Like Ron, I don't know the codes in CO. Depending on where the French Drain is being installed may affect the code.
The main issue is what you do with the water that's collected by the drain. There are issues like 'altering the natural terrain', 'draining into public sewers', 'draining into the street', etc., etc.. So do check into it if you're thinking along these lines. Since the drain pipes aren't carrying gas or water or anything under pressure, perforated pipe (flex or hard) is what's used. I prefer flex pipe if I have good slope and am not going too deep. If I don't have good slope, I have to go deep and I usually use rigid pipe.
As far as needing heavy equipment, like Ron says, that depends. My best to ya and hope this helps.