Building a shed can appear to be quite a challenge to amateur woodworkers. Build a shed foundation which is flat, firm and level and the rest is more or less simple. Constructing the foundation for a shed is not that difficult for one person to do alone. However, it is good to have a second person to help you lift the timber.
It is good to consult your local building council and show them your shed foundation plans to check if you need any building permits. This can vary from area to area. Choose the construction site wisely. Make sure it is easily accessible. Check that there are no trees or shrubs growing near the shed. The shed must be situated in an area which receives ample sunlight and air.
It is very critical to have a dry and level foundation. It is impractical to build a shed on an uneven foundation. This will prevent the wall sections (simple diagrams for making shed from scratch) from fitting into place when you try to secure them to each other. For sheds which will need to hold heavy items, it is recommended to build a concrete foundation. The two most common methods of building the shed foundation are as follows.
I. The Concrete Floor Method
- Use stakes and thread to mark out the ground for building the foundation. Take care that it should be at least 2 inch larger than the size of the shed. Measure the diagonals to ensure that the land is perfectly square.
- Dig the ground about six inches deep. Level the ground using a spade and firm the bottom soil. Take away the stakes.
- Cut timber boards for building the framework (accurate wooden frame shed construction plans) which will hold the concrete in place as it dries. Measure the diagonals to ensure that the framework is square. Finally, check if the framework is level.
- Lay down a covering of compressed gravel about 3 inches deep. Mix the cement with ballast in a ratio of 1:5. Keep adding small quantities of water the mixture as you mix but make sure it doesn’t become too diluted. Pour the concrete into the foundation and completely fill the framework to the top. The excess of concrete can be leveled down with the edge of a timber board by using a cutting motion along the entire top of the freshly laid concrete.
- If you are expecting rains then cover the concrete with plastic for a day. If there is excess of sunshine, cover the concrete with wet bags and periodically water them throughout the day. This will prevent the concrete from drying too quickly and developing cracks.
II. The Slab Foundation Method
- As in the previous method, select a suitable location for building the foundation and mark the land by driving wooden stakes into the four corners. Make sure the ground is level by checking the angles.
- Remove the dirt from the ground and dig a hole about 2.5 inches deep. Level the ground and remove the stakes.
- Mix cement and sand in a ratio of 1:8 and make a dry mixture. Pour this into the ground about 2 inches deep and pat it level. Starting from the corner and moving outwards, lay down the slabs. Use a spirit level to make sure all the foundations are firm and level.
- Finally check once more to be absolutely sure that the base is flat and square by measuring the diagonals. Remove any excess sand from the edges. Now you have a perfectly solid, level and firm foundation for building your shed.