How to Build a Concrete Shed Base

Building a good base for your garden shed is very important. Nathan James Dodd provides a step by step guide to building a concrete shed base.

Created by Nathan James Dodd on Monday, 25th of February, 2013.
Updated on Wednesday, 14th of June, 2017.


Concrete Garden Shed Base

A vital part of the preparation for erecting any shed is to create a strong and level base for the shed to sit on top of, this ensures that your shed will be sturdy and look great too. If the base is not level or dry you may find that vital screw holes or interlocking parts will not line up correctly making the final assembly difficult and unstable, especially in high winds.

When it comes to shed bases there are several available to you, these include:

  • Paving slab base
  • Treated timber bearer base
  • Concrete base

Building a Concrete Base

Here is my step by step guide to building a concrete shed base.

Step 1:

Before you build your shed base you will need to choose a suitable location that gives you enough distance from any fences or hedges to provide easy access to all sides of your shed. When measuring out the area for a shed base we do recommend adding a 5cm (2ins) lip around the outside of the building, and then use pegs and string to mark out the area.

You can then level the area using a rake and spade which will allow you to remove the pegs marking the original position.

Step 2:

Place a timber framework that is cut and measured to the base size plus the 5cm (2ins) lip down, this will be used to hold the concrete in place while it sets, making sure that the distance between the two diagonals is the same and using a spirit level to ensure a 100% level base.

We suggest you make sure that the surface of the concrete base, is some 2ins above adjoining soil levels. You will want to excavate an area with a depth of 13cm (6ins) as the base will require a 7.5cm (3ins) layer of compacted hardcore then a 7.5cm (3ins) layer of concrete. 

Step 3:

Add the first layer which will be the compacted hardcore. Once it is down you will want to spread a thin layer of sand over the top. A damp-proof membrane (sized to the entire surface area the shed will occupy) should be placed 3ins below the surface of the concrete slab. 

Step 4:

You will then be able to mix the concrete using one part cement to five parts ballast and only a small amount of water as you want the cement to be on the dry side.

Dry-mixed concrete can be purchased which you just have to add water to, making sure you follow the instructions on the bag. Once mixed you will want to spread the concrete evenly into framework, for best results allow the concrete to go slightly higher than the framework as this will make levelling the concrete a lot easier as you can get rid of any excess. Using a straight edge of timber resting on the framework, you then use a sawing motion over the entire surface of the concrete to create a smooth level surface.

Step 5:

Once you have finished levelling the concrete it would be a good idea to check the weather forecast for any bad weather. If rain has been forecast you will want to cover the concrete with polythene for 24 hours, if warm weather is forecast then cover the entire surface with wet sacks and keep damp for 24 hours. Using these methods ensures that the concrete does not shrink or crack. 

An Alternative To A Concrete Shed Base

If using a concrete base is not something you're interested in doing or is just not feasable then there are of course alternatives. One of our most popular is the wooden Shed Base with Metal Spikes, this is designed for sheds that are to be placed on softer or unlevel ground, such as a lawn, where the spikes can be pushed into the ground and your shed will sit on top of the wooden beams keeping it safe from rotting. 

Further Information

How To Prevent Condensation Problems in a Shed

Wooden Shed Guide

Plastic Sheds FAQs

#shed #shedbase

 

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