Catch basins are essential to city infrastructures, collecting water runoff that would otherwise flood the streets.
To build a concrete catch basin, you’ll need to find the right location on your property, make the form out of plywood, run your drainpipe, pour some concrete, stabilize the basin with rebar, and add a metal grate for safety!
If the idea of building a concrete catch basin seems like a daunting task, then keep reading below to see how easy it is to implement water management onto your property!
Tools You’ll Need To Get Started
- Metal Grate
- Flat Trowel
- Small Shovel
- Concrete Mixing Container
- Concrete Mixing Hoe
- Garden Hose
- Drain Pipe
- Hammer or Drill
- Screws or Nails
- Circular Saw
- 2×4 Lumber and Plywood
Step-By-Step Concrete Catch Basin Building Process
#1 Dig Your Hole
Dig your hole in the appropriate location next to your foundation or on your lawn. You will want to make a two-foot box, meaning the hole will need to be at least 32” wide in both directions. Account for the width of the concrete wall.
#2 Form Your Concrete
Cut your plywood to size and create a box that will act as the interior of your catch basin. To secure your 2×4 lumber on the box’s interior corners, nail or screw the pieces to one another. It’s important that you leave anywhere from four to six inches of space between the edge of the hole and the plywood form, as this is the space that will be the wall of the catch basin.
Of course, if the plan is to build the catch basin adjacent to your home, you will only need to account for three sides in your form. Your house’s foundation will act as the fourth wall.
#3 Install the Drain
Secure your drain pipe in its right place BEFORE pouring your concrete. Your drain pipe should connect at one of the side wall’s bases, connecting to your catch basin. You want it to slow away at a slight angle until it exits at the dry well or curb.
PRO TIP: When trying to determine the height of your drain, make sure to consider how thick your concrete floor will be. Ideally, you’ll want it to be around four to six inches thick, the same as your walls.
#4 Use Rebar to Reinforce
Arrange rebar in the places where you will pour your concrete. To make sure your rebar is stable, drive it at least four inches deep. You also want to make sure that it isn’t sticking out above the ground. For a sufficient catch basin, you can use a single piece of rebar every eight inches.
We recommend reading through your local building codes first to ensure the length of your rebar isn’t too long for this particular application.
#5 Pour Your Concrete
Now, the fun part! Pour your concrete, filling the spaces between the hole’s edge and the plywood. Make sure that the concrete is mixed together with the instructions specified on its packaging.
PRO TIP: While there are many ways to mix concrete, we recommend doing it by hand. It’s the most cost-efficient way unless you want to spend money on hiring a big mixing truck from a concrete company.
#6 Remove Your Form
Once your concrete has cured, remove your plywood form and any other building materials.
#7 Pour The Bottom
Before pouring your concrete base, add at least three inches of sand to your base. Sand is very helpful in making sure the concrete doesn’t settle in years to come. Once the concrete is poured, smooth it over with a trowel.
#8 Attach Your Grate
Top off your catch basin with a metal grate for safety. You can either build your own metal grate or purchase one pre-made. Make sure that your grate is secure enough that an animal or grown adult could walk on it without fear of falling through.
Where Should I Build My Catch Basin?
A catch basin should sit at the lowest point on your property. You want it to be a place where water pools or puddles after a rainstorm. Of course, before that, you’ll want to analyze the foundation of the home.
Remember, your home’s foundation will likely be one of the four walls of your catch basin. If the foundation of your home is not in good condition, you could end up diverting water into it, which would be an absolute nightmare.
As a rule of thumb, you want to find a spot along your home’s perimeter that not only looks aesthetically pleasing but is out of the way of most foot traffic.
How Large Should My Catch Basin Be?
For most residential properties, a 2×2-foot catch basin should do the trick. The drain should be anywhere from four to six inches. The only reason you’d go larger is if you were building a commercial catch basin.
If you don’t have serious water management requirements, you may even consider going smaller with a 1×1-foot catch basin. It’s up to you to consider how much rainfall you get along with your roof’s surface area when building a catch basin.
What Are The Different Types of Residential Catch Basins?
If you’ve done any research prior to stumbling upon this article, you may have seen that there are numerous options for catch basins out there. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular choices for residential catch basins.
- Plastic Catch Basin: If you’re building a smaller catch basin, plastic is a great option! These types of catch basins are typically made out of PVC or high-density polyethylene.
- Polymer Concrete: This type of concrete is far more durable than regular concrete, as it uses a unique polymer binder with natural mineral aggregates.
- Pre-Cast Concrete: A pre-cast concrete catch basin is very common and won’t often cost you very much. However, you will need a backhoe or a small crane to install one.
- Cast-In Concrete: A cast-in concrete basin will be a good choice if you can’t deal with a heavy pre-cast basin. With a cast-in concrete basin, you will have to dig a hole, plot your meal frame, and sturdy with rebar.
How Much Does It Cost To Build a Concrete Catch Basin?
For professional concrete catch basin installation, you can expect to spend anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 depending on the size of your catch basin and the materials used. If you’re on a budget, you may consider going with a plastic catch basin that you can pick up from a local hardware store for under $100. Of course, plastic is far less durable than concrete, so we wouldn’t consider it unless your water management needs are minimal.
As you can see, building a concrete catch basin is not an incredibly difficult task, as long as you can build your frame and pour your concrete. Not only will it solve a number of water management dilemmas, it will also increase the value of your home and prevent any problems with drainage in the future!