This is a common question asked by many people who are thinking of investing in a shed of some kind. Regardless of what type or size of shed you’re thinking of getting, a good base will help determine how long it lasts and how stable it is.
Why bother with a shed base?
When you want to erect a shed, it might seem like a lot of hassle to go through the process of installing a shed base first. However, in reality this is probably the most important feature of all – and for good reason too.
Let’s say you have a nice level lawn and you decide you want to put a wooden shed on it. Since your lawn is level, you assume there’s no need for a base. So you erect your shed and start putting things in it. All good so far.
However, after a wet winter things may look very different indeed. Wood and wet don’t mix, and your nice new wooden shed isn’t going to last long if it isn’t sitting on a nice stable base that is off the ground.
Even metal and plastic sheds do benefit from some sort of base, as you’ll soon see. Unless you want your new shed to do an impression of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the near future, keep on reading to learn more.
What kinds of shed base are available?
It’s good to know you do have some variety when it comes to choosing a shed base. In some cases, you may not have to install a base at all.
For example, if you have a large concrete area in your garden, you could use part or all of this to place a shed on. It must always adhere to the most important rule regarding any shed base however – it must be level. Check this prior to putting a shed on it, to make sure the area meets this important requirement. Paving stones or slabs already in situ also require nothing other than being level to be used as a shed base.
Decking isn’t usually ideal to use as a shed base, mainly because it may not be strong enough to accommodate the weight of a shed. However, if you only intend to place a small garden storage unit on it, it should be okay.
There are a couple of other options to consider if you don’t already have the benefit of a ready-made shed base as described above. You can buy a wooden base that is hammered into the ground by way of metal pegs. This makes it easier and faster to level an uneven site.
Another option is to go for a plastic base which comes in sections and can be filled with pea gravel for extra strength, stability and drainage purposes. Some people have also staked out an area of ground and filled it with gravel before levelling it off to provide a base.
Different sheds for different bases
A good solid and level base is always required for a wooden shed like the Avon 4’ by 6’ overlap apex shed, for example. You can use an existing area of concrete or paving if it’s big enough and level enough. Alternatively, a plastic shed base would be ideal if the area you want to put the shed on is currently covered by lawn and you want a quick solution.
A larger garden shed made from metal will also require a solid base. If you want the Yardmaster 9’9” by 9’11” apex metal garden shed, a plastic shed base filled with pea gravel might be the quickest and easiest way to lay such a large base. Laying a concrete slab would also suit, as would paving stones, but this would involve much more work.
Smaller plastic sheds, such as the 6’ by 3’ Palram skylight plastic amber shed, don’t present the problem of rotting or rusting over time. They also come with a floor included, so they don’t require a separate base to be used. With that said, you still have to make sure the foundations are good enough to avoid the building sinking. If the ground is only slightly uneven, you could stake out the required area with treated wooden boards bolted together at the corners. This could then be filled with gravel and raked over to level it. Alternatively, a wooden base would be very quick to lay, as would the plastic base option. The latter option wouldn’t need to be filled with gravel in this instance either.
As you can see, the site you are working with will help determine the type of base you need in your situation. Think about the shed you want to get (in terms of construction and size), look at the ground you’re working with and go from there.