The best foundation for a shed is gravel. Gravel is very easy to work with and it lasts for decades, it is also environmentally friendly and if your shed has a gravel foundation, it can provide support for it. Most of the shed manufacturers today recommend that you have your shed foundation in gravel before they even deliver the shed to you.
There are reasons why it is best to plan on building a gravel pad for your shed, the first one is that it has load carrying ability. Gravel under shed allows you to spread the total weight of your shed and everything in it over to the surface of the entire shed foundation. Other forms of shed foundation such as pea gravel foundation for shed, concrete piers, crushed stone shed base and other foundation focus all of the weight of the shed on smaller areas and is putting more stress on the frame for gravel pad and it increases the risk of damage.
Second, is that even if your backyard does not have the perfect level or if it has a small amount of slope on it, a gravel shed pad gives you the option and opportunity to create a solid and level base in which you can place your gravel shed. You can use a wood frame, so you can overcome the slope.
And third, it is closer to the ground. The shed pad preparation that consists of wood frame foundations, concrete piers and even the concrete slabs can raise and level the floor height of your gravel shed more that you want it. This works best especially if you need to get heavy item like lawn mowers in and out of a shed that is not level to the ground. A gravel shed foundation can let you control the total height of your shed and you can even put your gravel shed at ground level.
Most people do not mind the kind of gravel that they use for their shed because for them, it is nothing more than just a bunch of crushed up rocks. This is true, but there is more to these gravel than meets the eye.
There is a wide range of types and grades of gravel, and each of them has their uses. 21A and 21B type of gravel is the best gravel to use in your shed. There is a difference to these two types of gravel, and for a gravel shed foundation the 21A variety is the best choice for a shed.
It is often referred to as 1-inch crusher-run gravel, both of these gravel have fine materials mixed in with them. This type of gravel helps to fill in the small gaps that form between the larger gravel pieces and it makes it a more stable foundation that will not settle once you have your shed placed in.
What kind of gravel should you not use for your shed?
The gravel, stone and crushed concrete over 1”. These types of gravel can be similar in size to 21A and 21B, they do not have the fine materials that can help fill in the gaps. This means that there is nothing that can help hold the gravel in its place leaving it to shift around rather than to settle it into a firm shed foundation.
Once you place your shed on the gravel foundation, the gravel can still move and it will not level, thus allowing your shed to sink into the ground. This can cause your shed to become unlevel, and it can cause damage to the overall structure.
If you wish to build a retaining frame around for your gravel shed foundation instead of going for a free form foundation, it is important that you use the right kind of wood or lumber for the overall structure. Most people use the standard lumber such as 2×6 to sav some cash but it is not an ideal choice. You may even want to use creosote coated lumber like old railroad ties. As long as you do not have any intention of growing edible fruits or vegetables within 50 feet of your shed foundation, then it is okay.
Creosote contains toxic chemicals that can be hazardous to your health, you should not use this kind of lumber anywhere near your garden. A standard lumber is not strong enough and it also does not last once it is buried in the ground.
The best choice for builing your shed framework around your gravel shed foundation is the pressure treated lumber like 4×4’s or 6×6’s. They can provide you with stronger framework and they also can help ensure that your framework can last for years without rotting and without allowing the gravel to spread out that can let your shed down gradually.
How do you build a gravel shed pad?
The most important factor to the foundtion of a structure of a well-built shed is a dry and solid shed base. These outdoor spaces are fantastic place to store garden products, tools, bicycles and more, but shed can let moisture in and it can even ruin some of your things if you do not install them correctly and if they do not have the proper base. There are different type of bases that you can have installed that can be more permanent, you can even install a waterproof, grave base too and here is how:
- ) Start digging
You need to dig out the hole correctly because it is the vital stage in creating a strong shed base. You need to dig a hole to a depth of 6 inches. You then need to attach a piece of string to two separate pencils so that you can find out if your excavated base is level.
You then need to insert a pencil at each side of the hole that was created, and you need to insert it at least 6 inches down and remove surplus soil that sits above your string until the base is level. You should try to dig out 6 inches beyond the overall boundaries of your shed so that you can allow an extra area for dry ground around all of the outer surface of the finished shed.
- ) Fit the planks
Pack the sides of the excavated area using assorted 1×6 inch planks so that they can fit snugly into a rectangular shape. The lumber will be able to create a barrier that can stop dirt from caving in back into the hole that was created, it can also help keep the grave base of your shed in place.
3.) Laying a membrane
The next step is to lay a membrane that can sit over the exposed soil. You need to shape and to cut the membrane to fill the space within the side of the hole that you have created. The size of the membrane will depend on the size of the hole that you just dug, but it should be a bit over-sized so that the surplus on each of the side can be stapled or nailed to the wooden planks to keep the cut membrane in place. The membrane will create another type of barrier between the gravel and the ground that can prevent moisture from seeping to the grave and reaching the wood.
4.) Pour the gravel
Pour the gravel into the excavated area and you should add enough gravel so that it can sit below ground level with at least 4 inches to spare. You need to pour the gravel slowly in order to avoid any dislodging of the membrane that was placed. You then need to level the grave with a garden rake.
- ) Add timber
After all the process has been done, you need to lay the 4×4 inch timber on top of the gravel at least 6 inches apart across the longest part of the excavated hole. You can then add lengths of timber so that the space is evenly covered. You can then build yoru shed with ease and confidence because your gravel base foundation is sturyd and is waterproof.
Before you build your own shed, there are things that you need to consider. You need to secure a work permit application. You need to take time to check the codes of your local building before you being any work on your shed. It is best that you check with your chamber of commerce to see what building codes you can follow with the construction of your shed.
These codes can affect where you build your shed, the design of your shed and how it will be constructed. The next thing that you need to consider is the size and the style. When building a shed, you will realize that there are many size and style available for you and you can choose among them.
You need to consider how you want to use the shed that you are going to build and the room that you will need which can help you decide the size. You also need to consider the style of your home and your property as this can help you choose the right style for your shed.
Third, you need to look for any problems near the site of your shed or the site of the construction. If you have a lot of trees in your backyard, check if the branches or the leaves will fall on the roof of your shed. You also need to make sure that your construction site is level and that the drainage is good since water can stay stuck in your shed and puddles may form.