All sheds require a sturdy and level base
If you’re planning on adding a new shed or replacing an existing one, ensuring you have a strong and flat foundation is key to the life span of your shed. Erecting your shed on uneven ground poses certain risks, with a worst-case scenario being your shed falling over, splitting or having a reduced life span. In a space where level ground is a premium or you have a sloped garden, you may be left with no alternative other than to build your base on uneven ground. In this article, we offer some advice on building a level shed base on uneven ground.
The tools required
- Tape Measure and String
- Spirit Level
- Rubber Mallet / Hammer
Planning your shed base
You only site your garden shed once so it’s really important to ensure you get it right. Choosing the position will greatly depend on what you use your shed for, along with the ground conditions. For example, you may not want to be digging through tree roots or rocky surfaces if this can be avoided.
The end goal will be to create a level space on uneven ground where your garden shed can be sited.
How to build a level shed base
Once you have decided on the location of your new garden shed, the next step is to start the process to level the ground.
1. Mark out the area and remove the surface
To correctly level the ground it is best to begin by marking out the area. The area should be at least the total size and footprint of your shed. It’s helpful to place wooden posts or bamboo canes into the corners of the area and then join these together using string. This will give you a plumb line to follow when digging out.
Next, it’s time to start the heavy work. Remove the grass, topsoil, any vegetation and rocks covering the area – a standard garden shovel should be fine for this job. Usually, a depth of half a spade will be adequate but if the ground is wet or soft, it would be a good idea to dig your base space a little deeper up to one full spade depth.
2. Level off the ground
Now that you have removed the topsoil and vegetation you will need to work out why and where the ground is uneven. This can be done by laying a plank across the area which will highlight any peaks or troughs in the soil. Soil can be moved from one area to another to either “shave off” the peaks or fill in any divots.
Once the area is levelled out, it’s time to start building the base. We advise relaying the topsoil or adding sand across the surface ensuring this remains completely level. Make sure the surface is smooth and flat, using a roller to compact the soil or sand, and either use a spirit level or the plank again to test the surface is flat.
3. Add weed membranes
Next, it’s important to ensure that weeds are not going to grow through the base by adding a thick weed membrane. We recommend doubling up on the membrane by laying one sheet one way and the second sheet in another direction. It may sound a little over the top, however, once the shed is installed you won’t want to take it down because weeds have grown through.
4. Choose your base material
Now that you have prepared the area you can start the process of building the shed base. There are several choices when it comes to the materials you may use.
The materials you use may depend on what you will use your shed for. As an example, building a hobby workshop to repair motorbikes will need a more solid base such as concrete, than perhaps a potting shed which a wooden base would suit fine.
There is a wide choice of suitable materials, some people prefer to use thick wooden planks or railway sleepers, some people prefer concrete or hard-core bases. The key is to make sure the base is firm and level before your garden shed arrives.
5. Construct your base
Now, you’ve got everything you need to start building a level base in preparation for the installation of your new shed.
Check out some of our other articles here on building shed bases
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