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Last updated on November 6th, 2023

Soakaway cost guide

If you’re considering your options when it comes to driveway drainage, then you might be asking yourself, how much does a soakaway cost? We’ve got it covered in our handy guide.

If you’re considering your options when it comes to driveway drainage, then you might be asking yourself, how much does a soakaway cost? You might also be looking for the following:

  • How much does a soakaway installation cost?
  • What is the cost to install a channel drain in the driveway?
  • What other factors affect the overall cost of drainage installation?

Thankfully, we’ve got everything you need to know to help you price up your project and give you confidence in requesting three quotes.

How much does a soakaway cost?

Cost provided itemRange - LowRange - HighAverage cost
Soakaway installation (labour per day)£150£300£240
Soakaway installation (materials) £250£500£350
Waste removal£100£300£200
Complete soakaway cost (materials & labour)£1,000£2,500£2,000
Channel drain£25£500£300

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

Depending on how complex installing a soakaway is, the price will differ. Some gardens need smaller soakaways, which are relatively straightforward to install, while others require a more complex installation, which naturally costs more.

Costs to expect include:

For an easy-to-access garden, you can expect a small soakaway to cost around £1,000. For more complex designs, soakaways can take up to two days to install and therefore are likely to cost around £2,500.

Broken down, labour costs average around £240 per day. Materials such as the crate, membrane, pipe, gully, and gravel average £350, while waste removal will set you back around £200.

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Factors affecting soakaway costs

One factor affecting a new soakaway cost is the ease of access. If your driveway is tarmacked or tiled, this needs removing before the soakaway can be installed. Other complexities include if there’s additional depth, pipework, or if reinforcement is required. Your expert tradesperson will be able to talk you through your options and explain the best workaround to achieve your driveway drainage goals.

Driveway trench drain installation cost

These linear drains help move water through an underground drainage system. By collecting runoff and dispersing it over a large area, it acts as a gutter for your ground. The cost to install a channel drain in your driveway (aka. trench drain), varies between £25 to £500 depending on the length, depth, and materials you choose. They are easier to install and fit on driveways, which is why they’re a cheaper option compared to soakaways.

soakaway installation cost

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Benefits of a soakaway for driveway drainage

  • Reduces the risk of flooding by taking water away from sewers
  • When water infiltrates the ground, it’s a natural process that recharges the underlying aquifers
  • Cost-effective for those with the available land
  • They’re a low maintenance drainage option
  • Soakaways can be fitted retrospectively
  • They can last 100 years


How deep should I dig a soakaway?

The most important factor when installing a soakaway is the amount of water it can hold and how quickly it can drain the water. The depth isn’t usually the issue.

Do I need planning permission to install a soakaway?

If you can install a soakaway, you should. Most building regulations state that homeowners need to adequately dispose of stormwater from their building. Why not hire one of our professionals to ensure you’re adhering to your responsibilities?

Does driveway drainage require maintenance?

Soakaways don’t require a huge amount of maintenance. It’s definitely worth checking on them from time to time to ensure there’s no silting or contamination.

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Claims are sourced from a survey conducted by Deep Blue Thinking on a nationally representative UK sample in November 2021. *8 out of 10 people would choose a trade endorsed by Checkatrade compared to one that isn’t endorsed.

Working with professional estimators, we collate cost estimates for the common home improvement and repair jobs in the UK.

All the costs are estimates only. For accurate costs for your particular requirements, you are encouraged to reach out to professional tradespeople to receive a quote for your job.

Our estimators are Chartered Members (MRICS) of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Members of the Chartered Institute of Building (MCIOB). See full disclaimer.

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