for me it was either build a french drains or install gutters. i have a 2-story house and didn't want to climb that high. anyway, i think gutters are expensive and ugly. so i chose french drains. the hardest part was filling the ditch with gravel. make sure you use 1/2 - 3/4" WASHED gravel -- you don't want the rocks or sediment small enough to get into the holes of your pipe. and the holes on the pipes are installed face DOWN, not up. that's important but counter-intuitive.
i first used a tiller to loosen the ground so i could dig easily with a shovel... my ditch was about 16 - 20" deep (shallow to deep) and 16" wide. figure out which direction you want the water to flow and dig the deepest part of ditch on the end you want the water to go. i put landscape fabric down first (to prevent dirt & sediment from reaching the pipe), then i put down 6" of gravel. next i laid the perforated 10-foot pipe (holes side down at 4, 6 and 8 o'clock) with this sock on the pipe (tied off at the low end) and a catch basin on the high end (the basin in pics is not attached yet). i then filled the rest of the ditch with gravel on the sides and top of the pipe. (be careful when doing this as filling the ditch with the gravel can cause the pipe to torque. it isn't easy to see it's torquing as sock obscures the holes. as you work, verify the holes remain down as you put in the gravel and before close up.) finally, i then folded the remaining landscape fabric back over the gravel. (make sure you buy fabric that's wide enough; 5 - 6 feet wide should do it. next cover the folded fabric with the dirt that had been removed. i covered the dirt with mulch to match the rest of my flower bed.
you do not need to glue the pipes. they're dry-laid and that's ok because water takes path of least resistance. if you need more than a 10-foot long french drain, buy perforated pipes with bell ends and just lay one pipe inside the other with the open bell facing the downward slope. there's no need to glue the pipes to the catch basins either. all you'll see when you're done is the grate on the top of your basin.
the hardest part of installing the two french drains (for me) was carrying the gravel to the ditch. i used all of 1.1 tons of gravel that i bought from the gravel pit. if you can get your truck near the ditch, that would be easier. i couldn't without taking out the lighted border (which in hind-sight i should have done).
it cost $45 for the gravel, $20 for the perforated pipes and $15 for this sock. the catch basins were $10 for the round 6" basin and $20 for the square 9-inch basin. total cost was $110. gutters would have been way more expensive and way more ugly too. for $110, i now have two 10-foot french drains on either side of my front porch. the water does not collect there anymore and my flowers don't drown now. i love my french drains. i'm a 62 year old woman and built these by myself in about 6 days (that's including a 2 day rest i took between each side). you can do this too. good luck...