Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Cost of French drain
Old 03-19-2014, 10:04 AM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
Tailgate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 881
Cost of French drain

I have some water issues under my pier and beam house from sloping back yard and shifting soils.

I have an estimate for a straight forward french drain- liner, gravel, pvc.. no pump, just a drain to take the water elsewhere.... estimate came in at $36.50 a linear foot.. that sounds expensive to me because we're basically talking about a ditch and cheap materials. Anyone with experience in these?

on same/similar subject- anyone have major problems getting contractors and tradespeople to even respond to requests for estimates? By and large, plumbers (independent), contractors other other tradespeople seem to be totally undependable.. they say they will call, come by or even have spent time getting info for an estimate and then just disappear... it's not due to 'small jobs', it's just totally being unprofessional.
__________________

__________________
Tailgate is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-19-2014, 10:14 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,425
On the last part, absolutely. But at the same time some of them complain about not having enough business. While I'm not a Woody Allen fan, I can relate to his quote of "Showing up is 80% of life".

On the first part, I assume you are talking about excavation, removal of excavated material as needed, putting down stone, laying pipe, backfilling ditch, topping off ditch, etc. That price doesn't seem unreasonable to me. We had some extensive drainage work done as part of a bigger project last fall but the cost of drainage wasn't split out from the total price.
__________________

__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 10:16 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,360
How to find a contractor. Start with an online list of, say, 32 contractors, and email/phone them all. For half of them the email or phone will no longer work. Now you're down to 16. Of those 16, only half will reply to your message. Of those eight, half will say they don't do that task. Now you have four, who you ask to visit the site so they can bid the job. Only half of those will show up, which is two. Of those two only half will actually give you a price quote. You've found your contractor!
__________________
GrayHare is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 10:35 AM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
The price seems terribly high...

Short story... When we moved to our community in Florida, it was only a few years old. In 1991 we had torrential rains, showing up drainage problems due to a change in the site plans. Serious flooding... actually an emergency.
A dozen Neighbors got together, and dug down about 1 foot in back yards between houses, for a continuous french drain down to the lake. Sandy soil, so easy digging. 5 inch nylon covered wire flexpipe. We did (hand digging) about 300yds. in two days. Can't remember the cost of the pipe, but it seems that it wasn't expensive. Maybe less than $1/ft.
That was 23 years ago, and the drains still work perfectly.

One of many links about cost:
http://www.city-data.com/forum/ralei...h-drain.html#b

Know you're probably not into doing this yourself, but the video shows that it shouldn't be a monster project. This shows a plastic pipe, rather than a spring wire French drain, but the install is the same.
good luck...

__________________
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 10:42 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Huston55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: The Bay Area
Posts: 1,801
You can get some data points on Google. A quick search resulted in about 5-10 data points ranging fro. $20-$50/LF. Several of them were in Texas.
__________________
You may be whatever you resolve to be.
Huston55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 11:32 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,877
I did this last year. Had low spot on the driveway where water would backup when it rained heavy. I bought a coil of drainage pipe and a catch basin, dug the trench myself. Homedepot carries the pipes/basin/connectors. I think I spent less than $100 for about 60 feet of drain. Hard part of course is digging the trench.
__________________
rbmrtn is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 11:51 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
The cost per linear foot metric might be a bit deceiving. A lot depends on the actual work to be done, especially the site access (is it hard to get the equipment in?) and the depth of the trench (if the "somewhere else" isn't downhill all the way from the present water problem, the trench has be dug deeper to assure adequate fall for every foot of the pipe. For this reason, "cost per cubic foot" might be a better way of comparing).

I dug a big curtain drain/french drain combination around a large part of my foundation. This was a very big job, I needed an excavator (had to go 8 feet down), but it was a very rewarding project and has worked great.

Some tips:
- A "water level" is an excellent tool for use in establishing a truly level datum from which to lay out the required slope of your pipe over a long distance. It's cheaper and more accurate than a transit.
- If your soil has a lot of clay in it, consider the use of coarse sand rather than gravel/filter fabric around your drain pipe. This has been studied a bit, and the coarse sand offers a longer life for the drain system because it takes longer to fill with silt from the clay. The filter fabric/gravel combo works well in sandy soils.

I'm not an civil engineer, I recommend you not trust me (or the contractors) and do your own research.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 01:35 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,102
Can you get a better price by purchasing a domestic drain rather than insisting on an import?








__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 01:45 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Can you get a better price by purchasing a domestic drain rather than insisting on an import?
A "Freedom Drain"?

I wonder what they call these in France? Fossť de terre?

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 04:32 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,884
I installed about a 75 foot French drain. I rented a trencher and dug about 2 feet deep, shoveled in pea gravel then dropped in perforated pipe covered with landscape fabric, then more pea gravel. The hardest part was dealing with tree roots. I didn't simply want to cut them as that destabilizes the tree, so I had to carefully dig under them by hand and thread the pipe through. Not a job I'd pay someone else $3000 to do.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 06:37 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,702
Have a French drain in my basement that my grand-dad had put in back in the 1920's. At the time he have a foot of water whenever there'd be a hard rain. Since then, nada....not a drop in almost 100 years now.
__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 06:38 PM   #12
Moderator
bssc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,927
We did this, borrow/rent a ditch witch, it makes the digging go very quickly.
__________________
Angels danced on the day that you were born.
bssc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 08:11 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
SteveL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 380
As an alternative, have you considered adding a sump pump under your house. I dug a hole for a five gallon plastic bucket at the low spot under my house, wrapped the outside of the bucket with screening after drilling many holes in the bucket, hooked up a length of old garden hose to the output connection on the pump, and ran the hose to one of the drains on my downspout system. I used an extension cord until I had some other excuse to have an electrician put an outlet under the house. Total cost, $150. Average rainfall, 50 in per year, crawl space dry.
__________________
Retired -- 2001
SteveL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 08:30 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DFW_M5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 4,982
IIRC, I paid about $2500 for maybe a 100' drain back in the late 80s. I think it was about 4' deep.
__________________
Doing things today that others won't, to do things tomorrow that others can't. Of course I'm referring to workouts, not robbing banks.
DFW_M5 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 09:00 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
IIRC, I paid about $2500 for maybe a 100' drain back in the late 80s. I think it was about 4' deep.
Sounds reasonable to me, depending on what was all required. I think the $/ft quote in the OP can't really be analyzed w/o a lot more info.

Yes, one could DIY, the materials are cheap. But you do need to know what you are doing, and digging a 100' trench 4' down (will depend on the slope and where it can drain to) isn't something everyone is going to want to tackle.

Between planning, bringing in equipment, etc, I would not be surprised at a several thousand dollar charge. But there isn't enough info in the OP to even guess. Is it 20' or 200'? The contractor has to cover their fixed costs, the per foot price will be higher for a small job.

But if you can get by with a gravity drain versus a pump, I'd go with gravity. Gravity is free, I have not seen gravity ever fail, whereas pumps and electricity fail.

Quote:
I dug a hole for a five gallon plastic bucket at the low spot under my house, wrapped the outside of the bucket with screening after drilling many holes in the bucket, hooked up a length of old garden hose to the output connection on the pump, ...
Many water problems will not be solved with a garden hose sized pump. It really depends on the situation.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 09:17 AM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
Tailgate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 881
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Sounds reasonable to me, depending on what was all required. I think the $/ft quote in the OP can't really be analyzed w/o a lot more info.

-ERD50
thanks for all the input everyone.. the drain is estimated to be 106 feet long and It will be gravity so there will be a definite grade sloping down to get the water away. This is a job that I'm not qualified to attempt as diy. Since I have major problems getting any contractor to even return calls or follow up, I just might be stuck with the one estimate and contractor. I do believe he's a good guy since he was recommended by a good friend who owns/operates a very reputable electrical contracting business.
__________________
Tailgate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 10:10 AM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailgate View Post
This is a job that I'm not qualified to attempt as diy.
Hey, I'm never qualified to take on the projects I start! Don't let that stop you. How are you going to compile a whole book of funny stories and emergency room bills? It's digging a trench, how hard could it be? (ha, ha!)

Kidding aside, I would hold out for another quote or two. The price on work like this often vary a lot, and it might have a lot more to do with how busy the particular contractors are than the quality of the work they'll do. If companies aren't responding to requests to give a bid, it might mean that many of the better-known companies are very busy right now. Maybe check on Angie's List to find a smaller company to come do the work. You probably don't need a specialized drainage expert/civil engineer to do a good job, you might find a landscaper who could do the work.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 10:48 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,574
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Hey, I'm never qualified to take on the projects I start! Don't let that stop you. How are you going to compile a whole book of funny stories and emergency room bills? It's digging a trench, how hard could it be? (ha, ha!)

Kidding aside, I would hold out for another quote or two. The price on work like this often vary a lot, and it might have a lot more to do with how busy the particular contractors are than the quality of the work they'll do. If companies aren't responding to requests to give a bid, it might mean that many of the better-known companies are very busy right now. Maybe check on Angie's List to find a smaller company to come do the work. You probably don't need a specialized drainage expert/civil engineer to do a good job, you might find a landscaper who could do the work.
That's what we did, landscaper, it was part of a larger project so no idea what the frech drain cost.

It's not a difficult project, but I can understand not wanting to do it for many reasons. If you know anyone handy, seems like a 12 pack makes folks think they can do lots of things.
MRG
__________________
MRG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014, 03:15 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,884
Maybe you could act as your own contractor using the "crew" from the Home Depot parking lot. You are in Texas, right?
__________________

__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wet Basement - Interior French Drain Retire2013 Other topics 11 07-29-2010 04:48 PM
Bathroom Window (Drain) Mystery kaneohe Other topics 5 10-12-2009 10:51 PM
Lehman Brothers swirling the drain mark500 FIRE and Money 73 09-19-2008 06:38 PM
Upright Freezer - drain plugs in door? ERD50 Other topics 6 07-12-2008 03:25 PM
Down the drain? cute fuzzy bunny FIRE and Money 21 11-21-2005 06:31 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:18 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.