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Help on drainage

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by GroundEffects125, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. GroundEffects125

    GroundEffects125 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    Hey i have a french drain job that is 92ft long, i am going to use a 4in sock drain how much do yall generally charge per ft. Is there a rate that most people use?
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

  3. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,551

    Call a local company, thats what I do.. :laugh:
  4. GroundEffects125

    GroundEffects125 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    haha good idea, im using my ditch witch 1020 im going to have to do some hand digging also i was just wondering if there was a set price that some people use.
  5. ALLPro Landscaping

    ALLPro Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 813

    my prices have been anywhere from 7.50 up to 100 bucks a foot, it all depends, on location and whats involved
  6. w.a.reid

    w.a.reid LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    i often say "$25 per man per hour for the digging, installation and final touches. reimburse me for the materials....my price is your price....wholesale too."

    and that works for normal people - that does not include attorneys.

    however, if you have to ballpark a figure - do this math - - $15 per foot multiplied by your total length....take that number and multiply the average number of feet deep the drain is to be - i.e. if your doing a french drain behind a retaining wall that is as tall as 6 feet, but tapers down to two feet - lean towards 4 feet in rugged rocky or clay soils - maybe 3 feet if its nice backfilled topsoil or sand.


    100 foot retaining wall around a swimming pool - wall is 6 feet tall at highest point and one foot tall at lowest point - and of course a few feet on either end of the wall to get to the homes roof-gutter 4" drainage pipes - - rugged terrain with tree roots and clay.

    so the math is this

    100' x $15 = $1500
    $1500 x 4 (avg. foot depth) = $6000

    add at least $1000 if job is for an attorney - they will try and screw you out of some money anyway - so dont cut the bid too close.

    get $3000 upfront for the costs - BEFORE - your shovel hits the dirt - you do not want to start haggling at the end of the job with the entire project out of pocket.

    i pay my guys $10 per hour to $14 per hour

    the soil is too lousy to use anywhere once removed and needs to be hauled away.

    the materials i use are the :
    *4" perforated flexible drain pipe already in the sock
    *4" connectors for the pvc attachment
    *6-9 mil black plastic against the wall - all the way down past the footer and enough on the bottom of the trench to bowl or cup underneath the drainage tube
    *gorilla duct tape to seal plastic seams
    *1.5" RINSED limestone as the rock/gravel
    *landscape fabric against the soil - leave enough out to fold over the top of the gravel
    *triple-screened topsoil on top of the fabric - 1' to 6" deep - to allow sod or other plantings

    there are other fancier backings for the retaining wall - depending on how fancy you want to get - but the plastic works fine.

    my trenches are often 2' wide

    any groundwater that percs through the fabric is going to hit that big airy limestone and just drop - it should never ever even get close to the wall - once dropped it will build up until it finds the tube - the path of least resistance - where it will build up and find its way into the pvc pipe that carries it to an area of unconcern or the street or wherever you think best.


  7. Dugann

    Dugann LawnSite Member
    Posts: 130

    Bingo that sums it up for me. The other landscaper here in town dose it the same way and is compairable to this per hour rate.
  8. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    $17.00 per foot is industry standard.
  9. w.a.reid

    w.a.reid LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    i wouldnt dig a five foot deep french drain - in heavy clay soil - behind a retaining wall - and with a driveway that a 10 cubic yard dump truck cannot drive on - so the wheelbarrow carry is 30 yards for $17 a foot - maybe you were trying to be funny, but the guy that posted this thread doesnt sound like he wants to take a beating on the job:hammerhead: - theres a lot more to the bidding/estimate than measuring the length of the drain. :confused:

    so i will further your "industry standard" with reality - use JNyz's $17 per foot for the length of the job - and then multiply that figure by the average number of feet deep the drain needs to be - so again -

    $17 x 100 feet (making up the length of the drain needed) is $1700

    if the depth of the french drain needs to be 5 feet at its maximum and then tapers to say 1 foot deep - and then you have moderate soil - use 2.5 feet as an average depth - now multiply $1700 x 2.5 = $4250.

    if $17 is an "industry standard" - will you show me/us where thats written in the "industry standard book of landscape bidding" - i think we'd all like to see an industry standard book - but there aint one - sometimes you just have got to think.;)

    w.a.reid - future writer of "the landscape industry standard of landscape bidding and estimating":dancing:
  10. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,086

    Where does it state in the thread starter's post that he is digging a 2.5' average dept trench? To me with the information he gave the french drain is only going to be 6"x6" enough for a 4" sock. I think you need to READ the post before you put in your two cents. If you do bid jobs everyday like we do you become accustom to what other bid for this type of work. Drainage bids in S E Pa come in at 17.00 per foot for for 4" pipe for a french drain around a home. This is the correct answer for the information the thread starter gave in his post. Did your A D D kick in?

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