Before erecting a storage shed of any kind, the most important aspect of the whole job is to start off with a level solid base. There is no guarantee that your backyard or garden space will be completely level even though it may look reasonably ok. For some people this may not be a big issue, but for example if you have a work bench inside your storage shed, where you will be spending a good deal of your hobby time, for ease of comfort it will be kind of important that your bench is sitting level, and not at an awkward angle or tilt. Can you imagine eating your dinner every day on a table that is sitting off level? You will go crazy..! Also even more importantly for ease of assembling your shed, the base needs to be dead level. If it is off level, it will only start showing when you get as far as assembling the roof, you will run into all sorts of problems like parts not lining up correctly and you will feel like pulling all your hair out, if you have any left at that stage, but don’t fret just yet. 🙂 Below we will try and put you on the right track so you have a smooth and pain free assembly process.
While there are several material types you can use for this job for the purpose of this article we will look at the simple option of using some stone aggregate as it is inexpensive and easy to work with.
So the easiest way to guarantee that your base will be level is to go to your local hardware and buy a few ton of fine aggrade or crushed stone. Crushed stone aggregate will usually consist of small sharp stones mixed with fine dust. When levelled and compacted, this will almost be as strong as concrete, as the stone will bind into the dust and will be perfect to sit your shed floor on.
The first thing you will need to do is to take some levels of the area where you intend to place your shed. Drive four small wooden pegs in the ground about 2’ long with spiked edge on one end, on approximately the outside four corner positions of your shed. So you will make you base a little bigger that shed base. It will be a good idea at this point to take a few steps back and try and get a feel of how the shed will look in this position. Try and visualise the height of your new shed, will it be imposing in any way, maybe blocking light, or blocking your view in some way?
When you are satisfied that this is the best place in the world to position your new shed, lets move to the next stage. So now we need to create four level points at the four corner positions of your shed base and mark these points or heights on the 4 pegs that you already drove into the earth. Later if necessary you can cut the stakes down when they are well anchored in the earth to these level points.
The easiest way to do this will be to pick what you think is the highest corner in the space and drive that peg into the ground, to approximately 4 to 6 inches of the existing ground level. So the top of the peg will sit at 4/6” above the ground. The objective here is to try and find an average height that suits all 4 corners without using too much aggregate. Now using a 3’ spirit level (or similar) and a long straight piece of wood that will reach the next corner position, place the spirit level on top of the wooden peg, level corner 2 to corner 1 by hammering peg 2 into the ground and making sure the top of that peg is level with top of peg 1. (or cut a little bit off if necessary) Complete this process with all four corners. Now these will be your reference points for stone height. You will probably need a wheel-barrow to move the stone around the base. Use a garden rake to level the stone to your four reference points. To fine tune the level, use a piece of 2×4 lumber. Screed and tamp the stone to exactly the top of the four reference points. You can leave the four pegs in position or remove later when your shed is erected. Now you have a level base to place your shed on.
The advantages of using stone aggregate over concrete is, it will keep your base dry and any accumulating ground water will soak through it into the earth. The second advantage is unlike concrete, you can easily remove stone aggregate at any time and relocate your shed if you so decide to move house or remodel your garden. So now you are off to a good start, to painless shed building. Thinking of buying a storage shed for your yard or garden. Visit us at storageshedsdirect.com where you will find all kinds of garden shed kits from metal sheds to vinyl sheds and garages to plastic sheds to portable shelters and a full range of Other Outdoor Structures.