Shallow Well Cover – 100% Critter & Insect Proof!


This shallow well cover project, and the shallow well cover design came about when we found a few dead mice in the well water – which of course can be very dangerous to your health. We had to find a solution.

So I designed the well cover you see in the video above. I was not sure if it would work as well as expected, but as you will see in the video, after 8 months we opened it up for an inspection and found no critters of any kind… not an ant, nor a spider – nothing!

I can safely say with 100% confidence, this shallow well cover design will keep out everything – and the turn buckles ensure that young children will not gain easy access and fall in by accident.

Because we waited 8 months before posting the video, we discovered an issue (which is covered in the video). The well cover worked so well, it was “TOO” air tight and condensation was accumulating on the inside of the lid – so we had to add 4 vents on the sides of the well cover. This seems to have solved the problem.

What makes the design work well is the following…

  1. Binding concrete between the side walls of the cover and the walls of the culvert creates a seal that prevents all critters from getting into the well.
  2. The use of a double walled lid combined with the turn buckles ensures no critters can get in through the lid – this combined with the concrete seal keeps everything out.

What we learned after 8 months

  1. Ventilation is critical to keep the lid dry and prevent rot. It also stops condensation buildup on the lid.
  2. Condensation is not good if the lid is Pressure Treated plywood as the chemicals in the wood mix with the moisture and can drip into the well – hence the importance of vents
  3. In hind sight, I would use pressure treated materials throughout except on the inside of the lid – just in case we get really humid weather and the chemicals might leach into the well via condensation – not worth the risk in my opinion.
  4. If you can get galvanized turn buckles and associated hardware, do so, it will last longer and not rust. I had to get the cover built and galvanized hardware was not available – so we used what we had.


If you need a shallow well cover that will last for many years and keep insects and critters out, this design will work! Check out the video and if you have any questions, leave a comment below…

Free Plans Can Be Downloaded Using The Link Below


About Author

Henry Reinders has 40 years experience as a Professional Builder, Renovator and Woodworker under his belt (including 3 years apprenticing in his early twenties in Amsterdam, The Netherlands). He loves the country life, outdoors and gardening and will be sharing what he knows on


  1. Hi Henry. Your videos are outstanding!
    I am going to build a 12 x 16 shed and I will be using a lot of what you have shown.
    I’ve also built your saw horses and they work excellent.
    Thank you.
    Brent from Edmonton, Canada

    • Henry Reinders on

      Hi Brent,

      Glad you like the videos and built the saw horses… I still have mine and they have been around a long time. Being in Edmonton, if you are going to do a 12′ wide shed, be sure to use 1/2″ plywood gussets on both sides of the inner trusses and increase the size of the gusset for the rafter to bottom chord connection See link below…

      If you expect heavy snow loads (I’m not familiar with Edmonton snowfall), you may want to consider 16″ spacing on center, and/or 2×6 rafters and bottom chord – but this all depends on the snow loads in your area. I do know Edmonton can be windy so hurricane ties would be a must.

      Success with your shed build!

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