The Foundation - The First Step in Building a Shed
Laying a foundation is the first and most important step in building a storage shed. Whether you are planning to build a plastic shed, metal shed, or a wooden shed, it is essential to select a shed foundation that supports the weight of the structure and prevents warping, cracking, and other types of damage caused by moisture.
What Type of Shed Foundation is Right for You?
Your choice should be based on two factors - the construction of the shed you want to build and your budget.
First, you need to decide what type of shed you want to build and what you are going to use it for. If you want to build a shed that is meant for light storage such as garden tools it won't require a strong concrete foundation. On the other hand, if you're planning to build something that is meant for heavy storage, you cannot construct it on a timber foundation.
A dirt floor foundation is often used with a pole style barn shed. However, this type of foundation can not be used if the shed walls will be framed.
A crushed gravel foundation is a good choice if the dirt floor is dry and water drainage is not a problem. This type of floor consists of a layer or pea gravel approximately six inches thick and works well for smaller sheds. It is also recommended to place cement blocks on the gravel to serve as footings for the shed.
A timber frame foundation, built of pressure treated wood, is also a good choice for a storage shed. The space within the timber frame can be filled with stone slabs, slate slabs, or gravel. Or, more simply, a timber floor can be attached to the frame. This type of shed foundation is very easy to install. The timber frame foundation also works well for medium size sheds that don't require a concrete foundation.
A plastic base, made of a series of grids made of toughened plastic, is also becoming a popular choice among people these days. The flooring area contained within the grid pieces can be filled with pea gravel. This type of foundation is durable and very easy to install.
A concrete floor is the strongest and most durable floor you can build. You can choose between concrete blocks, poured cement, slabs, or piers.
If the ground surface is uneven or sloped concrete piers may be you best bet. Moreover, a pier foundation is not a permanent structure. So, if you ever need to move your shed, the foundation can be removed and moved to another place easily. This type of floor is very easy to install and not as costly as a concrete slab.
A concrete slab based shed foundation is a good choice for a large shed that will be used as a workshop or to store vehicles. Laying a concrete slab base, however, is a task that requires some special skills. If you cannot do it yourself, you might have to hire professionals, which will add to your overall cost.
A concrete block based foundation is another choice you have. It is also strong and durable making it ideal for heavy equipment. When compared to a slab base, it is easier to install and less expensive as well.
Choosing the Right Foundation
Among the types of foundations that we have discussed the concrete floor is the most expensive whereas the gravel or dirt floor is the least expensive. Similarly, installing concrete slabs takes a lot of time and effort whereas plastic grids or timber frames can be installed quickly and easily. Under no circumstances should you build your shed foundation in an area where water accumulates as this will create problems later on.