Originally Posted by new_homeowner
Kiril, by fix the soil, I am guessing you mean kill the existing lawn, and rototill with some organic matter (compost) essentially ammending the soil to a loamy healthy type that will actually drain properly as opposed to the clay i have now?
It will help reduce your surface water accumulation and alleviate any compaction problems that may exist. You need to establish what type of soil you are dealing with and the physical & chemical status of that soil. Anything short of that beginning step will most likely result in a waste of money. Once you have established that, you can make a more informed decision on how to proceed. Based on your pics, I have my doubts if a french drain will work very well at all.