Digging a Sump Pump Hole

Most homes have a sump pump hole and a pump, but if yours doesn't, be prepared to spend at least a weekend digging the hole and installing the pump. The hole is where water collects before it can be pumped outside.

Tools You'll Need

  • Jackhammer (you can rent these), or sledgehammer, chisel, hammer-drill and masonry bit
  • Shovel or trowel
  • Sump pump (submersible or pedestal) and sump pump hole liner
  • 5-gallon bucket for removing soil
  • Level
  • Protective goggles

Step 1-Locate Spot for Hole

Water drains to the lowest point in a basement. Use your level to determine the slope in the floor and find the lowest spot. Locate the hole at least 8 to 10 inches away from any wall and any foundation footings.

Step 2-Mark Hole

Using a piece of chalk, marker or spray paint, draw an outline around the outside of your sump pump liner. Add an extra 4-inches around the liner to allow for ease in dropping the liner into the hole.

Step 3-Dig Hole

Using the jackhammer, or conversely a masonry bit, sledgehammer and chisel, break up and remove the cement, dirt and soil in the hole. Dig the hole at least 12 inches deeper than the sump pump liner. Use the 5-gallon bucket to carry dirt and concrete debris outside for disposal.



Install your hardwood, softwood or composite deck with a biscuit deck clip system where the decking is near the ground, preventing access from beneath. Follow the procedure outlined below to install a deck with biscuit clips.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Tape measure
  • Table saw
  • Handheld circular saw
  • Power drill
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Power screw gun
  • Rubber mallet
  • Carpenter's level
  • Chalk line
  • Pressure treated lumber for deck joists
  • Construction adhesive
  • Putty knife
  • Biscuit clips
  • Galvanized 2-1/2 inch stainless steel screws
  • Screw plugs to match deck surface
  • Galvanized nails, 2 or 2-1/2 inch
  • Cedar or redwood grooved deck boards

Step 1: Install Deck Joists

Install deck joists with the appropriate spacing for the size of your deck. For decks under 200 square feet, use deck joists 12 inches apart at the center. If your deck will measure between 200 and 250 square feet, install 16-inch centered joists. Space joists 24 inches apart for a deck over 250 square feet. 100 biscuit clips should be sufficient for most decks. Mark the joists with chalk lines to ensure the deck boards go on at 90 degrees to the joists.

Step 2: Place the First Deck Surface Board

Drill holes in the corners of the first deck surface board with a 1/8-inch drill bit allowing 3/8 inch of countersink. Apply exterior grade construction adhesive to the joists. This is recommended to stabilize the deck surface boards. Place the first surface board on the joists along the chalk line. The grooved edge should face away from the deck perimeter. Fasten this board down with galvanized stainless steel screws in a screw gun. Subsequent boards will be grooved on both sides. The deck board for the far end of the deck will also have only one groove. Do not insert this board elsewhere in the deck.

Step 3: Insert the Countersunk Hole Plug in the Screw Hole

Put a drop of construction adhesive in the countersunk screw hole, and insert a hole plug. Tap the plug with a rubber mallet to seat it firmly in the hole.

Step 4: Insert the Biscuit Clips

Insert a biscuit clip into the groove in the first board above each deck joist. Predrill screw holes for the clips if you have used hardwood for your deck joists to prevent the splintering of the clips. Pull the deck boards snugly to each joist.

Step 5: Fasten the Biscuit Clips

Screw each biscuit clip down through the center into the deck joist. This clip will hold two deck boards, one on each side of the clip.

Step 6: Attach the Next Deck Board

Slip the exposed biscuit clip side on each joist into the groove of the next deck board, by inserting the endmost clip into the groove and sliding the deck board along to capture the others. Insert biscuit clips at the joists and fasten them. Align the next deck board with all the exposed clips. Top the joists with construction adhesive before aligning each deck board.

Step 7: Attach the Last Deck Board

Place the deck board that has only one side grooved along the last row of biscuit clips and slip the clips into the groove. Drill the corners and screw through the top surface of this board to the joists. Countersink and plug the screwholes as outlined in Step 3.