How Much Does a Drainage System Cost?

Typical Range:

$2,111 - $6,823

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,057 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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Updated January 31, 2024

Reviewed by Jeff Botelho, Licensed Journeyman Plumber.

Written by HomeAdvisor.


  • Installing a drainage system can be complex, involving trenching, excavating, and ensuring correct leveling, making professionals crucial.

  • The average cost of installing a drainage system is $4,380, with costs ranging from $2,112 to $6,763.

  • Drainage system costs are influenced by accessibility issues, regrading yard costs, excavation costs, permit costs, and landscape repair costs.

  • Drainage systems use materials such as perforated pipe, metal and plastic channels, dry wells, sump pumps, downspout connections, window well drainage, and foundation drains.

  • Signs that you need better drainage include standing water, overflowing gutters during rain, puddles near your foundation, basement water stains, and persistent yard puddles.

  • Drainage system installation prevents water damage, reduces flooding risks, and ensures proper water flow.

Highlights were summarized from this existing cost guide text using automation technology and were thoroughly reviewed for accuracy by HomeAdvisor Editor Ryan Noonan.

Installing a drainage system costs most homeowners between $2,111 and $6,823, with an average cost of $4,420. Small, simpler solutions could be as low as $500, and more complicated projects could get as expensive as $18,000.

“Be aware that excessive puddles in your yard can be a sign of larger problems lurking below the ground (i.e., a failed septic system or broken sewer main) and should be investigated as soon as possible,” says Jeff Botelho, Angi Expert Review Board member and Massachusetts-licensed journey-level plumber.

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National Average $4,420
Typical Range $2,111 - $6,823
Low End - High End $800 - $14,792

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,057 HomeAdvisor members.

Exterior and Yard Drainage System Cost by Type

Drainage systems include French drain styles, which use a perforated pipe buried in a gravel-filled trench. Some surface-level drains use variations of this method with metal and plastic channels. Other parts of the system include dry wells, sump pumps, downspout connections, window well drainage, and foundation drains.

Drain TypeAverage Cost Range (All-In)
French$1,000 – $10,000 per 100 lin. ft.
Trench / channel$3,000 – $9,000 per 100 lin. ft.
Underground downspouts$200 – $2,000 per downspout
Concrete catch basin/storm$2,000 – $5,000 per basin
Plastic catch basin$200 – $500 per drain
Culvert$1,500 – $5,000 per entrance
Under deck$500 – $3,000
Garden and landscape$350 – $10,000
Dry wells$1,600 – $4,800
Window well drain$500 – $1,000
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French Drains

Exterior French drains cost around $10 to $50 per linear foot, but you may pay up to $100 per linear foot for complex installs. Ranges depend on where you put it. For example, a surface drain in easy-to-access areas, like a yard, costs far less than excavating the base of a foundation and adding a sump pump.

Trench or Channel Drain System Cost

Channel or trench drain installation costs around $30 to $100 per linear foot. Complex installs might run $150 per linear foot. The price of the trough or channel will depend on the length and material. A steel driveway trench, for example, could be $100, while a concrete one could be $300.

Concrete driveways usually require breaking up the concrete, installing a surface drain, and repouring it to seal it in. With proper leveling of the concrete, water flows through this drain and into a metal or concrete channel, directing the water away from your drive. Any type of system for driveways requires enough strength to withstand the weight of a parked car.

Gutter Drainage and Buried Downspouts

You’ll pay around $100 to $300 per downspout if they must bury downspout extensions. If it’s a simple matter of connecting to an existing system, you may pay a little less. If you don’t already have a storm drainage system, you’ll need to install one for an additional $1,500 on average. Instead of burying your downspouts, consider using a downspout catch basin with a mesh filter since these are easier to clean.

Storm Drain Installation

Storm drain channel systems cost about $50 to $3,000. This system collects surface water from storms and then diverts it to a storm drain or dry well. You can purchase DIY kits or have a professional installation. They’re labor-intensive but require few tools. A handyperson or local landscaper usually installs these systems.

Catch Basins

You’ll spend about $200 to $500 per drain for plastic catch basins. There are two types of catch basins: concrete and plastic. Plastic is more affordable, but concrete is more robust and long-lasting. 

A concrete catch basin costs about $2,000 to $5,000 for installation, which includes all connections and complete installation. However, you won't often find a catch basin on residential property newer than 1960. On residential properties, it was used to separate contamination in the sewer systems. You may need one of these only if you're in a community with a single-pipe sewer system. Double systems, one for sewage and one for stormwater, don't require a catch basin.

Like their concrete relatives, these basins work to separate out contaminants. They sit below a downspout, separating leaves and large debris while allowing water to flow in and to a storm sewer system or dry well.

Culvert Prices

Culvert installation costs around $1,500 to $5,000 per entrance or road. You may need to install a culvert to have drainage in your yard. Culvert pipes carry excess water away from your home, reducing flooding and other moisture-related risks.

Contact your local highway department or department of transportation for rules and regulations on culvert installation. In some places, you'll need oversight from the roads or highway department. However, your project may not require culvert installation but another drainage system installation. 

Under Deck Drainage System

Putting drainage under your deck costs $500 to $3,000 on average. Accessibility may drive the price up. Since you can’t get a ditch machine under a deck, you’ll complete most of the work by hand, which adds time and cost.

Garden and Landscape

Garden and landscaping drainage costs approximately $350 to $10,000. You have several options for redirecting excessive moisture away from your garden or parts of your landscape. Inlets connected to pipes that slope away from the spot may be perfect, or you may need a French-style drain or a combination of both.

Dry Wells

Dry wells cost $1,600 to $4,800 on average. In its simplest form, a dry well is a pit filled with gravel, allowing water to drain away from your home. They’re usually connected to other drainage system parts like French drains.

Window Well Drain Cost

Window well drains cost around $500 to $1,000 per window. Most window wells have a layer of gravel at the bottom, allowing natural drainage. But if water is still a problem, you might consider adding a window well drain. The drain is a pipe that flows water to either below the level of your foundation or to an existing drainage system.

You can also consider adding a cover for around $50 to $100 per window. Window well cover installation costs average $700.

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Basement Drainage Systems Cost

Installing, replacing, or repairing basement drainage systems costs around $20 to $90 per linear foot, depending on the type and accessibility. Most often, you’ll find a French drain or similar, but they come in different depths. All drainage for basements deals with hydrostatic pressure pushing water into the walls.

Drainage systems often come as part of basement waterproofing costs. Complete waterproofing goes beyond a simple drain with waterproof membranes for the walls. Typical basement systems costs include:

Basement Drain Type Average Cost Range (All-In) Average Cost (All-In)
Curtain drain $1,000 – $5,000 $3,000
Interior French drain $3,000 – $8,000 $5,500
Exterior deep French drain $2,000 – $10,000 $6,000
Basement waterproofing $2,000 – $7,000 $4,500
Sump pump $650 – $1,900 $1,280
Full interior tile drain $4,000 – $10,000 $7,000

Farm and Field Drain Cost

A field drainage tile installation costs around $700 to $2,000 per acre, depending on the drainage tiles' spacing and the size of the mains used. You won't find this type of drain tile in residential settings, just on agricultural land.

Drainage System Cost Breakdown

You can break down drainage system costs into parts and labor. The labor cost makes up a significant portion of the total project, with some projects taking 72 hours or more. 

Labor Cost

Labor to install drainage work costs around $50 to $100 per hour. Most projects take between 12 and 72 hours, but some take 1 1/2 days to a week or more. You'll usually have a crew of two or three people working on any given project. For any project that requires concrete or block work, you'll want to budget extra time for demolition and reinstallation.

Drainage Pipe Prices

Standard drainage pipes cost around $1 to $5 per linear foot. You can purchase them without a fabric cover, with a fabric sock, or with a thick fabric and foam filtration layer.

Concrete drainage pipe prices range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. They’re usually reserved for larger culvert-style applications rather than used in residential areas. You'll also need to plan for other essential parts:

  • Drainage catch basin: $30–$100 each

  • Channel drain kit: $10–$15 per lin. ft.

  • Connectors and junctions: $2–$10 each

Drainage System Cost Factors

There are quite a few additional cost influencers relating to drainage system installation you shouldn't overlook. 

  • Accessibility issues: If access is restricted or challenging so you have to move materials by hand, expect labor costs to rise quickly.

  • Regrading a yard costs: This costs around $1,000–$3,200 and is necessary to move water away from the property.

  • Excavation costs: This is about $1,500–$5,800, but prices vary based on the soil type and excavation site size.

  • Permit costs: This is around $400–$2,300. Any work that involves excavating and working with plumbing often requires construction permits. 

  • Landscape repair costs: This is around $200–$10,000+. The amount you spend on landscape repair depends on the extent of the damage and if you decide to remodel your outdoor living space while fixing the installation damage.

  • Waste removal cost: This is around $50–$100 per hour. Removing and safely disposing of the waste is a necessary but sometimes expensive endeavor. 

  • Driveway repair costs: This is around $800–$8,000. You'll need to budget for this if a portion of your driveway has to be dug up to accommodate the drain path. How much you'll pay depends on how much your driveway has to be disturbed and repaired and if you decide to have an entirely new driveway. 

  • Trenching costs: This is around $4–$12 per lin. ft. Trenching is essential to drainage installation, as these trenches carry the pipes and soak away fields to carry water from your property. 

  • Draining standing water costs: This is around $1,400–$5,500. If you're installing a new drainage system because your yard or basement flooded, you'll need to pay to remove the water before the installation can commence.

DIY Drainage Installation vs. Hire a Pro

You’ll find many DIY drainage kits on the market. They’re easy to install and require little background experience and few tools. These are a great option for some homeowners with a weekend to install them. However, if they’re not leveled correctly, they won’t solve your water issues. You also need a basic understanding of how and why you have drainage issues and how to correct them. A complete DIY job costs about $100 to $2,000.

However, if you don’t have the time or experience to install these yourself—or want the peace of mind that comes with a professional installation—hire a local drainage installation professional. They’ll address your drainage issues and stop any current damage from worsening.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does drainage installation take?

Drainage installation can take anywhere from a day to a week or more. It all depends on the style and needs of your project. A team of two to three people can complete a modest drainage installation in 12 to 24 hours. However, larger projects can take teams of three to four people 72 hours or more to complete. 

When is the best time to install new drainage?

You'll usually want to install new drainage in the summer or fall when it's warm and dry. Contractors may charge seasonally changing rates, varying from region to region. Drainage work goes easier and faster when the ground is warm and dry. Working in wet or frozen conditions is highly challenging and can mean significantly higher labor costs.

How do I know I need better drainage?

If you see any water damage or standing water, you need better drainage. But you might also check the following:

  • Overflowing gutters during rain

  • Puddles near your foundation

  • Basement water stains

  • Persistent yard puddles

Can I combine drainage installation with other projects?

You can combine drainage installations with any project in the same area. For example, check on a French drain when installing new landscaping. When redoing your roof, get new gutters or have yours fixed. Before finishing your basement, upgrade your French drain.

Any time you have new construction underway on your home, consider adding drainage systems, especially if you're building a new home or constructing a large addition. This is often the ideal time to add a drainage system because contractors are already digging the ground.

What questions should I ask my drainage installer?

Questions to ask your drainage installer include the following:

  • Why do I need drainage?

  • Can you explain why it doesn’t naturally drain?

  • How long have you been in this business?

  • Do you have other work I can look at?

  • Are you licensed?

  • Do you guarantee your work?

  • How long should I expect this solution to last?

  • What options do I have?

Do I need a sump pump or a French drain?

It depends on whether you need a sump pump or a French drain. French drains drain the water without machinery, while sump pumps are mechanical devices that activate once enough water raises the float. Sump pumps won't keep your basement dry, but they prevent flooding and can help protect your home's most critical appliances. A French drain assists in keeping water from entering your basement and can work with sump pumps as a backup to keep the basement dry.