I'm putting up a storage shed in the back yard (a Home Depot package deal).
My preferred location is in an area of the lawn that has about a 15-20%
slope to the left as you look at the building door. Clearly, I can't simply
drop the building on that part of my yard.
As a relative novice to this type of thing (carpentry, construction, etc.),
I'm curious as to the best way to level the building in that location. I'm
thinking of putting it on cement block all around, and digging down on the
"higher" side (right side) of the building and then placing the block on the
other side in such a manner as to level it out.
This may sound clear as mud, but if you get my drift, I'd appreciate any
input as to whether this is a tried and true method...or if there are better
ways of getting it done.
Thanks in advance.
This is what I would consider .............
Forming and pouring a concrete pad. Make it higher than the uphill side so
water will not come in as it runs down the hill. Maybe even make the pad
slightly larger than the building and slope outward from there to get
runoff. What you want to do is keep water from coming in under the
building and getting everything that is on the floor wet. What you describe
would allow the water to come in. Imagine what you are considering building
in an absolute downpour for an hour, because that usually happens right
after you complete a project like this. Or at least, it has when I have
Forming for concrete is very easy, and it would be easy to get a level pour.
True, concrete is pricey, but by the time you mess around with all the
block, labor, time, etc, forming and pouring would be MY first choice. And
it would give you a definite permanent pad. Check your local regulations
first, and be sure to include conduit for any electrical BEFORE you pour.
Also, you might include anchor bolts, or just rotohammer in some RedHeads to
hold it down.
I like a pad too but that can lead to an increase in property tax in some
areas (my area for sure and many others). Placing it on blocks would make it
a temporary structure and exempt from assessment.
For my area an 8x8 required no permit, a 10x10 would, check with your
bldg dept to see if they need a permit or have restrictions on the
foundation , for 10x10. A moveable shed on blocks also should not
increase taxes, and your insurance.
Assuming cinder block foundation...
Step 1. Find the lowest part of the foundation
Step 2. Scrape off the top layer of grass & soil under entire area shed
Step 3. Place block level in lowest corner
Step 4. Dig for next block, place and level
Step 5. Repeat step 4 until all the way around
Step 6. Place landscape fabric inside the foundation and cover with
gravel (supposed to cut down on rodents burrowing underneath)
Try not to add soil (just remove it) as settling is more apt to happen
when you have to back-fill
If you are out of level by more than the height of a single cinder block
you're going to need to build a more substantial foundation (Piers or
mortared cinder block "walls" for a foundation)
You can use 8" cinder block on the low side and work your way to "cap
block" on the high side
No matter what. Don't let the wood directoy touch the ground when
installed. (Cinder block is enough of a sponge......)
You don't mention the size of the shed? Personally I have always used posts;
collecting pieces of old telephone poles, treated posts etc. etc.
Maybe six posts would be sufficient? Depending on size of shed, also frost
depth, here going about 24 to 30 inches is good.
So posts need to about be 36 inches long.
A post hole digger is very useful for digging neat straight edge holes.
the advantage of posts is that they are relatively cheap, simple to install,
easy to cut off after placing so shed is level and provide an air space
under the shed which avoids dampness and rot. If the local moggies
congregate under, some chicken wire or pieces of trellis is useful.
The only disadvantage is that a step or small ramp may be required to wheel
in grass mowers, snow blowers etc. by the some 6 inches plus the thickness
of the floor that the shed floor will above ground level. Personally we put
our sheds a little higher than 6 inches so the space underneath not only
allows good air flow but can also be used as temporary storage for lengths
of pipe etc. Our oldest shed is 20+ years old.
I did pretty much the same thing for my shed in 1991. I poured concrete
piers 4' down (required by code to be surpass the frostline here in the
mid-Atlantic). I embedded bolts into the wet concrete and bolted galvanized
brackets that held 6'x6' pressure treated posts. I nailed rim joists around
and laid plywood over top. No problems in 13 years.
I did my HD wood shed that way, the easy way, not with concrete or
bolts. I used 9 concrete blocks, for an 8x8 shed. 3 down the middle
support, 3 on each side. Where it was higher I buried the blocks. You
do not want it to touch dirt, and having a airspace around will help it
to not attract moisture and rot. Also consider buring galvanised heavy
screen around it attached at the shed to keep critters from making a
home underneath. You do not need concrete or bolting it down unless it
is in a feild and will be exposed to extremely high winds. Just level
all blocks before assembling the shed.
mRansley, what you're describing with the concrete blocks is exactly what I
had in mind. The shed is 10x10, I have nine blocks sitting next to the shed
materials, and plan on running 3 down the middle and 3 on each side, digging
deeper on the "high" side.
I'm also planning on keeping it above the dirt level, allowing for air
circulation, with a plastic moisture barrier underneath.
I'm thinking of getting such a shed from home depot. How is it packaged?
Are all the parts pre-cut? How is it delivered? Are the instructions
clear? Are there any additional materials that must be purchased? Is there
a tool list? A projected amount of hours to complete the construction?
I'm pretty handy but obviously there are a lot of unknowns involved, so
anything you can find time to share will be most appreciated!
They are like a giant erector set. Everything is there, you just need a few
basic tools. An electric drill is helpful for a lot of the screws. Not
rocket science. Easier with a helper. Could take a whole day if you are
not familiar with such construction. They are meant to be easy to build.
Unfortunately, this is not the best place to ask such questions- you
really should ask the people you'd buy it from. For manufacturer's
specs if poss.
If it helps any, I put together a 10x12 kit from HD a few years ago.
Packaged in a couple of multi-hundred-pound cardboard boxes. Pieces
therein ready for assembly. Floor and below were my problem, and
floor dimensions I was given were off by 3.5" on one axis.
Instructions quite clear- not rocket science here. Paint and roofing
extra. Basic tools (hammer, screwdriver) okay. Power-driver, nailer
preferable. Time required way too variable to speculate. Again, not
rocket-science; and extra pair of hands really helps.
Well, since it's a work in progress, I can tell y'all that I started with
the floor kit yesterday (10x10), and got rained out, so all I had at the end
of the day was the floor frame and joists assembled (in my garage).
It took me approx 90 mins today just to prepare the site (I'm putting it on
blocks) so that everything was level. Since I'm working alone, it then took
me another hour or so to cut the floor decking and screw it into place. At
that point, I had other obligations and had to quit. I now have a floor on
a concrete block "foundation."
So...I'm hoping that the rest of the project will be a little less tedious,
and that I might be able to finish up tomorrow (forecast: rain), as I have
the entire day off.
I'm not terribly disappointed with the materials, instructions etc., but I
will tell you that some of the wood was warped, and I had a hell of a time
getting things square (or, should I say, ALMOST square).
Had I enjoyed bluebird weather and no interruptions, I'm guessing it's a day
and a half job. Paint, roof shingles and floor decking are extra.
I'll post an update when I'm finished.
How far apart are the floor joists? I just had a 8X10 shed built and it has 12"
OC floor joists. No bounce to that floor.... even if it is just resting on some
I paid a little extra for 16" OC wall studs and ceiling joists. I'm not too
worried this is going to fall apart any time soon. I ran electicity out to it
last week and have two unswitched outlets and one switched outlet (with a double
4' fluorescent fixture plugged into it).
Rather than a ramp eating up yard space, I chose to use temporary 2 X 12
ramps... the type people use on the tailgates of pickup trucks. I just slide
them back into the building after I roll the John Deere inside.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.