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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

French Drain

I know I know...its not a whitty title or anything but cut me some slack I dont feel good and my creative juices never flow when my head is compromised!  Did anyone watch Fashion Star last night?  I love Orly she has the best ideas but I have to say Im very disappointed this week for what Saks did to her dress...what I loved was the pockets with the color pop and the dress slit with the color pop...both of those elements are missing from the production version!  What the heck!  And you can only buy the ugly orange!  Come on Saks...even the buyer said the color pops were awesome, get it together!

Ok rant over...until next week when they botch another design in production.  On to today's project which you can tell from the title is a French drain.  My husband finally made me a list of the materials he used so I can finally share that with you.  First, a back story.  You remember last year we made a beautiful backyard, and then the ugly summer came and went and we had no idea we had a bad drainage problem, you know lack of water can make you miss a few things.  Even when the rains of February came we didnt realize it at first because the ground was so dry it soaked up all the water as fast as it came down.  We were lucky enough though to get about a month of rain straight and we finally realized we had a pretty substantial drainage problem.  I didnt think to snap any pics but the whole side by the fence had pretty much constant standing water...even when the rest of the lawn seemed dry there was so much water there my dog could drink from it.  In the grand scheme of things we really dont have an earth shattering problem, it only becomes a problem if we dont want the plants to drown and since I dont, Joe came up with a solution.
 The above is pretty much what it looks like now, sans the green pipe, that went back to Ferguson.  Below is what we started with.  Oh and the gray stuff, thats concrete Joe put down for the lawn mower.  We dont have a huge garage so we are going to make a little len-to for the lawn mower to stay in the back yard and not get rusty.  More to come on that another when we actually finish it :)
 So first things first was to lay out the pipe to get an idea of how much we actually needed and where to start digging.  Once we had that all mapped out, move the pipe back out of the way and start digging the trench.
 I tried to get a good shot of the trench but it seemed impossible but this is the best I have.  The trench was about 1 foot deep, which was just deep enough to get the pipe down there without it come out past the soil.
 Of course Oreo the constant helper...or napper...whichever way you look at it...dont know why dogs always have to sit in the dirty and get all nasty but whatever as long as he's happy.
 Ok the trench is dug and now we are fitting the drains.  You can see that here, and thats the green pipe, black drain and drain cover.  We put the pipe in place and figured out where we wanted the drains so make sure they were evenly spaced throughout the sidewalk.
 We took the pipe back out and laid down a weed blocker material so that all the dirt/mud wouldnt block the pipes.  You can see in some of the pictures that the pipes have holes in them.  We didnt do that to the pipe it came that way, thats how Joe was able to get such a good deal on them since it was a customer return.  Not everyone wants holes in their pipe so its hard to sell, but easy for us to get a discount.  The holes are really a bad thing either since we have a drainage problem this will just help soak up more water.  However, thats why we had to lay the weed blocker so that the mud wouldnt get in the holes and clog up the pipes...kinda defeats the purpose of the pipes are clogged :)
 Next piecing all the pipes together and then paying them in the ground.  When piecing the pipes together make sure you get them all the way in.  We had to use a hammer to make sure the pipes were all the way in, its about 4 inches they have before they cant go any further, thats how far you need to go to make sure you have a secure connection.
Below is after all the rocks were down and covered the pipe.  Joe still needs to spread them out to be a little more uniform, but thats simply cosmetic, all the hard labor is now complete yay!  You can see one of the drains in this picture too.
 But just incase here is a close up of the drain that is next to the herb garden.  It was dark outside so sorry for the blown out pictures.
Now for the nitty gritty...the materials we used:
  • 60’ perforated 4” sdr35 pipe
  • 1 – single inlet catch basin
  • 2 – double inlet catch basin
  • 3 – tops for catch basin
  • 1 – Grid end-cap for 4” SDR35 pipe.
  • 1 yard bull rock
  • 1 roll weed blocker
  • shovel, pipe cutter, Off (mosquitoes were off the chain crazy)
Total cost for everything was $200 so this wasnt a super cheap project but it needed to be done, and Joe did get too much material so he is taking that back today.  I have to say the most time consuming part of this project was just digging the trench.  Thankfully the ground is still soft from all the ran so it wasnt super hard to dig into.  Oh and in case you were wondering, the drain goes out to the edge of our property, out the back of the fence and spills out over the edge of the hill we are on top of.  Behind our backyard there is about a 4 foot drop just 1 foot away from our fence so that was the perfect spot to have the water spill out.

So there you have to install a french drain.  Not as hard as you thought right!

Project Housewife Out!

Im Linking Up!  Come check me out at Tidy Mom, Bacon Time, I am Momma, Petals to Picots, How does She, Six Sisters Stuff, Positvely Splendid, Tip Junkie, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Not Just a Housewife, Ginger Snap Crafts, My Girlish Whims, Made Famous By, Lil Pink Pocket, DIY By Design, Southern Lovely, My Sisters Suitcase, Beyond the Picket Fence


  1. I always wondering what people meant when they said they had a french drain. Thanks for teaching me today!!

  2. Wow! That's a big undertaking! Way to get it done. That's awesome. Thanks for joining the link party, too! Have a great weekend.


  3. @ Crafty Quackery---I never knew what one was either until my husband came home and said that what we were doing! lol

  4. @ Cheri, thanks it took about 3 days to get it 100% done but with all the rain we are getting it was definitely worth it! Thanks for hosting!

  5. Wow, quite the project. Thanks for linking up with Strut Your Stuff Saturday. We're hoping you will join us again next week with more great ideas! - The Sisters

  6. Looks like you are gearing up for the rainy season! But I think it is a good idea to prepare your property and fix the piping system in and out the house before the wet season comes along. Rain water can wreak havoc on properties and houses, particularly on those that have poor piping and drainage. Plus, having a well-maintained plumbing system can increase the value of your home.

    -Darryl Iorio

  7. Well, it is not bad to be a step ahead of the situation. By upgrading your house drains, you are prepping your house on the rainy season and have fewer worries in regards to water damage. A good plumbing system will boost the flow of water around the house and lessen the damage in your property. And like what Darryl mentioned, it can increase the worth of your property in the market.

    (Jaye Conaway)

  8. I do agree with Darryl and Jaye! It is a must for every homeowner to prep their home for any season. The weather can be unpredictable at times, and you will never know when you will encounter a heavy down pour. Installing a well-working drain will make sure that the rainwater is diverted into a proper course. [Althea Tumlin]