My suspicion is that you're trying to 'fix' a drainage problem. Take a look and see if you can re-landscape first. You'll need a minimum of 1/4" per foot for a minimal distance of 3' AWAY from the house, for drainage. If you have negative slope, certainly, you'll have water at the foundation and possibly in the home.
Also, in the next rain storm, put on some boots, a rain coat, and carry an umbrella (as long as it isn't lightening outside). Take a look at ALL the gutters and be sure NONE are over-flowing. Also, downspouts are to be extended at least 3' from the foundation. Make sure the water isn't running back towards the foundation either.
Assuming you have good landscaping and properly working gutters and downspouts, go to Introduction to Landscape Drainage. Read that and then you'll see a link about Constructing a French Drain. DO get the big picture first. Also, where the text refers to landscape fabric, use filter fabric. I wrote to them 2x's and last I remember, they didn't change it when they said they would.