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A Beginner's Guide to Landscaping: Installing a French Drain

Updated: May 15

There's more to landscaping than just designing your front or backyard — and one of the most important yet overlooked aspects of your yard is your drain. With that being said, you need to ensure that you install the right to keep your yard well-maintained and protected from outdoor elements.  There are various types of French drains, all of which are used for landscaping to deal with excess water in the area. For example, if you have a neighbor who sits on higher land, there's a huge chance that the water would runoff from your neighbor to your land after heavy rain. Because of this, it's best to have an effective drain ready to remedy this issue.  Though many homeowners or business owners would like to DIY their home projects, it's always a much better idea to leave French drain installations to expert landscape contractors. This way, the proper tools, and principles will be used, as well as safety protocols will be followed.  If you're curious to know what goes on in French drain installations, read on. Here's our beginner's guide to landscaping, focusing on how to install a French drain. Let's take a look!

What is a French Drain?When you landscape a French drain, you should know that you're lining your landscape fabric with a gravel-filled trench to keep the soil and silt out of your gravel. Though some French drain pipes include perforated drain pipes or drain tiles, a traditional French drain is much more superficial with no pipe and only gravel running all the way. A French drain allows surface water to flow freely to the trench and would travel through the gravel. Since the bottom of the track would be sloped slightly, gravity will pull the water to the end of the trench or exit point. This way, the water will be collected to a proper dry well or drainage area. 

Codes and Regulations You Should KnowThere are local zoning laws, building codes, and community rules you should follow before installing a French drain like any property. This is why it's important to work with reliable local landscaping contractors since they'll know the different local building codes and the right zoning authorities to connect with. This way, you'll rest well knowing your property is following local regulations and standard safety protocols.

How Landscaping Contractors Install a French Drain

Identify Trench LocationLandscaping contractors will first assess your area and find flood-prone locations in your yard so they can properly design the French drain system. During this step, they determine where the water should go and confirm the exit point of the water.

Gain ApprovalAfter determining the trench location, they will need to check with your city's building authority to ensure that no legal issues arise during construction. 

Begin Building the TrenchOnce all paperwork is in place, it's time for your landscaping contractors to build your trench. First, they'll need to check the natural slope to help plan the trench route and begin to dig the trench. After that, they'll line the trench with fabric to ensure that the water follows the slope of the trench to the exit point. And finally, they'll fill the trench with drainage gravel. 

The Bottom Line: French Drain Projects are Best Left To The ExpertsFrench drain installation requires plentiful skills and certain equipment to ensure that a proper drainage system is installed in your garden. With that being said, if you want to install a French drain system in your property, consider reaching out to reputable landscaping contractors and discuss your landscaping plans. 

How Can We Help You?Are you looking for landscaping contractors in Birmingham, AL? If so, you've come to the right place.  DSLD Land Management is a full-service design and build landscaping firm that focuses on providing exceptional landscaping services. We offer services, such as softscapes, lighting and electrical, waterscapes, drainage solutions, irrigation, and more.  Learn more about how we can transform your landscape today!

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