Forming footings with lumber and installing a drainage system are time-consuming chores for foundation contractors. Crews must oil and set the forms, place the concrete, strip and clean the forms, and then install rigid or flexible perforated pipe in a granular bed after the wall pour. However, contractors can eliminate many of these steps by using stay-in-place footing forms that also serve as a drainage system.

One such system, Form-A-Drain from CertainTeed Corp., Valley Forge, Pa., consists of 12-foot-long sections of polyvinyl-chloride forms, 2 1/4 inches wide and 4, 6, or 8 inches deep. Slots cut into one side of the forms provide the drainage. Accessories include couplings, 90- and 45-degree corners, vertical angle pieces and tees, drainage outlets, and spacer straps that ensure proper footing width.