About six years ago in my first attempt to refinance, I learned that FHA and mortgage companies have criteria required of home owners refinancing site built and manufactured homes over a certain age. I was required to pump my septic tank in order to refinance and they wanted me to test my water. Pumping my septic started as a necessity, but installing a septic tank riser became a home improvement by surprise. Here are the steps for this improvement.
Finding and Uncovering the Septic Tank Cap
I saved a couple of hundred dollars by digging up the septic cap myself. Lucky for me, my neighbor knew the septic tanks location and it wasn’t buried that far down. Because of this fact, it was just over a $100 to pump and we only needed a six inch riser attached to the top of the septic. Like most things I figured if this is something that would need to be done again, why is there not a way to access the septic tank.
Choosing a Cover Up for the Septic Tank Riser
The septic tank riser used on mine is made of a dark green ribbed plastic that doesn’t look that bad itself, but didn’t exactly fit in the landscaping being in the middle of the yard. We searched for attractive septic covers, but only found a large gray plastic rock designed to hide the cover. A rock would be easy to hide with shrubs in a flower bed, but again the location was awkward. We decided on a wishing well, because it was humorous to me.
Prebuilt or Make Your Own Wishing Well
Once I decided on a well, I spent a couple of days looking at prebuilt wells, but found small wooden wells that didn’t stand out alone without something else. I had a contractor build be a modest six foot well for around $250 and had faux stone mortared to it that we had mortared around the chimney on our roof. The well structure was framed and then held into the ground with rebar in five spots. I reshingled my roof the same year and used a few left over shingles to make a matching roof on the well. It has lasted six years without maintenance so far.
Paving the Way to the Well
Obviously not a must do step, but I like rock pathways. Down our road they have broken up many large stones making roads and housing. Over the course of a few days I located and took home select rocks that served my purpose. I honestly don’t know how I got some of the rocks in the truck or home, so I would suggest getting help. Many of the rocks didn’t start near the road and had to be flipped to a point where they could be pivoted on another rock and into the truck bed. I like at least a few large stones, but you could stick with smaller more manageable stones for the whole path if wanting this look.
Since making the stone path, I’ve completely remade it, because bamboo growing through it was taking over. When making your path, prevent weeds by lying down weed cloth or in the case of bamboo, I used several bags of cement between the large stones.
Continue Your Masterpiece
Most people that work with landscaping know there’s no end to what can or needs to be done outside. I started with a well, added a stone path, three flower beds, trees and solar lighting. Later we surrounded our entire house with beach sand making it the only beach house in Sevierville, TN. The finished product is a pathway that we use daily and a unique well that is a focal point…what’s inside is our dirty little secret.