How to Make a Concrete Base for a Shed

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There are sheds that you can build on your own from scratch, and there are sheds that you can buy which you can assemble on your own. Whatever type you choose for your storage shed, you need to build a base to ensure that it is stable, dry and clean. Concrete is one example of a material to use as a base for the shed. The advantages of using concrete are that it is low maintenance compared to wood and easier to install compared to bricks.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure Colored spray can or white powder Shovel String Stakes Level 2-inch by 4-inch wood lumber (6 pieces) Screwdriver Screws Gravel Sand Soil compactor or hand tamper Concrete Concrete mixer Wheelbarrow Plastic cover Water hose Push broom
  • Find a location for your storage shed. The location should be not too close to the fence. Give it enough clearance, approximately 4 feet away, from the fence. If you live in a neighborhood or planned community with a homeowner's association, check the guidelines to see if they allow you to build or erect a shed close to the fence or where it is viewable from the street, which may ruin the curb appeal of your home. Find out also from your city of any building code restrictions. In most cases, you would not need a permit, but it is better to check it out first just in case.

  • Measure the area where you will put the concrete base. Depending on the size of the shed, measure 2 inches wider on each of the four sides.

  • Place stakes on all sides and corners then tie strings around them. You can also mark the ground using a colored spray can or white powder to mark the areas.

  • Dig out the soil from inside the mark lines. Dig up to 6 inches deep.

  • Check if the ground is level after digging.

  • Build a frame or solid form by using four 2-inch x 4-inch wood lumbers. Install one on each side; connect them using hammer and nails or screw using a screwdriver.

  • Add layers of aggregates, such as a 1-inch layer of gravel and then add a 2-inch layer of sand on top.

  • Use a compactor or hand tamper to level and flatten the aggregates. Add more sand to ensure you end up with a total of 3 inches aggregates. Make sure that after compacting you only have 3 inches of space remaining for the layer of concrete.

  • Mix the concrete in a rented concrete mixer or in a wheelbarrow using a shovel. Add enough water to reach the correct consistency. Do not add too much water that it will end up too sloppy.

  • Pour the concrete into the hole. Move as quickly as possible so that the concrete will not dry up before you can spread it evenly.

  • Use the extra lumber to spread the concrete by putting it on top of the wood framework and then sliding the wood forward and back, while moving it slightly to the right until you have a flat and leveled surface. This action will remove the excess concrete or will level it off if you need extra concrete. Add more concrete as needed.

  • Let the concrete cure for 24 hours, then check it again the next day. Cover with plastic on top to prevent leaves and debris from sticking to the concrete.

  • Check the concrete after 24 hours and if it is still not solid enough, let it cure for another 24 hours, longer in colder or wet weather.

  • Remove the plastic cover after the concrete completely cures. Clean the surface by using water hose and push broom.

  • Assemble your shed on top of the concrete base.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can order ready-mix concrete from distributing companies. They will pour pre-mixed concrete for you, which can save time on preparing the concrete mixture.
  • Put a sign "Wet Concrete" so that no one will accidentally step on your concrete as it dries.
  • Photo Credit penywise/Morguefile
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