How Do I Build A Base For A Shed?
Often the question keeps bothering why it is important to prepare an appropriate base for your garden shed. If your new shed is directly put on a grassed land, it can cause quick deterioration, giving way to the problems of damp, sagging walls, water leakage and so on. Such problems can be fixed if you choose a plastic shed base. Moreover, if a garden building is constructed on an incorrect base, it will invalidate the guarantee that your product may carry.
Check out before you proceed:
Prior to building up the shed bases, take some time to count a few things.
• Try to visualize the look of the building in your selected position.
• Ensure that the base allows you sufficient access around each side of the garden building.
• Check the building safety measures for storing flammable chemicals, if you are planning to put it close to your house.
• Consider the distance of the site from the house to install electricity, water points and other required items.
• Assure that you can enjoy a nice view and natural light, especially if you are planning a summer house, play house for your kids or log cabins.
• Confirm that the earth is prepared for the building the base.
• If any shoveling is required (for gas lines or irrigation) get in touch with the city and local companies.
Hiring a reputed local builder for a professional base is often recommended. But if you are comfortable to take up this task, it’s not complex at all. The following steps will guide you to build an ideal base for your shed including the framework. A good amount of time, research, some safety precautions and hard work to prepare a sturdy base will help you reap the benefits in near future.
So, let’s prepare your garden shed base using the most suitable materials of your choice. It is strongly advised to build the base a little larger than the dimensions of your garden building.
Getting the equipment and materials ready
Choose a high-quality ready-made shed base kit, which comes with the required materials including shed base panels, galvanized steel U pins and landscape membranes.
Concrete Base Method
Apply these methods for the larger garden buildings:
• Remove vegetation from the area where you are going to construct your base.
• Chalk out the area for your base with pegs and string.
• Assure that the area is square by calculating lengths between the opposite angles. When the base is a perfect square, these lengths will be equal.
• Dig the ground to 6” or 150 mm deep (approximately) in the area you’ve marked out.
• Next, lay around 75 mm of firmly compacted hardcore in the excavated ground with brick rubble working as a sound foundation. Use a rake to level the ground with compacted sand. Once it’s done, string and pegs are to be removed.
• Fix the base by cutting and fitting the steel shuttering (or timber rails) perfectly. You will need a tape measure, try square and spirit level to assure that the base is 100% leveled with the shuttering.
• Place approximately 3” or 75 mm of concrete. Prepare the blend with dry mixed concrete and a small amount of water. But this blend should never be too wet, or else, it will enfeeble the concrete.
• Now take your time to spread the concrete smoothly in the shuttering. Try one layer at a time and push the concrete into corners until the shuttering frame is full. Level it up with a plastic float.
• Cover the concrete with sheets and let it dry naturally. But it should not be dried too fast. Spray with water, mainly during the warm and dry weather.
• Once it’s dried perfectly, you can start the task of assembling the garden building.
Paving Slab Method
• Clean the area that you’ve chosen to build the base.
• Encircle the area with pegs and string for your base and compute the lengths between opposite angles. These lengths will be equal if it’s a square base.
• Now dig the ground to 2.5″ or 63.5 mm (approximately) deep and remove the pegs and string.
• Lay around 1.5″ or 40 mm mix of cement and dry sand (prepare it with one part cement to eight parts building sand). Level it with a rake and a spirit level.
• Start from the corner to place the paving slabs and tap them down with a rubber mallet. Keep the surface of the paving slabs little higher than the rest of the ground for rainwater drainage. A spirit level will help you assure that all the slabs are square and thoroughly placed together.
• Remove the excess cement mix or sand and the base is ready for starting your garden building.
Timber Bearers Method
• As mentioned before, you have to clean the selected area to prepare the base for your shed.
• Mark the area you’ve chosen for the base with pegs and string.
• Figure out the lengths between the opposite angles to make sure that the area is square.
• Dig the ground you have previously marked to 2″ or 50 mm deep (approximately). The pegs and string are to be removed.
• Lay around 1.5″ or 40 mm gravel or soil in the excavated area. Level it with a rake and a spirit level.
• Level the floor bearers with one another by using a spirit level.
• Lay concrete floor bearers or pressure treated timber bearers across the gravel/soil. Place them at intervals of 400-600 mm (approximately) ensuring that they are perpendicular to any floor joists.
• Use a rubber mallet to tap down the bearers if necessary.
Some safety tips for you:
Whether you are using a ready-made kit or preparing a shed base from the scratch, keep these safety tips in mind:
• Never use the building tools if you have consumed alcohol.
• Protect your hands with gloves while working.
• Using dangerous equipment or materials without any guidance or knowledge is not advisable.
Keep a first-aid kit nearby (in case of emergency).
Thomas Minarik works as a UK manufacturer in The Shed Base Company. Their mission is to become the UK’s leading supplier of shed bases made from recycled plastic for use in all types of garden buildings. Since 2013 we have provided over 6000 plastic shed bases to our customers across the UK and is quickly becoming the number one choice for Eco-Friendly shed bases.