Selecting the right site for your shed, rather than building the shed floor to sit directly on the ground, is a crucial step to ensuring the longevity and safe use of your shed. BaseCore geocell shed foundations are practical due to their affordability and the simple installation. They are also one of the most durable types of shed foundations.
To stabilize your foundation, utilize BaseCore geocells to secure infill and prevent shifting. This type of foundation can support even more weight and provide a permanent solution, rather than skid foundations constructed and made to sit directly on the ground.
Unlike concrete foundations or grade foundations, a geocell foundation with gravel infill provides proper drainage. Also, as opposed to other foundation options, gravel allows for even distribution of the weight of your shed across the entire site.
If you plan to build a wood shed or any other type of storage shed, this installation guide will help get you started. It will walk you through the planning, preparation, and installation of your shed’s geocell foundation and is helpful for any size project, whether large or smaller sheds.
Step 1: Select the Perfect Site for Your Shed
You may already have the perfect site in mind. However, if you are unsure, there are several things to take into consideration when you are looking for the best location for your shed.
First, you should consider the topography of your yard. The site should have good drainage, be relatively level (not too sloped), and be located where the ground is undisturbed.
For example, it is best to avoid a site where the ground has been previously dug up. The foundation on this type of ground is likely to shift and settle. A couple other things to consider for practical reasons is a space clear of debris with good lighting. This will save you from extra work and allow the interior of your shed (if it has windows) to benefit from natural light.
Second, you must ensure you follow local building codes regarding the site for your shed. Here are some of the things your local ordinances may include: setback, footprint, frost-proofing, and anchoring.
Third, you should ensure that your site is accessible. For example, if you are storing firewood in it for a wood-burning fireplace inside your house, position it near your back door, where it will be easy to access in the winter months.
Lastly, it would help to consider where your shed will be most visually appealing. Whether you have chosen to build a shed that can help or hinder your home’s curb appeal will dictate positioning for aesthetic reasons.
Step 2: DIY Supplies for Building Your Shed Foundation
Gathering and organizing your supplies before beginning the site installation will help ensure the process will move much quicker and more smoothly. Once you get going, you won’t have to take an extended break to look for a tool you thought you had but can’t find in your garage.
Here is a list of tools you will need to install the foundation:
- Rebar Stakes
- Shovel, Rake, or Tractor
- Plate or Hand Compactor
Some optional tools are a laser level, mini skid steer, and plate compactor, which will help make the site installation process even more efficient.
Go ahead and plan for what materials you need for the foundation. Here is a list of materials you need:
- BaseCore Geocell Panels
- Geotextile Fabric
- Gravel Infill Material
Keep this list of materials in mind as we move on to steps three and four. Once you have completed those two steps, you should have the information you need to order the right amount of supplies.
Step 3: Mark the Corners of Your Foundation
Gather some flags, stakes, or something you can quickly identify once put into the ground. Measure the length and width of your foundation, add 1 foot to each edge, and mark the corners. The foundation needs to extend this extra 12″ on each side of your shed to allow for proper drainage.
Measure diagonally between markers to ensure that the site has square corners. Use the marking paint to mark the outline of the foundation location.
Step 4: Determining Your Slope
You need to determine the slope of your site, as this will dictate where you will dig and the number of materials you need.
You have three options for determining your slope: laser level, string level, or straightedge and level. No matter which method you choose, start at the highest corner of the site and work to the next corner. The ultimate goal is to determine the difference in the slope at each corner. This will help you know how much to excavate.
Step 5: Getting Your Site Level
To get your site level, you must first determine whether you need to build up or dig out the foundation to get the door of your shed placed at ground level. Depending on the slope of your site, you may need to dig out in some parts and build up in others.
Step 6: Installing Geotextile Fabric
The fabric should cover the entire area of the foundation site and be enough to overlap the edges of the geocells. Secure it with landscape stakes or high-quality nails.
Step 7: Securing Your Gravel Base with Geocell
Place the BaseCore geocell panels on top of the ground. Secure each panel by starting at one end with 4-6 ½ rebar stakes (12″) and then fully expanding and staking the other end of the panel. You can frame it by digging approximately 4-5″ to make the panels flush with the ground.
Next, connect or trim the panels. Depending on the size of your foundation, you may need multiple panels to cover the area of the site. To join, use the locking clips included with the panels. If your panels cover more space than needed, you can deal with the excess by only expanding the panel to the desired area or trimming the excess with scissors or a knife.
Step 8: Filling Your Geocell Base
Once the geocell panels are in place and secured, it’s time to fill them with gravel. Make sure you fill to about 2” beyond each cell.
Step 9: Compacting Your Foundation
Now that the panels are in place and filled with gravel, run the compactor over the entire surface area. After slowly going over each panel, there may be some exposed geocells. Fill these exposed areas with more gravel and compact them again.
Do You Have Questions About How to Prep the Foundation for a Wood Shed?
At Backyard Bases, we know any DIY project can seem overwhelming. We have put together simple, multi-purpose ground grid kits to provide the stable foundation you need for your shed.
If you have any questions about installing the foundation for your shed, call us at 888-897-2224.