Getting started on a shed means considering location, weight capacity, and size, among other variables.
But is the foundation actually necessary?
It can hurt your finances, paying thousands upfront for the building and hundreds more for the base. Constructing a shed foundation can feel pointless, eating up more cash, time, and labor.
Our team wants to address this question so you can complete the shed project with confidence and make it simple, the way it should be. Depending on the size of the shed, we can make suggestions that save you time and money.
Is a Foundation Required for a Shed?
The short answer is yes. You’ll need a shed base to get started on the installation.
It’s a necessary component to increase the building’s longevity by protecting it from rotting and rusting. The shed won’t last long if you set it directly on the ground where it is vulnerable to bacteria and moisture.
Sheds sitting without a proper base eventually lopside as the ground shifts over time. Paying for a foundation may be frustrating, but it’s even more infuriating when your expensive investment collapses without warning.
And that includes all the equipment and backyard toys inside.
We believe picking the best shed base is just as important as choosing the shed itself. The foundation always determines the performance and longevity of the structure.
Your family deserves to enjoy a shed for years to come, which is why we advise all our clients to install a reliable base.
Requirements for Portable Buildings and Backyard Projects.
Between state regulations and practical guidelines, there are many rules you should follow when installing a base. Some are required by law whenever constructing portable buildings, while others prevent your shed from shifting over time.
Consult your Local Building Inspector
You should speak with a county or state building inspector before tackling any backyard project, including sheds. They inform your family of codes to abide when constructing portable buildings.
Even if it’s on your own property, legislation still has a say on how you build.
Call 811 before You Dig
Another requirement for building a shed foundation is calling 811, which saves you a lot of heartache in the long run. They’re a national hotline for detecting utility lines on every residential and commercial property in the United States.
Instead of destroying waterlines or underground power cables, you can dig in a safe location. Reach out a few days in advance, so they have enough time to meet your project deadline.
The best shed bases withstand any amount of weight you place on them. However, you should consider the shed size and whether you’re storing heavy equipment inside the structure.
Most families construct backyard sheds to house light equipment, such as a push mower or a trimmer. But you must look for a stronger base if the shed will hold riding mowers, boats, etc.
Without a drainage system, water can rot or rust your wooden or metal shed. This occurs when rain falls and bounces off the base and splashes the side of the portable building.
We’ve also seen naturally permeable shed bases, such as gravel and geocell, that can get the job done too.
You won’t be satisfied if the foundation runs you more than the structure itself. Plus, it can take a tremendous toll on your finances if you weren’t expecting to pay for a base.
There are plenty of cheap options to choose from that meet building codes, have natural drainage, and are durable.
Simple & Affordable Shed Foundation Options
Even though shed bases are necessary, they don’t have to be a hassle to buy and install. We’ve helped hundreds of families purchase the backyard base that matches their shed and size.
The following are DIY options you can find online or locally for a cheap price, unlike hiring expensive concrete specialists. Depending on the shed foundation, you can buy the perfect match for the size of the shed and everything inside.
With natural drainage, gravel is a fantastic option if you live in a rainy region of the country. It’s affordable, and you can pick it up from local retailers and landscape stores without much trouble.
We caution you from trying gravel foundations if you’re constructing a large shed that’ll hold heavy equipment. Like building on the dirt, the ground will naturally shift over time and lopside the shed.
Geocells are a honeycomb panel system you can lay your shed on top of for just as much durability as concrete. It takes about a day to install without requiring specialists and runs at a competitive price.
You can also avoid paying for drainage since the product has holes (perforation) throughout. HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic shed bases are the strongest and cheapest on the market.
One of the easiest options for building a shed base is hauling railroad ties or strong lumber pieces. Simply lay them parallel to each other across the ground. While they are a great temporary option for budgets, they won’t last forever.
Wood, even pressure-treated lumber, deteriorates over time from moisture and bacteria. You could end up with a compromised portable building if the shed sits on timbers or skids too long.
Of course, you could forego a shed foundation and build the building from the ground up. As we’ve already explained, this is the worst option for maintaining and preserving the portable building.
The shelf life expires quicker and inside equipment can rust or rot if you’re not careful.
What is the Best Shed Base for My Backyard?
Factoring in building requirements and the options above, we believe geocell is the best shed base. It’s durable, affordable, and permeable all in one foundation.
More expensive options like concrete foundations, concrete piers, and screw piles offer similar reliability. But they either crack under extreme temperatures or cost you an arm and a leg to maintain in the long run.
How to Install a Shed Foundation
Each shed base has a unique installation method, ranging from easy to complex. The difficulty can also increase if you’re working on massive buildings rather than small sheds.
Concrete bases, for example, require specialists to pour the mixture on leveled ground. Otherwise, the shed could end up sitting on uneven ground.
The other side of the coin is gravel bases that are as simple as laying down aggregate, temping it, and dropping the shed on top.
Other shed foundations like geocell are easy to install but may not be as straightforward when pulling the panels out of the box. We’re experts in backyard foundations and would be glad to answer your questions on how to install shed bases.
Protect Your Shed for Years to Come
Shed foundations are lifesavers when it comes to preserving the integrity of your building for a lifetime. Geocell is our number one option and is handy for sheds, carports, driveways, and more.
Rather than hire specialists to pour concrete as a shed floor, you can install geocell as a grade foundation. This type of shed foundation works for all portable buildings and lasts over 100 years.
Our team members would be glad to answer any questions on the project and how to construct a long-lasting shed base without any hiccups along the way.
Reach out to backyard specialists today at (888)-897-2224, so we can assist you with your shed foundation inquiry.