If your basement or crawl space leaks or you have standing water in your yard, then you need to improve the drainage around your home. A French drain acts as a moat by draining water away from your home and into a lower point in your yard such as a culvert or a ditch.
Contact your local utilities companies to ensure that there are no buried utility lines on your property that you may uncover while installing a French drain.
Check with your city to ensure that you do not need a permit to install a drain.
Dig a trench that is 6 inches wide and 24 inches deep. This trench should extend from the highest part of your property to the lowest part. It should extend 4 to 6 feet from your foundation, in a U around your home.
Compact the soil at the bottom of the trench by placing the board at the bottom and pressing down.
Lay a 2- to 4-inch layer of round, washed gravel at the bottom of the ditch.
Place the drain pipe over the top of the gravel with the holes pointed downward.
Place a 1-inch layer of round, washed gravel over the top of the ditch.
Fill the ditch the rest of the way with angular gravel.
Cover with sod to hide the trench.