Filling in the trench

Now that we had rock we turned our attention to filling in the trench. We didn’t know how to build a French Drain before this but did some research and figured it out.  I should have pointed out before, but we got quotes for this too that started at about 5 thousand, so we decided to do it ourselves!

Here are the steps, once you have figured out where it needs to go:

1. Dig the trench – check 

2. Clean out the trench you dug after the walls start to cave in after storms 

3. Line with landscaping fabric.

4.  Place a base layer of rocks.

5. Place perforated pipe.  The pipe includes the pipe that lays down in the trench as well as some sections of perpendicular pipe that goes above the ground to allow you to clean out the pipe if it gets clogged. 

6. Place more rock over the top.

7. Fold over the landscape fabric to enclose the space.

8. Place a second layer of solid wall pipe that connects to downspouts.

9. Cover with rocks.

10. Decide how you want to over your drain and fix landscaping.

Now that we have rocks we got started on steps 2-5 and here’s some pictures: 

You can seen from the pictures that the rock is not as billed. It has pieces smaller than 1/4 inch and even some silt which may mean the pipes will need to be cleaned out more in the future.


Now that the trench is dug we ordered rock to fill it with, we got quotes from multiple places and decided to go with crushed concrete. For a French Drain you need 1/4 in or bigger rocks to make sure that the water can travel around the rocks to the perforated pipe. We gave them the dimensions of the trench and they recommended 17 yards of stone! 

Here’s the truck that delivered them (it was supposed to drop the rock in the alley driveway but the truck wouldn’t fit)

And here’s all the rocks: 

We had better pick up the pace before we get in trouble for having a pile of rocks on the street!