Learn how to cover the sump pump pit in style. - SahmReviews.com

If you live in the Midwest and have a basement, odds are pretty good that it is home to the kids’ playroom. As a kid, every family I knew sent the kids to the basement to play when they couldn’t go outside. Come to think of it, as an adult every family I know sends their kids to the basement to play too.

Oh, and when you live in the Midwest in a home with a basement (regardless of whether it doubles as a playroom), chances are pretty good that there’s a sump pump in one of the corners. For the uninitiated, a sump pump is a pretty simple idea. It’s a pump designed to keep the basement from flooding. There’s a basin dug in the corner of the house to reach the groundwater. When the weather is particularly wet – from a long rain or during spring defrost – water seeps into the basin and gradually rises. Within the basin is a pump that is connected to a pipe that is vented to the outside of the home, typically via a hose that lets out several feet into the yard. You can think of it as an anti-flooding, siphoning device.

Yes, it’s simple. It’s also pretty frightening.

Learn how to cover the sump pump pit in style. - SahmReviews.com

It’s not uncommon for basements in the Midwest to also have Foosball, pool or ping pong tables. I still have haunting childhood memories of encounters with the bottomless well in basements of family and friends. For fear of my life, I never volunteered to retrieve ping pong balls that went anywhere near the sump pump. Since I never learned to swim as a kid, I wasn’t interested in learning the hard way how deep that dark hole in corner really was.

As an adult, I see things much clearer. The bottomless pit in the corner is really not very deep. Although I still think it looks intimidating. I’m also aware of the concern families have. Many opt to build a closet around the area where the pump exists to prevent accidents. Unfortunately, since the pump area is just a hole, a “closet” becomes more of just an enclosure that can’t be used for anything else. It’s a total waste of space.

When we moved from California to Iowa and bought a new home with an unfinished basement, I had completely different plans in mind. I didn’t want my kids to live in fear of the black hole but I also didn’t want a sump pump enclosure that would waste an entire corner. I wanted something functional.

I started brainstorming ideas and thought about creating some kind of a enclosed bar or table that would be lightweight and removable, allowing access to the pump when needed. I had it all figured out, too. We could purchase chairs or bar stools that would go with it and the table could serve as an area for playing games, coloring or whatever.

When I mentioned it to Scott, he was already one hundred steps ahead of me. His response to my comment was “How about a platform that is about ‘this’ high?” He held his hands up with one about a foot above the other. I couldn’t picture the use of a table so low but the girls were little and he always thinks things through so I knew he had a plan. When he said it would be permanent, with a trap door and covered completely in some kind of parquet flooring, I realized he was describing a stage. Two girls? A stage? Brilliant.

With the help of my dad, here’s how he did it:

Learn how to cover the sump pump pit in style. - SahmReviews.com

During the construction build-out, we made sure not to lose the space above the sump pump. One wall included the water pipe while the adjoining included a recessed bookshelf.

Learn how to cover the sump pump pit in style. - SahmReviews.com

We determined the size of the stage we wanted. We didn’t want it so big that it was intrusive to the room. However we wanted it large enough to allow for a decent size access panel as well as enough space to be functional as a stage. They framed it off using 2x4s then added interior supports because, well, it was going to be danced on and needed support. The interior supports also provided a resting area for the access panel.

Learn how to cover the sump pump pit in style. - SahmReviews.com

The plywood was cut to size with an access panel cut as well. The parquet flooring was adhered to the plywood. Scott routed out a hole out of the access panel and screwed a recessed latch into it to make removal easier. He finished it off by adding metal nosing around the edge.

Learn how to cover the sump pump pit in style. - SahmReviews.com

The final result is a sump pump enclosure that doesn’t waste an entire corner of the room, makes the kids happy and looks great.

Who is ready to grab a mic and perform?

Learn how to cover the sump pump pit in style. - SahmReviews.com

31 thoughts on “How To Hide Your Sump Pump Hole

  1. That is brilliant! I bet you could finagle a curtain with a shower rod and some thrift store curtains for even more creative play! LOVE it!

  2. This is such a great idea! We live in TN and there have been a lot of basement floods in the neighborhood recently. I’ll suggest this to my friends!

  3. That is a really stylish way to go! I love the look and especially the opportunity for the kids to have fun on their own stage. My son would really like this idea.

  4. This is such a clever idea. I am new to the basement thing, this would be perfect in ours which is our play room.

  5. That’s pretty smart! We don’t have a sump pump as our basement is a walk out, but if we did, we would totally build one of these stages to hide it!

  6. We actually used to always play in the basement growing up too! What a brilliant idea to cover up the sump pump and still make a great play area for the kids.

  7. I LOVE this creative idea! We live in a small house, so wasting space is not an option. We don’t have a sump pump, but this is a great jumping off point to think of other ways we can make our space functional. Thanks for starting up my personal brainstorming session!

  8. Never saw one! Our entire mountain village of about 400 residents all have septic tanks – and ours is hidden under a part of our deck that can lift off when needed – and we always know right here it’s located! So yours looks nice and our outside one does also 🙂

  9. Great article! Good inspiration for me in dealing with one of these in a bedroom.

    But… watch out for those sharp metal corners with kids running and playing! Perhaps a foam or rounded wood edging would be better?

  10. Very well done – but this one was indoors – what about a sump outdoors exposed to the elements – snow and rain ? would plywood still be the material to use or would decking material ( vinyl or aluminium ) be more appropriate? My sump is in the middle of drive way so stronger material would be needed to handle the traffic of cars.
    Any suggestions ? Thanking you in advance

  11. Scott was like my late husband. If he was doing an upgrade or a home improvement, the plan was with the kids in mind first! So it doesn’t surprise me that you have a dance or karaoke stage in your basement! Kudos great idea and job!!

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