How to Prepare Your Shed Base Using Concrete or Gravel – What to Know

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Are you thinking of building a shed base in your backyard? You’ve come to the right page. In this post, we’ll talk about how you can prepare for a shed base. 

Any shed requires a firm and level base, or else, the structure will likely fall to shambles over time—doors may not fit and screw holes might not line up correctly. There are several base options to choose from: 

  • Timber
  • Plastic
  • Paved
  • Concrete

Paved and concrete base can’t be directly laid onto the soft ground; therefore, you need to have a sub-base for either of them. Furthermore, concrete requires formwork, which is the frame or edging construction that will support it. Timber and plastic bases are faster to build and require less work. However, if you plan to build a large shed, then it’s best to stick to paved or concrete.

Preparation of the Ground for Concrete

Here are the simple steps to prepare the ground if you plan to use concrete for your shed base: 

  1. Make sure to level and compact the soil first. Water must be able to escape from the foundation. 
  2. Gather stakes and twine, and set out your slab dimensions. The slab must follow the exact size of your shed base, but you need to deduct 3/4 inch on all sides. This way, the shed will overhang the slab. 
  3. Add six inches to all sides of the specific dimensions where the slab will be. 
  4. Dig four to six inches. It will vary depending on how soft the soil is. If you have soft ground, it’s essential to dig a deeper hole.
  5. Use a mechanical compactor to tamp the ground firmly to level it. 
  6. Use at least a four-inch-thick layer of gravel. 
  7. Build a wood mold and once this is leveled, pour your concrete. 
  8. Allow for several days for the concrete to dry. 

Preparation of the Ground for Gravel

Now, here are the steps to prepare your ground for your shed base if you plan to use gravel: 

  1. Level the ground at least two feet wider than your shed dimensions. 
  2. Dig down four to six inches and compact and level the ground.
  3. For a cleaner border, you can install an outer frame of pressure-treated wood that measures 2” x 6” on a vertical edge. 
  4. Use a 2” x 2” Stake the inside of the corners to secure the frame. 
  5. The shed should either rest on the foundation on the skids, or on a wood frame on concrete spacers. 


Working on your shed base is the first step of the building process and gravel or concrete are the two most popular bases to use because they’re sturdy, and it allows owners to create a bigger shed. 

If you have the skills to build a shed base on your own, then do it. All you need is to follow the simple steps above and make sure that you have the proper equipment with you. If you need help with this project, you can always contact a professional to lend you a hand. 

If you’re looking for tips on building your own shed, check out My Shed Plans today!