How to Build a Shed Foundation

How to Build a Shed Foundation
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Creating your own shed starts with careful planning. Apart from taking into consideration the myriad of details your construction includes, the first step is to decide dimensions and plan the foundation of your building. This might seem rather simplistic at first sight – indeed, there are many considerations when building your own shed.

The foundation determines the longevity and durability of your shed – improper foundation planning and execution are largely dependent on your circumstances, such as the type of terrain you will build on, the foundation depends on the structure of the shed, but weather conditions also play a part.

If you fail to account for all these specific factors, the flooring will not be even and very difficult to fix later on, taking more time and resources than you initially planned for. The doors, the windows, and the roof can leak and become damaged quicker, compromising the integrity and the safety of your shed.

If you want to eliminate these risks, My Wood Shed Plans can help you create a customized plan that is best for your shed requirements and foundation in no time, accounting for all details and a step-by-step guide. But for now, you can check out the following general guidelines in building your own foundation.

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Preparing and Planning

First off, you need to make sure you do your homework. Check with the local authorities for any building legislation or regulations – they can offer you guidelines regarding what permits you need to build your shed, what kind of foundation you should choose, the frost line, along with recommendations about shed size and type.

When it comes to planning, choosing a suitable location is necessary. Make sure that your chosen spot does not have a predisposition towards water collection and some experts also recommend at least three to four feet clearance from any other structures, including fences.

If you plan to build a shed that is more than 160 square feet, you need more clearance. This is the safety area required to build your shed without space inconveniences.

A smart move at this point would be to mark the space you chose. Measure the perimeter carefully and note down the measurements for further reference.

Building the Foundation

In this guide, we will go for a frost-proof foundation as it is the smarter choice, especially if you live in cold, snowy areas. The footers need to be placed below the frost line so that they do not move when the temperature is at freezing point.

The standard measurements used in this guideline are 6 x 8. This makes a 10-foot distance between two points. However, you can modify these measurements to fit your own shed foundation.

Postholes need to be approximately 4 feet away from each other – these points are marked with mason’s string and batter boards. Where the string intersects, this represents a post corner.

Dimensions of post holes are 12 inches below the frost line and 12 inches in diameter. After you dig the holes, fill them with gravel, make it compact and add concrete. Make the concrete according to the manufacturer's instructions. A quick tip would be to check with local authorities to find out the frost line depth.

Wait for the concrete to cure. Afterward, place a post on the footer and set the post square using the mason’s string intersection. The post needs to be upright and straight. Add concrete all around the sides and place soil on top. Make sure each post is completely straight until the concrete has set.

How to Build a Shed Foundation

After you set all the posts, you should decide the height of the shed floor and mark a post. Use this as a guideline for all the other posts and cut the rest of them (at the same height) with a saw.

The next step is to attach the post base brackets and 4 x 4 runners.

Now it is time to build the floor frame according to your shed plan. Most of the shed floors use 2x4s, but you may also use 2x6s.

Place the frame on the 4 x 4 runners with a slight overhang at the ends. Attach each side of the frame to the corresponding runner with a screw.

Make any adjustments to the flooring if needed. Measurements at this point are crucial at determining overall shed stability. Place the plywood (or any material) and check that all flooring is equal and level.

Additional Hints and Tips

As you may have noticed, having detailed and step-by-step guidelines can make or break your shed at this point. Apart from this, some other details might also be overlooked by some. For instance, do not forget that coating your flooring for extra protection against rotting or extra durability can be done within this process.

Additionally, if you decide to go for an ‘empty’ foundation (no filling between the floor and the ground), keep in mind that all kinds of animals can make that their shelter.

Make sure that you fill up all empty spaces with broken glass, bits of concrete, rocks or any other material which will not allow animals to crawl and remain in there. Anchoring the posts is also beneficial if the weather tends to be windy – so the shed won’t move or be blown away.

Wrapping Up

Overall, building a foundation for your shed is no easy job. The foundation is the decisive factor for the stability of the building, and a correctly done one can save you a lot of time and money in the future.

The uneven floor, for instance, might not seem like a significant issue initially, but it can cause your materials to fall from shelves or make your door or window difficult to stay closed.

Of course, a poorly realized foundation can compromise the entire stability of the wood shed. If you want to make sure your time is not wasted, My Wood Shed Plans can offer you a detailed step-by-step guide on how to achieve this task in no time and without any headaches.

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