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Design and build a foundation for your storage shed

  • Difficulty: hammer hammer
    Close Difficulty
    Beginner Do-It-Yourselfer - Easy
    Intermediate Do-It-Yourselfer - Moderate
    Experienced Do-It-Yourselfer - Difficult
    Professional - Expert
  • Completion Time : Week-End Project

Whether you buy a pre-fab kit or build from an original plan, your backyard storage shed needs a solid, square foundation. The good news is you don’t need advanced skills, special tools, or lots of money to build one, just the patience to plan properly and do the job right.
This article describes two different types of foundations for a small to medium-sized shed: an on-grade foundation that sits on top of the ground, and a permanent foundation that uses concrete footings or piers that extend below the frost line.
Either one will work. Here’s how to build them and make the right choice.


Tools and materials required


  • 4' or longer level
  • Line level
  • Shovel
  • Tape measure
  • Wheelbarrow

Concrete piers and beams:

  • Hammer
  • Post-hole digger or power auger
  • Trowel
  • Wrench

Concrete slab:

  • Bull float
  • Edger
  • Hand float
  • Trowel


  • Landscape fabric
  • Pea gravel
  • Stakes
  • String

On-grade Foundation: Concrete pavers:

  • Sand/cement mix
  • Concrete pavers to fit your floor area

On-grade Foundation: Timber frame

  • 4" x 4" pressure-treated timber, cut to match shed length
  • Landscaping spikes or lag screws
  • Your choice of flooring material

On-grade Foundation: Concrete piers and timbers

  • 4" x 4" pressure-treated timber, cut to match shed length
  • 4" x 8" x 16" concrete blocks

Permanent Foundation: Concrete piers and beams:

  • 0-¾ crushed stone
  • 4" x 4" pressure-treated timber, cut to match shed length
  • Cardboard tube forms
  • Cement mix
  • J-bolts with washer and nut
  • Post-base hardware

Permanent Foundation: Concrete slab:

  • Concrete
  • Rebar and tie wire
  • Forming lumber
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duplex nails

Before Assembly

  • Find out whether you need a permit and a site inspection to build a shed on your property. Local building codes may require them even for a small shed. If you build without first obtaining permit, you may have to move your shed or take it down completely.

  • Before you begin work, call local authorities to identify utility lines near your building site.

  • Plan to devote one full weekend (or one-third your total project time) to getting your building site ready and constructing the foundation, especially if you’re using concrete piers. They take time to dig, level, and square, and for the cement to set.

  • If you’re working from a shed kit or plan, the manufacturer will recommend a foundation type based on the size of the structure you’re building. Heed the manufacturer’s suggestions.

  • Over time, an on-grade foundation can shift out of square or level especially in areas with significant or prolonged freezes. It’s possible to jack up the building and shim or adjust the blocks to level the foundation, but it may be difficult to make the shed as square as it was when you built it.

  • If at any point you’re unsure of what you’re doing, call a qualified professional. The money you spend will be returned in the benefits of a quality job.


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climatisation, ossature-du-sous-sol, beton-jointement, beton-escaliers, beton-surface, chauffage, longueur, capacite-liquide, ventilation, volume, poids

Helpful Information

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