9 Best Shed Foundation & Options For You (New Tips For 2022)


Best Shed Foundations this 2022: All Your Questions Answered in this Comprehensive Guide

We have previously laid out how you can easily install your shed here.

We have outlined planning, costing, and time-saving tips on how you can have a functional and properly-built shed.

Choosing the right type of foundation is part of your shed plans.

In this article, we will dig deeper into different foundation types that you can use depending on what the purpose of your shed is.

Before we dig up dirt for your foundation, let’s take a look at why having a new shed might be a worthy DIY project:

  1. Added storage for various uses. It can be a storage shed or garden for your tools and heavy equipment for house repairs and gardening, bikes and motorcycles, and other items.
  2. It gives additional aesthetics to your garden and can raise property value.
  3. Generates additional space for various uses.

Here are some creative uses for sheds, aside from the typical use as a storage facility:

  • Arts and Crafts Studio
  • Tranquil Home Office
  • Guest House
  • Home/Personal Gym
  • Outdoor ‘man cave’ or ‘she shed’
  • Greenhouse
  • Playhouse
  • Workshop
  • Game and Entertainment Room
  • Liveable Shed

Only your imagination is the limit when it comes to various uses for shed.

Here are a few considerations when building one:

  • Intended use of the shed
  • Materials that you will use – take note of its size and weight
  • Security concerns and measures
  • Budget
  • Time constraints
  • Skills in installation
  • Building permit

Quick Preview

No time to read the whole article?

Here’s a quick preview of the pros and cons of different foundation types:

Foundation Type

Advantages

Disadvantages

Concrete Pavers

  • Easy to construct
  • Relatively less expensive
  • Pavers can settle into the soil over time
  • Can become uneven
  • Not suitable for larger sheds

Concrete Solid Blocks

  • Relatively easy to install
  • Less expensive
  • Portable
  • Readily available
  • Good for the slightly sloped area (not more than 24”)
  • Can sink into the soil over time
  • Weaker support between foundation block (but can be reinforced with an additional middle block between corners)

Gravel Pad with Wooden Frames

  • Can be installed quickly and easily
  • Easy to level
  • Can be used in sheds with or without floor
  • Great for small sheds
  • Can sink into the soil over time
  • Needs drainage ditch
  • Not good for sloping land
  • High risk of ground contact and rotting

Skid Foundation

  • Can be easily installed
  • Easy to level
  • Portable shed
  • Great for both small and large sheds
  • Can sink in wet soil over time
  • Not suited for sloping areas
  • High risk of ground contact and rotting

Deck Blocks

  • Easy to install
  • Easy to level
  • Less expensive
  • Can be used for smaller sheds (for bigger sheds, just use more deck blocks to properly support the structure
  • Can settle on the ground over time
  • Not good for sloped areas
  • Not suitable for high wind areas
  • Not allowed in areas with frost line restrictions

Concrete Piers and Beams

  • Suitable for dry soil
  • Stronger foundation
  • Relatively unaffected by soil conditions
  • More aesthetically pleasing
  • More stable
  • Great for sloping areas
  • Expensive
  • More difficult to build

Concrete Slab

  • Stronger and more stable base
  • Can be used on sheds with or without floor
  • Great for sheds of all sizes
  • Expensive
  • Difficulty to build
  • Can crack over time
  • Not suitable for sloping areas

Wooden Post and Beams

  • Good for areas with frost heaves
  • Suited for all shed sizes
  • Good for sloping areas
  • Less risk of ground contact
  • Suitable for most soil conditions
  • Relatively expensive
  • Might be difficult for beginners
  • Difficulty in leveling and placement

Now that you know the benefits and uses of a shed, let’s get on digging deep for a suitable foundation for your new backyard shed

Do you need a foundation?

You must first assess the type of shed that you want to build to determine if you need a foundation in the first place.

If your shed is less than 8×8 meters and if the combined weight of the shed and its contents is NOT OVER 300 lbs, then you won’t need a foundation; otherwise, a shed foundation will be required.

However, even if your shed is small, you might opt to still build a foundation because it can extend the life of your shed.

If your shed has a built-in floor, you will definitely need a foundation.

There are different categories of shed foundation that you have to know to decide on what shed foundation choice you should go for.

Categories of Shed Foundation:

1. On-grade foundations.

These are sometimes known as floating foundations are quicker to construct and sit directly on the ground level. 

Digging holes or pouring concrete footings are not required when you use these types of sheds.

The shed materials of this type are usually made out of lumber or concrete blocks.

These sheds are typically less expensive and are usually small to medium-sized sheds.

They have metal anchors that are placed deep in the ground with cables attached to the floor framing to provide structural integrity during strong winds.

2. Frost-proof foundations

These are also known as permanent foundations. They are more expensive and laborious to build.

It requires digging past the frost line and pouring of the concrete floor to have a concrete pier in place.

Knowing the frost line of your property is important in building anything so that your structures can last longer.

If you do not install your concrete foundation slab below your frost tine, it can be easily damaged and destroyed.

You can determine the frost line of your property in your local building code.

Frost-proof foundations are great for areas that have colder weather and frost heaves.

1. On-grade or floating foundations.

Concrete pavers are concrete shed bases or concrete shed foundations that you lay interlocked with each other.

Thicker and larger paves are better choices for this since they are strong enough to hold weight.

When laying concrete pavers, you have to ensure a level area with good drainage.

If your area doesn’t have good drainage, it will retain too much water and your pavers will tilt.

The soil must also not be too hard to avoid more work in leveling it.

Before laying your concrete pavers, you have to put a layer of a gravel foundation and then a layer of sand.

Smooth it out and compact the gravel-sand combination layer prior to laying out pavers to ensure that it will not tilt.

After setting the pavers, prepare a mix of 1-part dry cement and 8-parts sand and spread them on top of the pavers to seal them to each other.

This type of foundation is good for leveled areas, and is suitable for smaller sheds made of wood, metal, or plastic, may it be floored if not.

Pros:

  • Easy to construct
  • Relatively less expensive

Cons:

  • Pavers can settle into the soil over time
  • Can become uneven
  • Not suitable for larger shed

2. Concrete solid blocks cast cement

This is typically square or rectangular in shape. Make sure to use solid blocks instead of cinder blocks to ensure strength.

Concrete solid base blocks are good floor base support for small-to-medium size sheds.

You have to make sure that the concrete blocks in every corner are level with each other.

They can be good for sheds made of wood, and plastic. Consider slope and drainage when using this type of shed foundation.

Pros:

  • Relatively easy to install
  • Less expensive
  • Portable
  • Readily available
  • Good for the slightly sloped area (not more than 24”)

Cons:

  • Can sink into the soil over time
  • Weaker support between foundation block (but can be reinforced with an additional middle block between corners)

3. Gravel pads use

These are crushed paving stones with frames made of wood. This size of gravel can be compacted enough to provide a solid foundation base.

The wood frame is laid on a flat surface where the gravel base is poured inside the perimeter and packed into each other.

Gravel should be 4”-6” thick and should extend a bit longer than your shed. After compacting the gravel you can lay your timber frame floors.

Pros:

  • Can be installed quickly and easily
  • Easy to level
  • Can be used in sheds with or without floor
  • Great for small sheds

Cons:

  • Can sink into the soil over time
  • Needs drainage ditch
  • Not a good idea for sloping land
  • High risk of ground contact and rotting

4. Skid foundation.

Skid foundation uses relatively heavier timbers that are laid on the ground wherein floor frames are attached on top of it.

Skid foundations can be moved quickly and easily by attaching links to the skids and dragged by a truck.

Before laying the skids, put a gravel layer and compact it. This will provide leveling and protection from ground contact.

Put the skid and anchor it to the ground to provide structural stability.

Skids are good for flat surfaces and can be used for bigger sheds (for bigger sheds, use bigger skids).

Pros:

  • Can be easily installed
  • Easy to level
  • Portable shed
  • Great for both small and large sheds

Cons:

  • Can sink in wet soil over time
  • Not suited for sloping areas
  • High risk of ground contact and rotting

5. Deck blocks.

Deck blocks are pyramid-shaped blocks that should lay level on the ground and with each other.

Wooden frames are put on top of the deck blocks with recessed channels. Deck blocks are typically used for temporary sheds.  

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Easy to level
  • Less expensive
  • Can be used for smaller sheds (for bigger sheds, just use more deck blocks to properly support the structure

Cons:

  • Can settle on the ground over time
  • Not good for sloped areas
  • Not suitable for high wind areas
  • Not allowed in areas with frost line restrictions

6. Plastic grid foundations 

These are made of plastic with grids to be filled with gravel. Once every space in between grids is filled, you can easily put a shed on top of it.

Pros:

  • Can be easily installed
  • Size can be easily adjusted
  • Less expensive
  • Good for small or large sheds

Cons:

  • May sink into the ground over time
  • Not good for sloping areas

7. Frost-proof or Permanent Foundation

Concrete piers and beams are a strong foundation usually used in houses but are also suitable for sheds, should you opt to.

A steel-reinforced concrete footing is buried in deep a hole below the frost line.

Piers, which are attached to the footings and support beams, are directly connected to floor joints.

If you opt to DIY, make sure to do your due diligence research.

Pros:

  • Suitable for dry soil
  • Stronger foundation
  • Relatively unaffected by soil conditions
  • More aesthetically pleasing
  • More stable
  • Great for sloping areas

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • More difficult to build

8. Concrete slab.

The concrete slab foundations are poured water-cement mixture inside a perimeter frame resulting in one solid concrete base.

For concrete slab to stand the test of time, here are some reminders:

  • Make sure the concrete is level surface
  • Correct water-to-cement ratio
  • Use water entrainment
  • Properly cure the concrete

Pros:

  • Stronger and more stable base
  • Can be used on sheds with or without floor
  • Great for sheds of all sizes

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Difficulty to build
  • Can crack over time
  • Not suitable for sloping areas

9. Post and beams. 

These are similar to concrete and beams. The difference lies in the material that is buried in the ground.

Instead of a concrete footing, a pressure-treated wooden post is inserted into holes.

Posts must be leveled with each other before attaching wooden frames for flooring. Make sure that the corners are squared prior to attaching flooring panels.

Pros:

  • Good for areas with frost heaves
  • Suited for all shed sizes
  • Good for sloping areas
  • Less risk of ground contact
  • Suitable for most soil conditions

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive
  • Might be difficult for beginners
  • Difficulty in leveling and placement

Quick Tip!

It always pays off to weather-proof any permanent or temporary buildings in your yard, may it be a fence, shed, gazebo, or deck.

Weatherproofing can be as easy as coating a sealant, or in cases of building sheds, raising it above the ground slightly, coating it with weather-proof paint, and putting sealant in doors and windows.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I really need a foundation for my shed?

Some people opt not to lay a foundation for 8×8 sheds or smaller, but we highly advise that you still lay one even on small sheds as it will eliminate issues along the way and will lengthen the life of your shed.

  • Tips for building a shed.

Always have your property inspected and always refer to your local building code, either when building something permanent or temporary.

Knowing the codes will save a lot of trouble ahead.

  • Do I need to put skids for sheds with resin floors?

The plastic shed base floor can sit directly onto the gravel.

  • Do I have to always raise the level of my shed?

It depends on the use of the shed and the type of material you have to use.

It’s good to have your shed floor relatively leveled to the ground if you will use it to store garden tools like a lawnmower.

However, for wood materials, you have to be careful of ground contact to properly preserve wood from rotting.

  • What is a screw pile foundation?

It is much like a piers and beam, or post and beam foundation, but it is easier to install. 

The difference is that piers or post is replaced with galvanized steel post with a screw at the end where you will attach beams and floor frames.

Conclusion

Building the foundation of your new shed might be daunting at first but with great and different options to choose from, you can make a DIY shed easily and in no time.

There are shed foundations that are easy to build and install. Knowing what you will use it for can help you decide what type of shed you want and what foundation option base to go with it.

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of a few popular choices when it comes to shedding foundation, you can make your dream shed come true!

Just remember that the best shed foundation for you is the one suited for your planned use of that shed.

Latest Posts

D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

Recent Posts