may be installed in a large yard with extensive drainage problems or standing water. Dry wells work best in sandy soils that drain well and in areas with a low water table.

Excavated hole and dry well with top intel ready to be installed
Excavated hole and dry well with top intel ready to be installed

Vertical French Drain Cost

A vertical French drain costs $50 to $250 to install, depending on the size, gravel type, and soil conditions. A vertical French drain or seepage pit is a deep hole filled with gravel that collects storm water runoff. This gravel pit releases water into the soil faster than dry wells.

Both vertical French drains and dry wells make good exit points for basement sump pump systems, backyard drainage systems, and downspout and gutter drainage systems.

Cost To Install Window Well Drain

The average cost to install a window well drain is $1,000 to $2,500, depending on the foundation type, size, materials, and grading. A complete basement egress window and well system costs $2,500 to $6,500 on average, depending on if it's prefabricated or custom-built.

Window well drain installation diagram
Window well drain installation diagram

Window well drains are a gravel filled base, typically with a grate and vertical pipe leading to existing drainage system. Window wells protect sub-grade egress windows and prevent foundation and basement water damage.

Landscape Drainage Cost

There are various types of above ground and landscape drain installation systems used for surface water problems.

Landscape Drainage Cost
System Average Cost
Yard Grading $500 – $3,000
Rain Garden $500 – $3,000
Drainage Swale $5 – $15 per linear foot
Retaining Wall $15 – $40 per square foot

Drainage Swale Cost

A drainage swale costs $0.50 to $1.00 per square foot or $5 to $15 per linear foot, depending on the size, depth, and grading required. A swale or irrigation ditch slows and controls the flow of storm water runoff by grading a sloped channel into the lawn. The surface may be grass, vegetation, or crushed stone.

Yard Grading

Regrading and resloping a yard costs $500 to $5,000 on average, depending on the lawn size, soil quality, topography, and re-sodding. Regrading uses heavy machinery to change the direction of water flow permanently and helps with saturated sub-soils and landslides.

Rain Garden

A rain garden costs $5 to $15 per square foot or between $500 and $3,000, depending on the soil conditions, and the density and types of plants. Rain gardens are placed at the end of a French drain to help promote drainage and manage water runoff.

A rainwater collection system costs $200 to $2,500 for a barrel system and $2,000 to $12,000 for a cistern system.

Retaining Wall

Building a retaining wall costs $40 to $300 per linear foot, depending on the materials, excavation, drainage outlets, and if steps are added. Retaining walls control and slow the flow of water runoff, prevent slopes from eroding, and are commonly used with shallow French drains.

Drainage system costs by type

Drainage systems are typically installed near house foundations with only gravel covering the drain. Drains are placed in the basement, crawl space, or exterior of the home and are either deep or shallow, which drastically affects the cost.

  • Backyard drains more than 10 feet away from the house may have sod or soil above the gravel, with a proper soil separator around the trench to keep dirt out of the drain.

  • Professionals recommend installing a sump pump with most French drain systems to pump water out more efficiently.

Interior Perimeter Drain Cost

An interior drain tile system costs $40 to $85 per linear foot to install on average. Interior perimeter drains cost $2,000 to $10,000 on average, to help protect a basement or crawl space from water damage.

Interior perimeter drain cost - chart
Interior perimeter drain cost - chart
Interior Perimeter Drain Cost
Type Average Cost
Crawl Space $800 – $3,000
Basement Perimeter $4,000 – $12,000

Basement Drain Tile Cost

Drain tile installation costs $4,000 to $12,000 or $40 to $85 per linear foot, depending on the size of the basement's perimeter and number of sump pumps. A full-perimeter drain tile system is not always necessary.

Drain tile cost - chart
Drain tile cost - chart
Basement Drain Tile System Cost
Basement Perimeter Sump Pumps Average Cost
100' 1 $4,000 – $8,500
125' 2 $5,000 – $9,500
150' 2 $6,000 – $10,500
175' 2 $7,000 – $11,500
200' 2 $8,000 – $12,000

A drain tile system is a perforated pipe embedded in gravel alongside the foundation footings. An interior French drain or interior footing drain catches water that seeps in and channels it to a sump pump that directs water away from the foundation or into a drain line.

Cost to install drainage system in crawl space

The average cost to install a drainage system in a crawl space is $800 to $3,000, which includes trenching, gravel, drainage pipe, and a sump pump. A drain in a crawl space prevents moisture, preserves the home’s structural strength, and improves indoor-air quality.

Drains require an existing backyard drainage system to direct the water out of the crawl space. Extra costs apply to install the backyard piping that connects to the drain.

Interior French Drain Installed In Crawl Space
Interior French Drain Installed In Crawl Space

After installing a drainage solution, consider crawl space encapsulation to further block out moisture, mold and pests. Crawl space encapsulation costs $3,000 to $8,000 on average or $3 to $7 per square foot.

Exterior Backyard Drainage System Cost

An exterior drain to divert backyard surface water costs $1,000 to $4,000, while a deep weeping tile or footing drain tile to block and redirect groundwater costs $6,000 to $15,000.

Exterior backyard drainage system cost - chart
Exterior backyard drainage system cost - chart
Exterior Backyard Drainage System Cost
Type Average Cost
Curtain Drain $1,000 – $4,000
Perimeter / Weeping Drain Tile $6,000 – $15,000

Curtain Drain Cost

Curtain drains cost $10 to $25 per linear foot or from $1,000 to $4,000 for installation, depending on the number of collection boxes, length of run, and if tunneling under sidewalks or other obstacles is required.

Drainage Contractor Digging Trench and Installing French Drain
Drainage Contractor Digging Trench and Installing French Drain

A curtain drain is a 2' wide shallow exterior French drain dug horizontally in front or around a house to divert surface water. Curtain drains prevent water pooling in the yard or near the home and can be connected to a larger backyard drainage system.

Exterior Weeping Drain Tile Installation Cost

Exterior weeping drain tile installation costs $1,500 to $4,000 per side of the house or between $6,000 and $15,000. Exterior drain tile or footing drain costs depend on the excavation depth, foundation repairs, waterproofing, and removing or working around landscaping, decks, patios, or sidewalks.

Exterior weeping tile drain system
Exterior weeping tile drain system

An exterior footing drain requires excavating 4 to 6+ feet down to the footings and exposing the foundation walls. A waterproofing coating or membrane is applied to the foundation walls. Then, an exterior French drain with perforated PVC pipe is installed next to the foundation footing, and the excavation is filled with drainage gravel.

Sloped lots rely on gravity to move the drainage to an exit point or storm drain. Otherwise, a sump pump is required to pump the water away from the foundation.

Exterior drain tiles are more expensive than interior drain tiles, but the large excavation and waterproofing barrier prevents water from entering the basement or crawl space completely. 

Basement waterproofing costs $6 to $15 per square foot more to seal the foundation permanently.

Cost Factors To Install Home Drainage System

Residential drainage systems vary in cost depending on the type, materials, labor, permits, equipment required, volume of water that needs draining, and if the drainage work is combined with other landscaping projects.

Other pricing factors include:

  • Drain depth and distance

  • Installing a sump pump or basement waterproofing

  • Cutting into the foundation

  • Yard regrading, resloping, and excavation work

  • Weather and soil conditions

  • Working around utility lines, sprinkler systems, and trees

  • Yard accessibility for materials and machinery

  • Landscape repair and cleanup

Additional Costs / Combining Projects

Combining drainage work with other landscaping and plumbing projects saves time and money since it's done at the same time.

Additional Drainage Projects
Project Average Cost
Install Sprinkler System Cost $1,800 – $5,200
Install Sump Pump Cost $500 – $1,200
Install Gutters Cost $750 – $2,300
Foundation Repair Cost $2,300 – $6,800
Basement Waterproofing $4,500 – $15,500
Install Landscaping Cost $2,000 – $4,000

Additional Landscaping Projects
Work Average Cost Per Square Foot
Yard Reseeding $0.04 – $0.18
Lawn Fertilization $0.02 – $0.06
Install Sod Cost $1.00 – $2.00
Concrete Work $5.00 – $10.00
Fill Dirt & Topsoil Delivery Cost $0.10 – $0.50

Yard Drainage Pipe

Drainage systems require various yard drainage pipes. Yard drain pipe is perforated (has small holes), while solid pipes are used in sub-surface yard drainage systems to transport runoff water.

Stormwater Pipe Cost
Material Cost Per LF Description
PVC $2.00 – $20.00 4 – 12 inch diameter; Sewer quality
Polyethylene $1.00 – $12.50 3 – 12 inch diameter; Flexible drainage tubing; 20 to 100 foot coils available
Hi-Q Drainage Pipe $1.85 – $2.15 4 – 6 inch diameter; Corrugated high-density polyethylene drainage tubing and culvert pipe
Concrete $14.50 – $22.50 6 – 12 inch diameter; Smooth wall; Non-Reinforced
Perforated Concrete $15.00 – $20.00 6 – 8 inch diameter; Non-Reinforced
Corrugated Metal Pipe $20.50 – $23.00 8 – 12 inch diameter; Galvanized

*Pipe materials only. Trench excavation, dewatering, backfill, and compaction fees not included.

Drainage system Permit Cost

Drain permits cost $100 to $375 on average. Drainage permits cost $400 to $500 for cutting a public curb to create a new street drain outlet. Adding a connection to the public storm drain costs $275 more. Additional inspection fees apply if the project modifies the public right-of-way.

Installing a sump pump

The average cost to install a sump pump and French drain is $4,000 to $15,000, depending on the size of the basement's perimeter and the number of sump pumps required.

Sump pump installation costs $600 to $2,500 when connecting to an existing drainage system.

Interior drainage systems require a sump pump to pump the water out of the crawlspace or basement. Exterior French drains may only require a sump pump if the slope is too high. 

Get free estimates from yard drainage contractors near you.

Drainage system installation FAQs

Who Installs drainage systems?

When you're experiencing drainage problems in your yard, call a landscaperplumber, or waterproofing company that's experienced with drains. Professionals will custom-design the best drainage solution for your water-management issues.

Does Homeowners Insurance cover drainage systems?

Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from flooding. Most policies only cover water damage from internal sources and not exterior groundwater.

How Deep Should a drainage system be?

A drain should be 8 to 24 inches deep and between 6 and 12 inches wide, depending on the extent of the drainage problem. Surface-pooling water requires a shallow trench, and protecting a foundation or basement requires drainage pipes 2' deep or more.

  • Minimum depth for most applications: 1 to 2 feet

  • Slab foundation protection: 2 feet or below the slab

  • Total basement waterproofing: 6 feet or more

How Long Does It Take To Install A Drainage System?

Installing a drain, downspout extension piping, or curtain drain takes 1 to 2 days on average. More complex projects with longer lengths of pipe in the yard take up to 2 weeks. Time varies according to the size and difficulty of the project, drain depths, and type of soil.

When Is The Best Time To Install A Drainage System?

The best time to install a drainage system is during dry and warm weather. Unless it's an emergency, make sure the temperature is above 40°F at night when installing a drain. This ensures water remains unfrozen and allows a contractor to inspect and repair the subgrade, asphalt, and concrete.

How to tell if a drainage system is working

If water is accumulating in your yard or basement, then your drain might not be working correctly. The drains can clog over time when sediments build up inside the piping, which block it entirely and cause flooding and standing water.

There are two main ways to test a drainage system:

  • Insert a hose into the drain pipe’s opening by the foundation and turn it on. If the drain has no blockages or leaks, the water flows out smoothly from the exit point outside your home.

  • Hire a plumber to perform a drain camera inspection. A camera test provides a detailed evaluation of any drainage problems.

What Are The Most Common Backyard Drainage Problems?

Common signs of backyard drainage problems include:

  1. Water pools near the foundation, downspouts, plant beds, or yard

  2. Water is seeping into the basement, foundation, or crawlspace and causes stains and mildew.

  3. Gutters are overflowing during rain.

  4. Paved surfaces have an improper slope causing water traps.

  5. Topsoil and mulch start washing away.

  6. Cracked or uneven sidewalks or patios from soil erosion.

Persistent water pooling or puddles in the yard or near the house may also be coming from hidden leaking pipes underground. The average cost to fix a leaking pipe is $150 to $850.

How Long Does a Drainage System Last?

A professionally installed drainage system lasts 15 to 40 years with proper maintenance. To ensure a long-lasting drain:

  • Make the drain wider, so it doesn’t clog up as fast.

  • Use filter cloth to wrap the pipe and line the trench.

  • Schedule yearly maintenance, especially when water starts to drain slower than usual.

How Long Should A Drain Be?

Most exterior drains cover an area 10' to 100' long by 6" wide, to a depth that slopes down 16" or deeper. Interior basement French drains are often the same length as the perimeter or slightly larger.

Where Does The Water From Drains Go?

A drain needs an exit point to remove standing water and prevent flooding. A drain carries water down a gradual slope into a dry well, public drain or water main, or drainage ditch. Stormwater may be directed into city irrigation ditches with permission from the local water department.

DIY drainage system installation cost

The average cost of a DIY drain is $4 to $8 per linear foot or between $200 and $800 for the tools and materials or home and yard drainage kit. DIY underground drainage projects take 1 to 2 days, are labor-intensive, and require expertise.

To ensure the drain lasts, use the following materials:

Drainage system Materials Cost
Material Average Cost
Clean Gravel or Crushed Stone $15 – $75 per yard
Permeable Landscape Fabric $20 – $50 per 100' roll
Rigid Plastic Perforated Drain Pipe $0.60 – $2.00 per foot
Drain Pipe Fittings $3 – $10 each
Downspout Leaf Separators $5 – $15 each
Catch Basin $20 – $70 each
Trencher Rental $100 – $200 per day
Backhoe Rental $200 – $350 per day
Machine Operator $50 – $100 per hour

DIY drainage work is typically not advisable and depends on the severity of the problem and specific needs of the property. Hiring a professional saves time, guarantees a long-lasting drainage solution, and they will determine:

  • Where utility lines are located.

  • Which permits and inspections are needed.

  • Trench depth and width needed.

  • Correct pipe size and slope required.

  • The final destination of the drain water.

  • The type and amount of gravel needed.

  • Where to place landscaping fabric.

How To Install Yard Drainage System

After planning where to place the drain trench, get permits and call 811 to stake out the utility lines before digging.

Get free estimates from yard drainage contractors near you.

The steps for how to install a drain are:

  1. Dig a trench of up to 18 inches deep and 2 inches wide.

  2. Slope the trench bottom down at about 1 inch per 10 feet of length.

  3. Line the trench with soil separator or filter fabric.

  4. Install a catch basin with a grate in the area where the water naturally pools. This forms the main pipe entrance, and the basin stops debris from entering the pipe.

  5. Lay your perforated pipe on top of the fabric at the bottom of the trench.

  6. Fill up the trench with about 6 inches of gravel on top of the pipe.

  7. Now wrap the gravel and the pipe up completely with fabric so that no tiny soil particles can enter the gravel from any direction.

  8. Fill the top of the trench with soil or add decorative stone at the top to make it level with the yard.

Hiring A Yard Drainage Contractor

Before hiring a drainage contractor near you, be sure to:

  • Get at least three in-person estimates to compare prices and warranties.

  • Ask for recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors.

  • Read reviews and check out their previous work on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Make sure they are licensed, insured, and bonded.

  • Choose a company that's been in business for at least 5 years.

  • Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.

  • Ask for a full itemized contract in writing in case of a dispute.

  • Make sure they experienced and certified to determine the best system for your home.

  • Are they willing to answer any questions you have?

  • Avoid making large payments upfront. Never pay in full or in cash, and come up with a payment schedule for work completed.

Questions To Ask Drainage Companies

  • Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?

  • Will you provide any references?

  • May I see a portfolio of your past drainage jobs?

  • Will you obtain the permits?

  • What does your warranty policy include?

  • How do you handle damages that happen on the job?

  • Do you provide a free evaluation?

  • What is causing this drainage problem?

  • Why is this the best solution for my drainage problem?

  • How long will it take to install?

  • Will you provide a scaled drawing of the work plans, with utility lines marked out?

  • How long will your drainage solution last?

  • What will I need to do to maintain this drainage system?

  • Do you provide yearly maintenance?

  • What’s your payment schedule like?