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Old 07-09-2010, 08:28 PM   #1
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cistern lid

In the process of buying a home. I need to cover the cistern in the basement before final inspection. What can i use to cover it with? Wood, Steel
Concrete? the cistern is 5 ft wide.


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Old 07-09-2010, 08:57 PM   #2
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cistern lid

I have never seen a cistern in a basement, but I don't get out much. I suppose they were common in some areas?

Ask your neighbors. Ask a local contractor. Then there's the peanut gallery: like me.

If it didn't need to be flush to the surrounding floor, I would just build a square 6' x 6' floor/wall section out of pt 2x4 on 16" centers, deck it with treated cdx, add some brackets to keep it centered over the hole, and call it good.

If it needed to be flush to the top of the surrounding floor, I would be inclined towards steel. I would ask a metal guy/shop to size the materials and build it.

Does it need a hatch?


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Old 07-10-2010, 10:07 AM   #3
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cistern lid

If the hole is 5' x 5' you'd need some thick steel because of deflection, unless you added some kind of stiffners to the back side. In an application like that it should also be galvanized. If you went with concrete, it will need to be reinforced.
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:11 PM   #4
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cistern lid

Cisterns in the basement were somewhat common around here MANY years ago. Most have either had the interior walls removed, or at least a door cut into them, to allow more useable space. I would imagine "egress" is the concern for covering the cistern top?
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:09 PM   #5
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cistern lid

I'd say a rot resistant wood.
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