Finishing the French Drain: Waterproofing a Basement


This waffle-like plastic material is placed on top of the 3/4 stone.


The sump pump was installed in the corner of the basement.


John mixed the concrete, poured it and worked his magic.


The French drain is finally almost completed. There was a bit of a stall due to so many other jobs to be completed at the house. The trench had to be dug a little deeper, the sump pump barrel inserted, the 3/4 stone poured on top of the drain in the trench and then the concrete pour.

A French drain is a lot of work, but in the end, it’s well worth it; we’ll never have a wet basement. If the power goes out, the sump pump’s motor will obviously not work, but fortunately, we have a generator. Without a generator, the sump pump would have to manually be bailed out. We had to do this several times at our previous house. When Hurricane Sandy hit NJ, the power went out almost immediately and we were up all night bailing water out of the sump pump. Otherwise, the basement would flood.

For those of you who live in other parts of the country, where French drains and sump pumps are not too familiar, it’s fairly common in this part of the country. Many people have basements that are wet or flood. Having a French drain solves this issue and also adds value to a house.

imageIt was a torrential down pour when John got the first of two loads of 3/4 “clean” stone. Each load weighed a 1000 pounds. The pile he’s standing on is 1000 pounds.

It’s not easy installing a French drain. But it’s also very expensive to have it professionally done; there’s a lot of labor involved (like everything else with home renovation). But if hiring someone is within your budget, it’s well worth it. Your basement will be DRY!

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