You have to remember everything a good contractor brings to your
house. Good insurance, a permit, and all the paperwork is in order.
In most states he incurs all the liability for an injury one of his
workers might have. You get to sit on the deck relaxing and get a
quality job. Thank your government leaders tha he can't compete with
you and your friend bubba to build your shed.
$3000 for a 10x12 slab? Ouch. Even if I built simple forms and dug it down
so it was a full 12" thick all around it would cost less than $800 for 5
yards of concrete here (Washington State).
A slab that size is not difficult to do yourself (with a part time helper).
Just build the forms, make sure they're square and level, and have some
concrete delivered. Use a board to work out any air bubbles during the
pour, then use a long board and your helper to screed off the concrete
level with the forms.
You're not building a house, so I probably wouldn't worry about frost
lines. Just let it float on top of the ground. It may move up and down with
the freeze/thaw and end up slightly out of level, but so what? It's a shed.
For small pours like this, I prefer to use companies with trucks that mix
concrete right on site. There's less waste and you only pay for the
concrete you use.
Last time I priced an 8x12 shed, it was cheaper to pour a (4") concrete
slab than to build a wood floor with 2x6 floor joists and plywood. Concrete
is also nice if you're storing outdoor equipment such as mowers or tillers,
since you don't need to worry about water running off onto the floor.
I would make the upper edge of the forms with 2x4's, then add filler boards
underneath on the low end to accomodate the slope. You don't need to dig
the whole area down to the same level, but I would probably try to dig out
flat stepped areas so there's minimal risk of movement on the slope. I
would also dig a little deeper around the perimeter to make "footings", how
deep is up to you.
Plan to install some "J" concrete anchor bolts after screeding the concrete
so you can bolt the shed to the slab once it's set up.
Even if the shed shifts over time, or you decide you want it in a different
location, you can always move the shed and pour a new slab like we did:
I built my first shed, 10x12, sunk PT posts into pea gravel 12". It
easily withstood a hurricane with no leaks.
New house and I let TuffShed build one this time. 8x14. I very much
like this size more than the 10x12. It sets on top of concrete blocks
and has a galvanized steel foundation. It can be anchored down if
necessary. I paid about $3600 installed and two coats of paint with a
10 year warranty.
I would never go the expense of a concrete foundation.
First thing of importance is any local requirements. Secondly if not
on a slab it's good to have it up to where you have access if needed.
Sono tubes can be a good way to go and are easy depending on what your
frost level is. Helping the neighbor put in a 14 x 20 shed right now
where we have 5' drop over the 14'. I have an excavator so it's
working out with lots of big rocks available to build retaining walls.
But there was the adventure when the ground gave way and I slipped
down the side of a rock. Your talking two old guys looking at each
other with big moon eyes as I wondered if I was going over, and he
wondered if it was on him. Learned to wear the seat belt when the
unknown can happen so all was well.
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