How Much Does It Cost To Install A Trench Drain

Cost To Install A Trench Drain

Think about the last time you saw a rainstorm in your neighborhood. Did you notice how the water was flowing on your property? Did you identify any puddles forming on your hardscape or the area between your lawns and your hardscape? Did you notice any specific pattern the rainwater was flowing? Is the water tarnishing the color of your lawn and even impeding the growth of some plants? A lot of people are unaware of the importance of a good drainage system on their landscape. Poor drainage can cause a myriad of problems for instance: soil erosion, stunted growth in plants and damage to building foundations. Needless to say, a good drainage system cannot be overlooked. Trench grates offer the perfect solution to most drainage issues. Since water always takes the path of least resistance, rainwater will easily flow through the drain pipes rather than the hard soil or hardscape. Trench drains will ensure water moves faster or is redirected where you want.

What are Trench Drains

Trench drains are usually installed in areas where there’s interference in water flow which causes flooding or puddles to form. Basically trench drains use subsurface channels with slotted trench grates which direct water to the designated drainage system. The grates are made from various materials i.e. metal, plastic or concrete. The grates can either be standard type or custom made with decorations based on the client’s preference. Installing trench drains can be complicated depending on your landscape and property layout. If trench drains are installed on a new building then they have to be set before hardscaping is done.

The Cost of Installing a Trench Drain

The cost of trench drains depends on various factors. Basically the cost of installation is relatively cheaper if it’s done on a new building. If it’s done later then it may require extra installation which will cost more. The trench drains have to be properly fitted otherwise unwarranted repairs and damage may occur. Moreover, the type of material will impact the overall price. Approximately the price of trench drains can vary from $30 per linear foot to $150 per linear foot.

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Other Price Influencers

It’s important to note the above estimated cost is just an average that may vary when certain factors complicate installation. Here are factors that may lead to cost variation:

  • Demolitions: Some areas may require demolitions e.g. uprooting a tree. This will obviously influence the cost because you may need extra equipment like a saw. The contractor should visit the area prior to installation day and determine any necessary demolitions.
  • Soil type: The soil type will determine how hard or easy it is to dig through the ground. This will influence the overall excavation cost.  Certain types of soils like bedrock or hardpan can dramatically increase the cost.
  • Accessibility: existing buildings or homes around the property will affect movement of equipment and therefore some material may have to be moved by hand which can increase labor cost.
  • Removal of debris: The excavated soil or unwanted concrete will need to be disposed somewhere and therefore hauling equipment may be needed. You will also incur disposal cost.
  • Repair: after all the work is done, you will need to clean up the area and maybe plant new vegetation which will affect the cost depending on how much work you want done.

The Best Way to Install Trench Drains

A trench drain needs to be carefully installed with an expert to ensure it directs water to the designated primary or secondary drainage area. The following are mistakes that can be made if the right procedure is not adhered to:

  • Wrong elevation of the trench drain.
  • Using the wrong material for the trench drain grates e.g. using plastic grates in a very visible and exposed area. Such areas require metal grates or custom made grates that have been decorated. 
  • Using the wrong grates in parking areas which can be catastrophic. Such areas require strong material that can withstand heavy force.
  • Poor estimation of the size of the drain which cannot accommodate excess water flow.
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It’s therefore imperative to do a background check on the contractor you are hiring. Make sure they have been in the business long enough to know their craft. Don’t underestimate the role of experience in such work.

Final Thoughts 

The above information is enough to guide you on the cost to expect when installing a trench drain. Remember, not everything is fixed so approach each project with an open mind. Conduct enough research before hiring a contractor. This is the first and the most important step. An experienced contractor should be able to advise you on what’s needed and even help you to reduce unnecessary costs. Lastly, don’t forget the importance of a good drainage system.

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