How to Lay Slabs for a Shed Base


Many homeowners require storage for tools, bicycles and other equipment, and in doing so they will often purchase a shed to be erected in their garden. While sheds can be installed directly onto grass, there is a risk that, over time, the ground will move dependent upon the weather, and this can cause the shed to sink or become uneven. To overcome this, a shed needs a firm, solid and level foundation, and this can be achieved through the use of slabs.

Things You'll Need

  • Pegs and line for marking borders
  • Spray paint (if pegs and line are unavailable)
  • Tape measure
  • Spade
  • Coarse Sand
  • Cement
  • Water
  • Spirit level
  • Slabs
  • Rubber mallet
  • Wooden block
  • Rake
  • Mortar
  • Mark the border of the shed foundation on the ground, using spray paint or pegs with a line strung between them. This should be slightly larger than the footprint of the shed to allow the shed to sit comfortably on the slabs. It should easily accommodate whole slabs; cutting paving slabs can be a difficult and time-consuming task.

  • Use your spade to dig out the topsoil to a depth of about 3 inches. Use the spirit level at various points to ensure the bottom of the excavation is level.

  • Mix six parts cement and one part coarse sand with water until it has the consistency of smooth peanut butter, in that it does not weep water when squeezed but can easily be molded in the palm. Lay and spread this in the excavation to a depth of around 2 inches. Rake the mixture to make it level and check this using your spirit level.

  • Lay the first slab in one corner of the excavation and tap into place, using the rubber mallet to ensure a bond with the cement as well as keeping the edges level so the paving isn’t crooked. If you don’t have a rubber mallet, use a normal hammer with a wooden block. Never hit the slabs directly with a metal hammer, as this could damage them.

  • Lay the remaining slabs until the base is complete. Check that it is level, using your spirit level, and adjust to suit.

  • You may wish to fill in the gaps between the slabs, using mortar. Clean away any excess mortar before it dries. Your slab base for your shed is now complete, but a shed should not be erected on it for seven days to allow the slabs to settle and the mortar to dry.

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  • Photo Credit Wilderness Shed image by Franchise from spray image by Dragana Petrovic from Wasserwaage image by ernstboese from Resting rake. image by bluefern from a hammer image by timur1970 from paving stones image by robert mobley from shed image by Julia Chernikova from
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