How to Lay Drainage in Your Yard


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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Check with your city to ensure that you do not need a permit to install a drain.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

Compact the soil at the bottom of the trench by placing the board at the bottom and pressing down.

Step 5

Lay a 2- to 4-inch layer of round, washed gravel at the bottom of the ditch.

Step 6

Place the drain pipe over the top of the gravel with the holes pointed downward.

Step 7

Place a 1-inch layer of round, washed gravel over the top of the ditch.

Step 8

Fill the ditch the rest of the way with angular gravel.

Step 9

Cover with sod to hide the trench.

Things You'll Need

  • Drainage pipe
  • Angular gravel
  • Round, washed gravel
  • Shovel
  • 2-by-4 inch board
  • Sod


  • How to Install a Drain Tube for Better Yard Drainage
  • A Simple Trench Drain
  • Yard Drainage

Who Can Help

  • Learn to Design, Build and Install a French Drain Yourself.
Keywords: drainage, flooding, leaking, French drain

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.