Building the Right Foundation for Your Shed

Published: 17th August 2010
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As with all building structures, the foundation is the most important aspect of building a backyard storage shed. Making sure you have planned a good foundation for your shed is a key part of planning this do-it-yourself project.

There are many different ways you can provide a foundation for your shed. Basically, it comes down to two different types of approaches. You can build a foundation on top of the ground (known as grade-level or floating foundation) or you can dig down into the earth below the frost line and build up from there (known as frost-proof foundations). Which one you choose depends upon the climate of your area and the size and function of your shed. Another factor is cost, as frost-proof foundations are significantly more expensive and more difficult to install. However, with a large shed, it would be a worthwhile investment.

If you intend to build a large shed, one that may even be best described as a free-standing garage, you will want a strong foundation to support the weight of the building. Since your shed may cover a fair amount of square footage, you don't want to subject your shed to the ground movement of multiple freeze-thaw cycles.

If your shed will be relatively small, even if you live in a cold climate subjected to winter ground movement, you can still consider a floating foundation. Floating foundations can be implemented in a number of different ways. You can simply start your shed foundation with treated lumber timbers lying on the ground (skids) and build a framework (much like a deck) on top of the skids. This is particularly a good foundation for small sheds that could potentially be moved from one site in your backyard to another with the use of a large tractor or forklift.

Another option is to use blocks. These are normally concrete and can be used to keep the floor of the shed above the ground. This aids in preventing damage due to moisture. There are also precast concrete piers that are specially made to hold wood framing members or posts. Both blocks and piers are useful when the ground where the shed will sit is not level. Precast piers are especially good when one corner of the shed is significantly lower than the other three. You can insert a post into the pier to help prop up that corner and make the entire floor level.

If you would like to learn more about building a foundation for a shed, you can visit Tom Whitlow's website at Tom spends time helping others build great looking sheds for functionality and fun.

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