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Tips to Building a Better Foundation

If you’ve decided that you want to do a lot of gardening in your yard or need a place to store things outside of your home, it might be time to build your own shed. The most important part of putting up sheds is building a shed foundation. The foundation for shed structures has to be sturdy and long-lasting to protect the value of the shed you purchase and the items you will be storing. Prefab sheds are available for sale online, but when you buy one, you want to know you will get the most out of it. Properly constructed shed foundations will help you do this. Often, building a shed foundation can be as simple as just putting down a few concrete blocks. Of course, something sturdy that will keep the water out and tie down the timbers of the shed will take a bit more effort. If you want to know how to build a shed foundation, the following tips will help.

Where to Start

Whether you are building a storage shed foundation or one for a garden shed, the first tip for those who want to know how to build a shed foundation is to create a clearly-marked-out perimeter. The best way to do this is to sharpen small pegs and add a nail into each one. Insert one peg into the ground for each of the four corners of your shed. Tie a bit of string connecting each of the nails. You can confirm that it’s rectangular by measuring from corner to corner. If the distances are equal, then you have a square.

To level your excavation for your foundation, you could use sight rails or optical levels. With such a small area being excavated, it’s probably best to simply use a spirit level and some two-by-fours. You can now begin digging. You will want the final depth to be about 3 inches. Remember to use your spirit level again to ensure that things are still level after digging.

Choosing Stone

First-time builders often make the mistake of using lower-grade stone for their new shed foundation. It’s smarter to use material that has a mix of some finer stones along with some larger stones measuring about an inch and a half in size. Alternatively, you could use crushed stone or pulverized concrete. It’s best not to use gravel or any single large aggregate.

Adding the Stone

Before adding the stone to the excavation, check once again to ensure that everything is level. While you can use a hand tamper to compact the stone as you add it, they usually weigh about 20 pounds and can be exhausting. You can make things a great deal easier on yourself if you use a vibrating plate. They don’t cost much to rent and are well worth it. Keep checking the levels as you go.

Adding the Wooden Foundation

When you lay down the wooden foundation timbers, make sure that they run perpendicular to the floor joists that will be in the floor of your shed. To provide for ventilation under the shed, you should use 4-by-4 pressure-treated wood timbers. Pressure-treated wood provides the best value for your money, since it lasts longer. When you lay down the timber bearers, you’ll find that the spacing will differ, so you should reference the instructions and blueprints for your particular shed.

Wrapping It Up

Just as with your home, the quality of the materials and construction used for the foundation of your shed are essential to its utility and longevity. The focus in building a shed foundation should be on creating one that is level, structurally sound, long-lasting, and resistant to water damage and settling.

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