DIY Network

How to Provide Drainage for the Yard

With a new drain installed, a yard is ready for anything: new sod, planting beds or, in this case, an easy-install patio.

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  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Pick the Right Drain

The old drainage system in this yard just wasn't cutting it – in part, because the drain was just a little larger than a shower drain. Pick a drain large enough to move plenty of water.

Step 2: Cut the Grass

A new patio is replacing the lawn in this area, so the grass has got to go. Instead of digging up the unwanted grass, then having to fill in the hole, simply kill it. Cut the lawn as short as possible using a lawnmower and/or edge trimmer to make it easier to kill. Don't try for a perfect putting-green cut: Angle the trimmer to take the greenery off at dirt level if possible. Remember to remove rocks, sticks and other debris before cutting the grass.

Wear safety glasses and ear protection when using a lawnmower or string trimmer. If allergies or airborne dirt are an issue, opt for a dust mask as well.

Step 3: Remove Old Drainage

Since the old drainage system wasn't up to the job, replace all components. Dig out and discard the old pipes. There's no need to water a non-existent lawn – or one that's already swamped by water from next door. Cap any sprinkler heads in the work area. Capping the sprinklers instead of removing them makes it easy to start the system back up at a later date, if needed, and saves a lot of work digging out and capping off water supply lines.

Step 4: Install New Drainage

Install the new channel drain and drain pipe according to the manufacturer's instructions. Install the drain where water tends to collect the most; remember to angle the pipe so the water flows downhill to the desired location. Avoid any sharp turns; these make clogs and blockages more likely.

With the drain and pipe in place, pour water into the drain to check for leaks and make sure it comes out in the right location. Fill in the trench over the pipe and around the drain, leaving the drain level with the surface of the ground.

DIY Experts

Yard Crashers

Transform your landscape with host Ahmed Hassan.

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