Once you have decided on a shed and before you finish the skirting you need to think about securing your shed to the ground. Many regions have windstorms and even a hurricane season, so to prevent your hard work and money from being blown away or damaged it needs to be secured to the ground or base.
There are many ways to tie down sheds. Those with concrete slab bases can attach the shed base to the concrete. Various types of posts can be set or driven into the ground for attaching straps or cables to the shed frame or joists. While most systems are attached to the base of the shed, they can also go over the top or both types can be used.
Many of the systems available are also used on mobile homes. Some localities that are prone to windstorms require sheds to be tied down, or at least the more lightweight types.
What Are the Best Four Shed Tie Downs?
Concrete slab – If your shed has a concrete slab foundation, the easiest way to utilize this method is to set anchor bolts into the concrete. It’s best to wait until the concrete has started to set, so the bolts won’t just slowly slump over in the wet concrete. Insert the bolts into the concrete, then move them slowly up and down to get the concrete to fill in around them. Make sure they are even and level, then let them dry.
If you already have a slab, you can install sleeve anchors. These will require drilling through the shed’s sill plate and into the slab, usually using a hammer drill and masonry bit. Putting in a bolt every three to four feet all around the perimeter is recommended. Washers and nuts should be included to use when bolting down the shed.
Another type of anchor used with concrete slabs is the T-shaped anchor. Two bolts are attached through the upside-down T shape to the sides of the slab through holes you have drilled. The vertical part of the anchor attaches to your shed frame. These anchors usually come with the required hardware. For more information on concrete slabs read my article Should I Pour a Concrete Pad for a Shed?
Concrete posts – For those without a slab foundation, you can form concrete posts. Use a post hole digger to dig holes off the shed corners. You may need another pair of holes on the long sides of the shed if you have a large-sized shed. The holes should be around four feet deep. Six inches of gravel goes into each hole for drainage, then tube forms are set into the holes for concrete.
The tops of the tubes should extend above ground at least six inches, and they should all be level to each other. Concrete is poured into these forms with anchor ties set into the tops for attaching strapping or a cable system that will go around the outer skids or joists under your shed.
Auger anchors – These are long metal rods with a large eye on one end and auger blades on the other. Since they need to be driven deeply into the ground, watering the intended spots for the anchors the day before would be a good idea in order to soften the soil. You may have to let the hose drip a while on each spot to make sure the water soaks down a distance.
Drive each anchor into the ground as far as you can without doing damage to the anchor. Insert a piece of pipe through the eye of the anchor in order to make a good handle for turning. The longer the pipe the better the leverage you’ll have. Screw the anchor into the ground until the eye is just above the ground surface.
These can be used with strapping or cables. If using straps, be sure to use a ratcheting system to tighten the straps. If using a cable system, make sure it comes with a way to tighten the cables as well. If accessing the underside of the shed is not possible or it is constructed so that there is no place to thread the strapping or cable through, you can attach steel tie-down rings to the outer side of a floor joist on the corners.
Drive rods – These are three-foot rods that are driven into the ground at an angle on each corner of the shed. At the end of each rod is an anchor with a chisel tip for driving into the ground. Once the rod is pounded into the ground at a sufficient depth, the outer rod is pulled out.
The top loop is pulled up, allowing the anchor to swivel on the end of the rod so that it is horizontal, making an anchor. These don’t work well in sandy soil but may be easier to install than auger types if your ground has a lot of stones. These work with cable systems. Also, check out my article The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Shed Anchor Kit for more options.
How Do You Anchor a Shed Base to the Ground?
The best way to do this without having a concrete slab is to pour concrete posts as described above. These posts are poured deeply enough so that they will stay put and so will your shed.
Your local building codes may have specifications for the types of anchors they will accept, so be sure to check with the building inspector first. They may also have requirements for the number of anchors needed according to the size of your shed. Check out my article Is a Gravel Shed Foundation a Good Idea? for more information on attaching a shed to a gravel foundation.
Do I Need to Anchor a Shed to the Ground?
Sheds almost always need to be anchored to the ground to prevent them from being moved by high winds. Even a sudden, severe gust during a thunderstorm can shove some of them around or damage them. Not only winds, but freezing temperatures can cause a shed to become unstable over time. Periods of freezing and thawing cause soil to heave and move and can eventually affect your shed if it isn’t tied down.
Some locations require that sheds be tied down in some way. This is something you should check on while you’re looking into a building permit or finding out about local zoning requirements. This prevents a shed from ending up in the middle of the street, or parts of it going through the neighbor’s window.
How Deep Should Shed Anchors Be?
When you set concrete posts, they are usually set in holes dug four feet deep with six inches of gravel in the bottom, so they are three and a half feet deep. About six inches of the post protrudes from above ground level with an anchor set into the concrete. If you use auger bolts or drive rods, they are driven into the ground up to the eye hole at the tops.
If you have rocky ground and find it difficult to dig holes for deep concrete posts or to install auger bolts or drive rods, some people have resorted to using large metal cans filled with concrete with anchors set into the concrete. A homemade solution is to bend three-foot lengths of rebar into a hook shape at one end.
Dig a hole at each corner of the shed a foot wide by a foot deep. Use a sledgehammer to insert a piece of your rebar into the center of the hole angled toward the shed. Make sure the curved end of the hook faces away from the building and hammer it in until the top of the hook is just above the ground.
To anchor it, use a second piece, hooking it around the shank of the first and driving it into the ground. You can fill the holes with cement or backfill them with dirt. Use a strapping or cable system attached to your hooks.
How Do You Secure a Shed to a Concrete Base?
The easiest way is to set anchors into the concrete foundation while it is setting. Anchor bolts are a common way to provide attachments if your shed has already been built. Drill a hole the same diameter as the anchor and at least one inch deeper than the anchor will go. Clean all the dust and debris out of the hole. Use a wire brush, compressed air or a vacuum. Any debris left in the holes will lessen the anchoring power of the bolts.
The top nut goes flush with the anchor top. Insert the anchor into the hole through the sill plate and concrete and use a hammer to pound it down until the washer and nut are tight against the sill plate. Tighten the nut with your fingers, then use a wrench to turn it two to four times more until it is snug.
How Do You Anchor a Rubbermaid Shed?
Rubbermaid sheds come with a floor and actually don’t require a separate foundation. However, a good gravel foundation will help keep water from pooling around the shed and is a great idea. One great thing about these sheds is that they come with built-in anchor locations on the shed floor to help you anchor it to the ground. These are round, recessed spots in the floor. Using a 1/2-inch drill bit, drill a hole through each recessed area. This will allow you to insert anchor stakes through the floor and into the ground. For more information on securing a metal shed read my article How Do You Secure a Metal Shed to the Ground?
Can I Use Hurricane Tie Down on My Shed?
Hurricane ties are metal plates that come in several forms. They are used to strengthen the attachment between your wall top plate and the rafters or trusses. If you bought a house that already has a shed and you find that it doesn’t have hurricane ties for the roofing structure, they can easily be added.
They are actually required by almost all building codes in the U.S. Not only do they protect the shed from losing its roof when strong winds blow, but they also help the shed keep its structure better when the ground shifts. They are easily available from most hardware stores, building supply stores. big box building stores or online.
How to Tie Down a Shed for a Hurricane
Anchoring your shed to the ground or a slab and seeing to it that the roof is securely fastened to the walls by hurricane ties are the best way to help protect your shed. If you live in a place that is potentially subject to hurricane-force winds, you may well want to strap down the entire shed. Fortunately, there are anchoring kits available to help you do this.
You’ll need an anchor system with auger or corkscrew anchors and a cable system. Drive in your auger anchor with a hammer partway, then use a pipe through the top eye hole to enable you to turn the auger. With a corkscrew anchor, you’ll have to turn it all the way down. Make sure the anchor is deep enough so that only the eye hole is above ground. Install one at each corner of the shed.
Cut the cable in half. Run a small loop through the eye holes of two anchors on the same side of the shed. The cable kit should come with clamps or other fasteners to secure the cable. Run both of the loose ends up through the shed roof.
Thread them over the largest support beams, crossing them in the middle in an X-shape. Pull the loose ends tightly on the other side of the shed, then thread them through the eye holes on the other two anchors. Form loops in the eye holes and secure them.
If you can’t get to the support beams, you can run the cable over the whole roof. In order to protect the edges of the roofing from the cables, you can get roof protectors that are used for strapping down mobile homes. They can also be called roof buffers, brackets or thimbles. Some people use wooden blocks for this, but the roof protectors do a better job, last longer, and are less likely to shift. They can be purchased from any mobile home supply company.
Anchoring your shed is part of taking care of your building. It’s also a responsible part of home ownership to ensure that to the best of your ability you are seeing to it that none of your property damages that of anyone else. Of course, there are some severe weather conditions that nobody can prepare for, but with your shed anchored down, you won’t have to get nervous every time a thunderstorm line is approaching your neighborhood.