How to Lay a Shed Base

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A shed base serves as the supporting surface for prefabricated or other small storage shed. The reasons for laying a foundation of this sort are to keep the shed floor level and to provide drainage so the area under and around the shed stays dry--this prevents decay of the shed structure and protects its contents. Creating a shed base requires some earth-moving and carpentry skills.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Crushed rock or gravel
  • 4- by 4-inch pressure-treated beams
  • Carpenter's level
  • Straight board
  • Excavate the sod and soil underneath the planned shed area with a shovel to a depth of at least 2 inches. Remove all grass roots as well as any other plant roots in the area.

  • Fill the excavated area with crushed stone. Rake the stone to spread it evenly until it looks level to the eye.

  • Lay down the 4- by 4-inch treated timbers. Use one timber for each 4 feet of shed width, and space the timbers evenly over the excavated area. Work the timber down into the crushed stone so it does not wobble. Check each timber with a carpenter's level. Add or remove crushed stone under the timbers to adjust if necessary until they are level.

  • Place a straight board over all timbers. Place the level on top of this board and check to ensure the timbers as a whole create a level surface. Adjust the timbers for horizontal level by adding or removing gravel under them as necessary. Remove the board.

Tips & Warnings

  • Placing landscape fabric in the excavated area before the crushed rock is added prevents weeds and grass from growing up through the rock under and around the shed.
  • For small projects bagged, crushed stone available at home improvement stores works well, but for larger projects having the stone delivered by a contractor may be most cost effective.

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