To hire a professional or to not hire a professional? This is THE question that has plagued homeowners since the dawn of time. This is especially true for new homeowners who may have lived in their home for maybe a year or two. The reasoning behind this is that they would prefer to do the job themselves as they’ve already spent so much acquiring the house or maybe they are just underestimating how easy the job could be.
In any case, a french drain installation is a serious job. French drains reduce the possibility of floods and long-term water damage to your home. They have a 30- to 40-year lifespan. They are economical. Given that they are frequently covered with tiny rocks, plants, and occasionally even decorative grates, French drains can be visually beautiful. However, should installing a French drain be done professionally or can any homeowner do it themselves?
This is the topic that we will be exploring today.
Things to consider
If you’re seriously thinking of installing a French drain yourself, here is what you should consider.
Amount of soil
You’ll need a ditch that is a foot wide and 18 inches deep as it is necessary for a French drain. This implies that you will remove 1.5 cubic feet of earth for every foot you dig. Depending on the water content, typical topsoil weighs roughly 100 lbs. per cubic foot. So you will be moving around 1,500 pounds of earth for every 10 feet you dig. You could carry out the task manually or spend $150–200 each day renting a trenching gear.
Safety, especially while digging
Contact local state or city services to mark the position of any underground lines before you start any digging. Dial 811 to reach the Call Before You Dig helpline. Remember to do this before you start, because this free service ensures that underground utilities are marked.
If you don’t call 811 you can run into some serious problems like hitting a gas line or worse: an electrical line. Always ensure your own safely before beginning any new DIY project. Especially one that involves heavy duty steps like digging and home renovations.
The sheer amount of gravel
You will need approximately 6 yards of gravel, which weighs between 2,400 and 2,900 lbs. and costs around $25 per cubic yard plus delivery, for every ten feet of drainage. Additionally, you will need to find a location for the dirt that the gravel has moved.
The cost of DIY
The good news is that digging your trench by hand won’t cost you anything other than time. However, you will need to pay money for a drain pipe, gravel, a new shovel, and maybe an aspirin bottle for the next day. You must plan a method of transportation if you rent a trenching tool. While a trenching equipment drastically reduces labor time, you should budget $125 to $200 every day. Renting a backhoe and operator might add another expense to the mix. A backhoe is a significant piece of machinery that can cut a trench swiftly. To make this tool worthwhile, you’ll need to give it a lot of work to accomplish. A backhoe is necessary only if:
- You need to dig a drainage trench of more than 100 lineal feet.
- You can make it simple for this huge piece of equipment to enter your home.
- The backhoe won’t permanently compress soils or damage landscape elements. It’s big!
- You expect to spend between $300 and $1,500 for the tool rental, the time it takes to transport the backhoe to your property, and the operator’s hourly wage.
An enormous range of background knowledge, skill, effort, and money are needed for a DIY French drain project. As you can see, installing French drains correctly depends on a variety of things. Instead of starting a DIY French drain renovation straight away, consult the experts first. They are equipped with the necessary skills, information, and tools.
Hiring a professional
Your job can be done by a qualified contractor for roughly the same price but none of the personal effort from your side. All you would have to do is to call the professional company and let them take the lead.
Their service typically includes a preliminary evaluation and estimate, all components and supplies, all labor, and topsoil backfilling for the trench. If you’re searching for a professional foundation repair business with experience installing French drains, look no further than Zavza Seal LLC. They are a professional contracting company that have years of experience under their belt. This makes them ahead of the curve and sets them apart from all their competitors. Visit their website today or call in for a free estimate.
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