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What’s The Best Shed Foundation Option For You?

Shed Foundation Options

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So you’ve decided to build a shed to store all that extra stuff filling the garage. Depending on the location you have to build a shed and the ground conditions and of course your budget will determine which shed foundation option will work the best for your situation.

Having a good solid foundation or base for your shed will be the difference between a shed that will last for years or a shed that will sink into the ground and rot away. While there are many factors for choosing a shed foundation, you’ll need to decide if the shed is going to be permanent or temporary.

The type of shed will also affect the foundation needed, so before going out and buying a shed, figure out what you need to meet your current and future storage needs. Other considerations are the cost of the foundation; does it require a building permit? How’s access to the location? And will it be permanent or just temporary and movable.

In this article I’m going to look at the various shed foundation options and the pros and cons of each type. I have many helpful articles on building a shed that you can read before you choose a shed. Other factors that will affect the foundation are “location of the shed” you can read my article “What’s the Best Location For an Outdoor Storage Shed?here.

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You’ll also want to know the size of shed which will affect the type of foundation needed; you can read my article “How do I Choose the Right Size Storage Shed?here. Also knowing what you need to do to the ground before installing the foundation is vital. You can read my article “How to Prepare the Ground For a Storage Shedhere.

Do You Need a Shed Foundation?

Just like your yard whenever it rains the ground is wet and if you’re not wearing rubber boots your shoes will get wet too. You shed is no different, whenever it rains and its sitting on the ground it’s going to get wet resulting in wood rotting, mold, any metal will begin to rust. And everything you have stored in the shed will be damp and items on the bottom can get wet.

Without a shed foundation your shed won’t last very long and the contents can be damaged and if there’s a strong wind storm the shed can be tossed around like a kite. The foundation gives the shed a solid base to sit on and keeps it off the ground, which means your contents stay dry and your shed will last for years.

You’ll also want to talk to your local building inspector’s office before you go ahead and build the shed without a permit. The inspector can provide you with all the information about what you can build and the type of foundation you’ll need and provide you with a permit. The inspector may require a site plan before a permit is issued.

I go over step by step on how to draw a site plan and what to include with the site plan in my article “What’s the Best Location For an Outdoor Storage Shed?” I also have an example you can follow for doing yours. You can read the article here.

The Most Common Shed Foundation Options

While there are many types of shed foundations to choose from I’m going to go over the most common shed foundations and you can decide which one will be best for your situation.

Gravel Foundation With Perimeter 

Gravel Foundation With PerimeterThis shed foundation requires some gravel and pressure treated lumber to make a perimeter base for the shed to sit on. The shed sits on the base and the gravel is the floor and also can be the base for a foundation kit that you can purchase with the shed. Let’s go over the steps to build this gravel foundation.

Step 1] Ground Prep… Begin by removing the sod and any visible roots and other ground cover on a fairly level spot. Prepare the spot the same size as your shed will be, if the ground is a bit uneven use the highest spot for the sheds entry area and build up the rest of the ground with gravel.

Step 2] Ground Cover… Install a weed barrier ground cover fabric to prevent weeds and grass from growing thru the gravel foundation. Not sure which one? You can check out Amazons full line of weed barrier fabric here on Amazon.

Step 4] Install Gravel… Determine how much gravel you’ll need, for the 8 x 12 shed using 4×4 ties I would be putting the gravel level with the top of the ties. For an 8 x 12 shed with 4 inches of gravel you would need about 1 ¼ yards of 1 inch crushed rock for the base. If you have a slight slope than get 1 ½ yards.

You’re going to need to tamp the gravel down so its compact, you can use a 4×4 and do it by hand or better yet rent a gas powered compactor to make this job easier and faster.

Step 3] Install Pressure Treated Base… You can use either pressure treated 4x4s or 6x6s depending on what’s available in your area. Cut the treated lumber to the same size as the shed you’re using, in the example I’m using of 8 x 12 I would cut 2 ties to 12 feet and 2 ties to the width needed to give you 8 feet wide.

I like to cut the ties on a 45 degree so they can be nailed easily and makes squaring them up much simpler. Be sure to make sure the ties are level and then drill some holes thru the ties and drive some pieces of re-bar to hold the base in place.

Difficulty Level:

The gravel foundation with perimeter is considered to be fairly easy to do and will work well if the ground is fairly level. If the ground is not level it may require extra pressure treated ties on the low sides and more gravel. I don’t recommend this foundation type for ground that is more than 6 inches of slopping.

Cost:

The cost can range between $250 to $500 or more, depending on if you have to buy the crush rock and have it delivered. This type of foundation can be easily removed and with some top soil and grass seeds the ground can be reclaimed and grassed over.

Pros and Cons of Gravel Foundation With Perimeter

Pros

– Fast and simple to install.

– Easy to make level.

– Your sheds entrance is very close to ground level.

– Can be used with or without a floor.

– Can be used on small to medium sized sheds.

Cons

– If the ground is wet it can begin to sink.

– Closer to the ground means higher risk of rotting.

– You may have to dig a drainage ditch to drain water away.

– Not good for yards that are sloped.

Concrete Paver Foundation

Concrete Paver FoundationThese types of foundations are pretty easy for the home do-it-yourselfer and are simply some concrete paving slabs set into sand to make a foundation and floor for a shed. Concrete paver comes in sizes from 12” x 12” up to 24” x 24” and some larger sizes.

The bigger paving stone you choose, the heavier it will be, and the less you’ll need. I like to use the 12 “ x 12” paving stones simply because there much easier for me to handle. This type of foundation base can only be used on flat ground and should have a layer of sand under it.

Here are the steps for making a concrete paver foundation:

Step 1] Ground Prep… Begin by removing the sod and any visible roots and other ground cover on a fairly level spot. Prepare the spot the same size as your shed will be.

Step 2] Ground Cover… Install a weed barrier ground cover fabric to prevent weeds and grass from growing thru.

Step 3] Spread out 1 to 2 inches of sand and level…You’re going to need to tamp the sand down so it’s compacted, you can use a 4×4 and do it by hand or better yet rent a gas powered compactor to make this job easier and faster.

Step 4] Install Pavers… Start in one corner and lay the first row, stagger the pavers so the joints aren’t all in the same line. I like to cut one in half to start the second row and if your shed base is an even number you only have to cut one in half and use the other piece to finish that row. Use a hand level to keep the pavers level, you may need to add sand to maintain level.

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Cutting concrete pavers with a circular saw: Use a regular 7 ¼ inch circular saw with a diamond blade that’s made for cutting masonry. Make sure your wearing a good dust mask while cutting.

Step 5] Seal Joints…Lay some concrete sand over the joints and sweep the surface so the concrete sand goes into all the joints. Moisten the surface with some water to set up the concrete sand in the joints.

Difficulty Level:

The concrete paver foundation is fairly easy to do the hardest part will be cutting the pavers and moving them around. When installing the shed onto the concrete pavers use concrete anchors into the pavers. You can check Amazons full line of concrete anchors here.

Cost:

Depending on the size of your foundation it can cost between $100 to $300 or more if you have a large shed floor to make.

Pros and Cons of a Concrete Paver Foundation

Pros

– Concrete pavers are available in different colors and shapes.

– Install fast.

– Provides excellent support for sheds with floor kits and make a nice solid floor.

– Easy to attach shed with anchor bolts.

Cons

– Are subject to settling.

– Some pavers can sink causing dips in floor.

– Heavy loads can crack the pavers.

– Not recommended for larger sheds.

Solid Concrete Block Foundation

Solid Concrete Block FoundationGood choice for a beginner and make a good base for your sheds floor. With concrete blocks you’ll need to frame a treated wood floor on top of them. They will work for low sloped ground and you can stack a couple to level out the ground.

You’ll need to use a straight edge and a level to get the blocks level. Remember to remove the grass right under the spots you’re going to be putting concrete blocks. The grass will rot and decay creating a void under the block making your shed out of level if you don’t remove the grass.

Don’t use cinder blocks, use solid concrete blocks and depending on the size of the shed and if you need to double stack some blocks if your ground is sloping. Another great thing about concrete blocks is you can recess them into the ground to keep the shed floor closer to the ground.

Follow these steps for installing a concrete block foundation:

Step 1] Layout Block Locations… Using a string line and some stakes layout where you’re going to be putting the shed. I find that using a batter board really helps with this layout.

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About 1 foot past the ends of your shed location drive in 2 stakes into the ground and then attach a horizontal cross piece of 1×4 or 2×4 to the stakes and then mark the line of the outside of the blocks on the pieces of wood. Put a nail into the mark at both ends and install a string line to the nails.

Making a Batterboard for shed foundation layoutStep 2] Install Concrete Blocks… Using the string line and a short level as a guide install the concrete blocks, one at each end of the shed location and one block in the center. Depending on how long your shed is you may need to add extra blocks in between. For a 12 foot shed 3 blocks is good. You’ll also need to make sure the concrete blocks are level.

To help level the blocks dig out some ground dirt and add some gravel, this will help keep water away and make leveling the blocks easier. Once the concrete blocks are in position and level pack some gravel around them so they stay in place.

Next measure over the width of your shed and dig out the dirt where the concrete blocks will be going on the other side. Try to get them as close as you can and leave some room for adjusting the blocks square. Once you have the blocks approx where they go it’s time to square them up.

Using a straight 12 foot 2×6 lay it across the row of blocks that are already installed and leveled, then use another straight 2×6 and lay it on top of the outside corner of the first row and using a framing square adjust the 2×6 so its square with the 12 foot piece. Now you can adjust the position of the end block so it’s square.

Next measure over 12 feet or the length of your shed and position the other block into place, using the shorter straight edge level the second row of blocks with the first one. Once completed you can pack some gravel around them. Rake out the ground so water will run away from the blocks. Now you’re ready to build the shed floor. You can check out my article “How to Build a Shed Floor on Skids” where I go into detail on how the build the shed floor, you can read it here.

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If you needed to add a second concrete block to bring the blocks level use a good quality construction adhesive to glue the blocks together.

Difficulty Level:

The hardest part of the concrete block foundation is leveling and squaring up the blocks, the rest is fairly easy, and if the ground is more than 6 inches out of level then you may need to use a different type of shed foundation.

Cost:

Depending on the size and number of concrete blocks you’ll need it should be less than $200 for the concrete blocks.

Pros and Cons of a Solid Concrete Block Foundation

Pros

– Concrete blocks come in a few different sizes.

– Easy to work with and you won’t have to cut them.

– Good for most sheds as long as the slope is not over 6 inches.

Cons

– The blocks can sink and shift over time.

– The sheds floor is not securely attached to the concrete blocks easily.

– The outsides of the blocks allow critters and insects to easily use the space for nesting unless you add some sort of skirting.

Skid Foundation

How to Build a Skid FoundationSkid foundations are my favorite type of shed foundation option, there fast and simple to install and the beginner can make one without any problems. A skid foundation is simply 2 pieces of pressure treated lumber. Usually made from 4×4 or 6×6 beams that are laid on the ground and the shed floor is built on top of them.

In my article “How to Build a Shed Floor on Skids” I go into detail on how to build your shed floor on skids and how to attach the floor to the skids securely. You can read it here.

Here are the steps for building a skid foundation:

Step 1] Layout… Begin by locating the best place to build your shed; it should be somewhere that’s fairly level and on higher ground.

Step 2] Prep the Ground… It’s recommended to dig the grass out where you’re going to be laying the skids. I like to remove the grass and some of the top soil and add a 3 to 4 inch layer of gravel about a foot wide for the skid to sit on, this really helps with leveling the skids and helps keep water away from the location.

Step 3] Install the Skids… Once the ground is prepped lay the skids into place and level them across and to each other. Cut the skids the same length as the shed’s length and position them so there about 12 inches inside the shed. If your shed is 8 feet wide the skids would be 1 foot in and 6 feet apart. You’ll also want to make sure the skids are square to each other.

Difficulty Level:

A skid foundation is quite easy to install and leveling them is the most difficult step. You can also nail together pressure treated 2 x 6s or 2 x 8s to make skids, this way you’re not having to deal with the weight of a single tie. Nail 3 together and use galvanized nails to stop rust.

Cost:

This will depend on the size of your shed, and if you need to add a third skid, if your shed is over 12 feet in width than you’ll need 3 rows of ties. For the 8 x12 shed example I use the ties will cost $100 or less and whatever delivery costs if you can’t haul them yourself.

Pros and Cons of a Skid Foundation

Pros

– Fast and simple to make.

– Very easy to level.

– You can move the shed easily.

– Great choice for most sized sheds.

Cons

– If used in a wet area it can sink.

– Needs fairly level ground.

Permanent Shed Foundation Options 

The next 3 shed foundation options are considered to be permanent and are more costly and more difficult to build, and will be the most long lasting and durable. If you’re not sure you want to tackle a permanent foundation you can read my article “Is Building a Shed Something a Beginner Should Try?you can read it here.

Before going ahead with one of the permanent shed foundation options make sure you check with your local building inspector on the requirements for building a permanent shed foundation. It’s much easier and less costly to find out before you build then have to remove a building because it doesn’t meet building codes.

Concrete Piers

Concrete Pier FoundationThe concrete pier foundation can be used for any size shed and is suitable if the ground is uneven or slopes a lot. A concrete pier foundation is concrete piers that are poured in place, usually into a solo tube circular tube that poured into place. Use can use 6 inch, 8 inch or even 10 inch, but I have found the most common is 8 inch.

To do this type of foundation you’re going to need to set up for batter boards, one in each corner and string lines so you can locate the precise spots to auger the holes. You can rent a gas powered post hole digger, but I recommend you hire a local contractor that has a bobcat or other machine that has a auger attachment. Auger the holes 4 inches bigger than the size of solo tube you’re using.

I have added a video to help you set up your batter boards:

The Steps for Concrete Piers

Step 1] Layout… If you watched the video on how to set up batter boards you’re ready to begin. Set you string lines so their 12 inches narrower that the actual size of your shed. Using an 8 inch solo tube you’ll have 4 inches from the concrete pier to actual size of the shed. This allows for any error and room to add skirting to close in the outside of the foundation.

Depending on the size of the shed and the size of the beams you’ll be putting onto of the concrete piers will determine if you need to add extra piers. A shed up to 8 feet long will only need 2 piers if you’re using a 6×6 pressure treated beam, this will be strong enough to support the floor and the weight of most items in the shed. If your shed is 12 feet long you’re going to need 3 piers on each side.

Step 2] Make the Holes… Using a level and a can of red spray paint mark the centers of the piers by leveling down from the string lines. Remove the lines and you’re ready to drill the holes.

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Make sure there are no power lines, cable, phone or water lines in the area you’re going to be drilling the piers.

Step 3] Install Solo Tubes… First you need to auger down to the required depth to be below the frost line. Where I live your required to be 4 feet down to avoid frost from lifting the foundation. Once the holes have been drilled measure down to get the length of the first solo tube, start at the highest point and add 8 inches above the finished ground and mark and cut the solo tube to height. Auger the holes 4 inches bigger than the size of solo tube you’re using!

I find it’s much easier to drop the solo tube in the ground and level and then backfill around the tube to hold it in place. Now you can mark the height for the first tube and cut it off in place. Now place the other tubes into the ground and using a hand level and straight edge mark and cut them off to the required height.

Depending on how much slope the ground is you’ll have more than 8 inches above ground level, just make sure you have at least 4 feet in the ground. You may need to make a 2×4 collar and attach to the top of the tube and brace it in place using 2x4s attached to stakes in the ground. Re install the string lines so you can get the tubes in the right place.

Step 3] Pour the Concrete… Using ready mix bags of concrete and a wheel barrow mix up the concrete until it well blended [follow the instructions on the bag]. Fill the solo tubes and using a stick level the top so it flat.

Post Support Saddle BracketStep 4] Insert the Saddle Brackets… Before the concrete sets up insert the saddle brackets into the concrete and using your string line adjust the saddle so it will line up with the string lines. I usually wait 2 to 3 hours before installing the saddles. Make sure the saddles are in the right position so the 6×6 beam will be parallel with the length of the shed. See Amazons line of concrete saddles here.

Difficulty Level:

The difficulty increases the more slope the ground has and positioning and leveling the solo tubes will much harder. To make it easier you can just do one side; start with the side closest to the ground. If you’re not sure or confident you may want to get some help or hire a contractor to do the pier foundation.

Cost:

This will depend on the number of piers you’re going to need and the length of the solo tubes. You can expect to pay between $250 to $850 or more if you’re hiring a contractor to auger the holes. Get quotes from contractor to do the whole thing before deciding to go ahead with the project.

Pros and Cons of Concrete Piers

Pros

– Can be used in nearly all soil conditions.

– Excellent choice where you need to build where there’s frost and cold weather.

– Can be used for any size shed.

Cons

– Difficulty level especially for a beginner.

– Accuracy much be followed for pier placement. I always keep the piers 12 inches in and this allows for some errors that can be covered by the floor.

Pressure Treated Piers 

Post and Beam Shed FoundationThis foundation type is somewhat easier than using concrete piers. A pressure treated pier foundation is just that, using pressure treated 6x6s that are inserted into the ground the same way the concrete pier foundation is done, except you have much more forgiveness for errors.

The Steps for Pressure Treated Piers

Step 1] Layout… If you watched the video on how to set up batter boards you’re ready to begin. Set you string lines so their 12 narrower that the actual size of your shed. Using 6×6 pressure treated ties you’ll have 4 to 6 inches from the center of the tie to actual size of the shed. This allows for any error and room to add skirting to close in the outside of the foundation.

Depending on the size of the shed and the size of the beams you’ll be putting onto of the pressure treated wood piers will determine if you need to add extra piers. A shed up to 8 feet long will only need 2 piers if you’re using a 6×6 pressure treated beam, this will be strong enough to support the floor and the weight of most items in the shed. If your shed is 12 feet long you’re going to need 3 piers on each side.

Step 2] Make the Holes… Using a level and a can of red spray paint mark the centers of the piers by leveling down from the string lines. Remove the lines and you’re ready to drill the holes.

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Make sure there are no power lines, cable, phone or water lines in the area you’re going to be drilling the piers.

Step 3] Install Pressure Treated Piers… First you need to auger down to the required depth to be below the frost line. Where I live your required to be 4 feet down to avoid frost from lifting the foundation. Once the holes have been drilled measure down to get the length of the first pier, start at the highest point and ruff cut the pier so it’s a few inches longer than the actual height you need.

Depending on how much slope the ground is you’ll need to have 8 inches of the pier above ground level, just make sure you have at least 4 feet in the ground. Following your string line set the piers to the required place. I usually move the string line so it’s ¾ of an inch from the desired location and use a piece of ¾ inch plywood as a guide to set them. You may need to brace the piers in place while your back filling.

Step 4] Back filling… Once you have the piers in place and braced them as needed it’s time to back fill around the piers. You can use some pre-mix concrete in the bottom to set the piers and once that has dried back fill with gravel and tamp with a 2×4 until it’s up to the top, give a quick check with a hand level and string line to be sure the pier hasn’t move during this process.

Step 5] Cut Piers to Required Height… Once you’ve back-filled and double checked for level and line it’s time to cut the piers to the required height. Begin at the lowest point that closest to ground level, depending on the thickness of the beams your using on top of the piers will determine the height to cut the piers too.

Simpson Strong TieUsing a level mark the pier at the height [minus thickness of beam] and cut with a circular saw and finish the cut with a hand saw. Now using a straight 2×4 level over and mark the remaining piers and cut them. Now you can cut the beams to the size of the shed and attach to the piers.

I recommend you use a “Simpson Strong Tie” bracket to attach the beam to the piers. These are made out of 16-gauge hot dipped galvanized steel and are made for use with 6×6 posts and beams. You can check them out here on Amazon.

Difficulty Level:

Much easier than using concrete piers, you’ll need a helper to set the posts and brace them in place. The difficulty level increases with the steeper the ground slopes.

Cost:

On average this shed foundation option can cost $300 to $1000 or more depending on the number of pressure treated piers you’ll need and if you need to hire a helper with the construction. 6×6 piers and beams are heavy.

Pros and Cons of Pressure Treated Piers

Pros

– Can be used in nearly all soil conditions.

– Excellent choice where you need to build where there’s frost and cold weather.

– Can be used for any size shed.

Cons

– Accuracy much be followed for pier placement. I always keep the piers 12 inches in and this allows for some errors that can be covered by the floor.

– Beams and piers are heavy to work with.

– May be too much for a beginner.

Concrete Slab 

Concrete Slab For a ShedThe concrete slab is used in house construction, large commercial buildings, garages and as an option for a shed foundation. It involves many steps and a greater skill level which means for a beginner is not a good choice unless you can find some qualified help.

The actual size of your shed is the size of the concrete slab. When constructed correctly it can take the weight of heavy equipment and can easily hold the weight of a full size pick-up truck. The cost is the highest of all the shed foundation options; however it will be around for your lifetime.

The real advantage of the concrete slab is no bugs are going to eat it and it won’t rot over time. And if you use anchor bolts you don’t have to be concerned about storms blowing it away.

Here Are The Steps For a Concrete Slab

Step 1] Locate and Prep Ground…The concrete slab needs to be on ground that’s relativity level and on a high area that’s not going to be flooded when it rains. Begin by laying out the location and using red spray paint make out the size of the foundation. Remove any grass and about 6 to 8 inches of top soil. The concrete slab normally sits pretty close to ground level, you can elevate it if you want, but you’ll need to make a ramp to drive in equipment easily.

Step 2] Add Gravel and Compact… Once you have removed the top soil you can add some crushed gravel and using a hand powered plate tamper compact the gravel. Once the forms are installed [next step] you’ll need to adjust the gravel height.

Step 3] Install the Forms… For this example I’ll be using the 8 foot x 12 foot shed. You’ll need 2-2x4s cut to 8’ and 2-2x4s cut to 12’- 3”. The extra 3 inches will allow for the thickness of the 8 foot pieces so the inside measurement will be 8’ x 12’. You’re going to need some short 2x4s for making stakes. Just buy 2 -16 foot 2x4s, the left over pieces from cutting the 16 foot to 12’- 3” can be used for making 2×2 stakes.

Squaring With 3 4 5 MethodStarting at the highest point set your 2×4 forms into place, screwing them together and set them level and using the 3/4/5/ method square them up. Measure 3 feet from one corner and mark the form and then measure 4 feet from the same corner 4 feet in the other direction. Then measure the diagonal from those 2 points and if your forms are square it will be 5 feet.

Using the extra 2×4 pieces cut the 2x4s in half making 2x2s and make a point on one end. You’ll need 3 stakes on the 8 foot sides and 4 stakes on the 12 foot side screw the stakes into the forms. Once the forms are leveled and staked push some gravel up against them. Add or remove gravel from the pad as needed, use a straight end and make sure there’s room for 4 inches of concrete.

Step 4] Reinforce the Slab… This is optional and you can either use wire mesh or some ½ inch rebar on a 2 foot grid.

Step 5] Vapor Barrier…  This is also optional and would be a good idea if your going to be heating the shed or using it for an office. you would lay down a layer of 6mm vapor barrier plastic on the ground before you add the concrete.

Step 6] Pour the Concrete… The 8 foot by 12 foot by 4 inches thick concrete slab will require 1.2 yards of concrete. If your slab is a different size you can calculate how much concrete you’ll need by multiplying the length of the slab by the width, so using the example of 8’ x 12’ which equals 96 square feet.

Next you multiply the square feet by the thickness which is 4 inches which needs to be converted to feet, 4 inches divided by 12 equals .33, now multiply .33 by 96 which each 31.68. Now divide the 31.68 by 27 which is a cubic yard and you get 1.17 yards. I rounded it up to 1.2 to be on the safe side.

Concrete Anchor BoltStep 7] Anchor Bolts… To secure the framing to the slab you can add anchor bolts into the concrete before it sets up. Just make sure you don’t put anchor bolts in the area where your door is going to be. Place anchor bolts 10 inches from the corners and one in the center on the 8 foot side and two centered on the 12 foot side.

Step 8] Strip Forms… After 24 hours you can carefully remove the stakes and 2×4 forms and then back fill around the slab. You can cover the concrete slab if it’s raining with a piece of 6mm plastic to protect it from water damage. Using some scrap 2x4s on the outside form edge and then lay some 2x4s on top and then put the plastic snugly onto the 2x4s.

I have found a good video that will help you with the concrete slab:

Difficulty Level:

The concrete slab shed foundation option is quite difficult for a beginner, especially when it comes to placing and finishing the concrete slab.

Cost:

The most expensive foundation option and the concrete slab I used in the example of 8’ x12’ will cost round $800 to $1500 depending if you hire someone to place and finish the concrete.

Pros and Cons of a Concrete Slab

Pros

– Permanent.

– Can support heavy equipment and vehicles.

– Don’t need a floor.

– Good for any size shed.

Cons

– Not good option for sloping ground.

– May crack if ground is unstable.

– Use of gravel to drain water away if flush with ground.

– Very difficult for a beginner.

Less Common Shed Foundation Options

The last 2 shed foundation options I’m going to look at are kits and screw piles, you’ll find some foundation kits come with a shed when you buy it. There are a few kits you can buy and use on your own shed on. The screw piles are similar to the concrete pier and pressure treated pier foundation types.

Shed Foundation Kit 

Shed Foundation KitsNot all the shed manufacturers have shed kits for their sheds, but many do and offer an assortment of options. Most of the shed kits can be used as a shed option for other sheds that are the same size.

The Steps for Installing a Shed Foundation Kit

Step 1] Ground Preparation… You’re going to need to have a flat and level area to set up the foundation kit. Begin by removing the top layer of grass and using some gravel level out the area and tamp the gravel.

Step 2] Assemble the Pieces… Once the ground has been prepared put together the foundation kit as per the manufacturer’s instruction. This usually means locking the pieces together to make the foundation for your shed. You’re done!

Difficulty Level:

Very easy to assemble, the most difficult task will be getting the ground flat and level.

Cost:

The initial cost of the foundation kit can be around $75 to $150. You may need to buy some other materials for preparing the ground for the kit.

Pros and Cons of a Shed Foundation Kit

Pros

– Fast and very simple to install.

– Simple to make level.

– Your shed will be at ground level.

– Good choice for small sheds that are out of windy areas.

Cons

– Can sink into the ground over time.

– Metal sheds can rust at ground level.

– Must be used on flat level ground.

– Not very secure against wind.

If you’re interested in shed foundation kits you can visit Amazon and see their full line of foundation kits and sheds that come with foundation kits here.

Screw Piles 

Screw Pile FoundationScrew piles are usable for nearly all soil conditions there comparable to the treated wood pier and the concrete pier. They are available in different sizes and lengths, many of them will have to be installed with a machine that has a distinctive attachment that screws them into the soil far enough down to be below the frost line.

There are some that can be installed with a hand powered gas auger, but you’ll need the help of someone to use this machine. The screw pile shed foundation option can be used effectively on flat or sloping ground, and one installed you attach the sheds beams to them and then build the shed floor.

The Steps for Installing Screw Pile Foundations.

Step 1] Layout… If you watched the video on how to set up batter boards you’re ready to begin. Set you string lines so their 12 narrower that the actual size of your shed. Using screw piles you’ll have 4 to 6 inches from the center of the tie to actual size of the shed. This allows for any error and room to add skirting to close in the outside of the foundation.

Depending on the size of the shed and the size of the beams you’ll be putting onto of the screw piles will determine if you need to add extra piles. A shed up to 8 feet long will only need 2 piles if you’re using a 6×6 pressure treated beam, this will be strong enough to support the floor and the weight of most items in the shed. If your shed is 12 feet long you’re going to need 3 piles on each side.

Step 2] Make the Holes… Using a level and a can of red spray paint mark the centers of the piles by leveling down from the string lines. Remove the lines and you’re ready to install the piles.

Step 3] Install the Piles… With the power machine and a helper install the piles so there 4 feet below the ground level.

Difficulty Level:

Can be difficult getting the piles to the correct elevation and is harder when you’re dealing with sloping ground and rocky ground.

Cost:

The cost will be dependent on how many screw piles you’re going to need and the number and size of beam material required. Expect a cost or $600 to $1200 or more if you hire a contractor to do the piles for you.

The Pros and Cons of Screw Pile Foundation

Pros

– Will work in most soil types.

– Good choice in climates that have deep frost.

– Works well for any size storage shed.

– Installation is fast.

Cons

– You’ll have to rent the specialized tools to install the piles.

– Difficult to install straight and gets harder the more the ground slopes.

How to Choose the Best Shed Foundation Option

Which shed foundation option you choice shouldn’t be taken lightly, the foundation is what holds the shed up and keeps the shed off the ground preventing rot, mold and dampness inside the shed.

The 9 shed options I looked at in this article will provide you with a good solution for your shed. My favorite is using pressure treated skids; they sit on the ground and are heavy enough to securely keep you shed on the ground during windy weather conditions. And are easy enough that most do-it-yourselfers will be able to build the skid foundation.

The “gravel foundation with perimeter”, “concrete paver foundation” and the “solid concrete block foundation” are also fairly easy to build and can be a good option for some types of sheds.

The permanent shed foundation options are much more difficult and will require much more skill to build. But for a simple shed foundation the permanent foundations are not necessary and most of the storage sheds out there will do just fine with the skid type foundation.

Conclusion

Choose the shed foundation option that is within your budget and one that your comfortable doing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, many contractors would be willing to provide some good advice for a very modest cost. I hope this article has helped you to choose the best shed foundation for you, and if it has give it a share.

If you have any questions about any of these shed foundation options, just leave a comment or contact me via the contact page. Thanks for reading.

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