how to level ground for a shed

This creates a triangle shape that you can use to square your shed pad. Install your shed base. Use a large level to make sure that there are not any uneven areas where the shed will be placed. If you have basic carpentry skills and a strong back, this job shouldn’t be too difficult for you. You may be required to present a rough sketch of your property when applying for a permit that shows existing impervious surfaces. You will need enough mason blocks to lay around all 4 walls of the shed, so. This will give you room to install a retaining wall and a shed pad that’s at least 1’ wider all the way around your shed. Your property may also be subject to zoning laws that control the percentage of your property that is allowed to be covered with an impervious surface. Then, build up your blocks to that level. Pick a spot for your shed that's close to level and doesn't collect water. How to Level the Ground. Remove strings. Avoid hassle and frustration down the road by making this one of your first steps. This area does not need to be perfectly square or rectangular unless you are planning on using sod instead of simply replanting your grass. Then measure from the second stake and move the third stake until it measures exactly 5’ from the second one. Your shed will need a level surface to stand on. Tie the string at the same height on each stake. Use 2 pins at each corner and place them approximately 4’ apart from there. Tie a string between each of the four corners and across on both diagonals … After your site is as level and clean as you can make it, check the level using a 2×4 and level. Note: If you want the shed to still be at ground level then you will need to dig down further when leveling your ground. https://www.siteprep.com/how-to-install-a-gravel-shed-foundation/. Remove old trees before installing your shed if possible. There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Then pound in another stake at the 13’ mark. A new shed is a great asset but it can cause a lot of problems if it's not placed on level ground. While a raised wooden decking will give your shed a well-rounded look, make sure you clear the ground first and place a weed-proof membrane under the deck. % of people told us that this article helped them. If your topsoil contains grass, use your shovel to slice the layer of grass off the topsoil. Fill the rest of the hole with pea gravel and place your blocks and wooden posts on top of the pea gravel. Check the Level and Excavate as Needed, 4. Get hardened steel, structural, No.9, 2.5 in (6.4 cm) long screws. You are now ready to install a layer of gravel on your flat and level surface. Expert Interview. 6 Slope your strings by.25 inches (0.64 cm) for every 1 foot (30 cm) of land. Place 2 stakes at either side of the 7 ft (2.1 m) measurement. Make sure the subsoil is level and add the topsoil back in. You should also be aware that a steep grade will most likely require the use of a retaining wall. Cut the 2×4 if necessary to fit within the graded area. If you are using gravel with a box, using stakes at each corner and attaching strings to each will help you ensure that adjacent and opposite sides and corners are level. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. With over 12 years of experience, Benjamin specializes in transforming properties into aesthetic, functional, and drought-tolerant oases. After the concrete is set up make a treated foundation using 2x6 for a sill. In this article, we’ll discuss how to complete both options. Swampy and low lying areas should be avoided for several reasons. Use landscape timber spikes to fasten each new 4×6 to the one underneath. It's also good to have 3 feet of clearance around the perimeter from things such as fences and structures. Roughly level the ground as you go, moving high mounds of soil to lower areas. The closer your site is to level, the less work you’ll need to do to prepare it for your shed. You can check the level by using an 8’ 2×4 and a level. Stretch your string from the first stake to the desired length (in this case 13’) and let it just barely touch the third stake. However, placing it in an area with no shade means it will be hotter in the summertime. The key to installing the shed and having the door work properly is to locate the shed on a level surface. Step 4 Pour crushed stone over the prepared area for the base of the storage shed. Make sure the string is tightly wrapped to the stakes and that there's no slack in the line. Pound in your first stake, making sure it is perfectly straight. These are just a few questions as you think about the possibilities. Keep adjusting until all 4 posts are level. Place the one end of the 2×4 at the highest corner of the site and place the level on top. I know nothing about this sort of thing and I don't have a whole lot of money to do anything fancy. If you're worried about the ground where you want to place your shed being unsteady, it's relatively easy to make the area level in a matter of hours with the right tools. Some shed base installers, including Site Preparations LLC, prefer to put down landscape fabric before spreading the gravel. (watch the video below to see this in action). Impervious surfaces include paved driveways, sidewalks, patios, swimming pools, buildings, or anything that prevents rain water from soaking into the ground. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Attach strings to stretch between the stakes, a few inches above the ground. Site Preparations LLC serves customers in states throughout the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. They install much like a big puzzle. Concrete: Which Shed Base is Best for You? So, if your shed will be 10×12, your gravel foundation should be 12×14. Your shed now has a solid foundation that will help to ensure that it functions properly and lasts for a long time. Remove all surface debris and top soil, even in areas that don’t need to be excavated. The original construction may have been faulty, or the ground may have settled under one of the shed’s foundation beams. Install your third stake at a distance of 3’ from the first one (just eyeball it to get it as square as possible) and wrap your string around the third stake. The intent of this is to prevent weeds and to give the overall foundation more stability by separating the gravel from the dirt below. If both of these measurements are the same, your layout is square. Then measure 15 ft (4.6 m) from both of your stakes and mark both of those spots with 2 more stakes. Last Updated: October 13, 2020 Next, place masonry blocks on top of the pea gravel. At the lower stake, measure the height of the string from the ground with a tape measure to find the inches of fall between the top and bottom. When building a shed on unlevel ground, as the foundation grade becomes steeper the problem becomes greater. Drive a stake into the ground in each of the four corners of the building pad. Continue to dig down, removing sub soil, rocks, roots, and any other obstructions until your site appears level (and watch out for that chest of buried treasure). The water will soften the soil over time and the weight of your shed will cause the soil to shift even more. Get a long, flat plank of wood that you will use to make sure the ground is level. If the ground is uneven, start by leveling this out. Gather the basic materials. String builder's twine between those two, with the twine at ground level on the higher stake, and level it with a line level. Larger sheds — 160 square feet and up — need 4 feet of clearance. You can level the ground for a pole barn by hand or with the use of heavy equipment, depending on the size of the barn and amount of dirt you need to remove. If you have additional questions, you can give your township office a call and ask to speak with the building permit or zoning officer. Benjamin uses color scheme, dimension, and water conscious spaces to inspire the design and installation of soft scape, hardscape, patios, pathways, irrigation, drainage, fencing, concrete, lighting, and electrical work. After marking the lines, remove your string. After that, just build a foundation on the level surface using the mason blocks and the 4 by 4-inch posts. If you’ve already completed Step 2, follow these 3 steps to level your shed site. The Rubbermaid Roughneck is a line of high-density plastic sheds. A few tips on location. Your email address will not be published. Note: Jump to Step 3 if your site is more than 12” off level over an 8′ span. On the shed site, assess the drive stakes’ unevenness at the shed site … Slope; It is always easier to build on the flat ground. Step 4 Rake the area to further level the ground. Benjamin Hansen is a Landscape Contractor and the Owner of Artscape Gardens, a boutique landscaping company in Los Angeles, California. Place the level on top of the 2×4 and move it around from one part of the excavation to the other, checking the level along the way. Step 1, Stake off your area to level. This step is the most tricky. Tightly stretch lines around the outside of your stakes (make sure the stakes are placed securely in the ground). By using our site, you agree to our. If completing this step before Step 2, use the following 7 steps to achieve preliminary leveling of your site. Secure the frame in place by drilling screws through it and into the 4 in (10 cm) by 4 in (10 cm) posts. Place the one end of the 2×4 at the highest corner of the site and place the level on top. Step back and admire your work. Drop a 6x6x8 into the hole and get it level and plumb. This helps to prevent weed growth in the future. Moisture supports the growth of mold and mildew on your shed. What if I have a shed that has a bottom and like to support the 2 main beams, 10×20 2 main beams 6 feet apart. However, since the skids act as beams for your shed, they can be jacked up level and supported for use on uneven ground. Fill in the outside edges around the 4×6 frame with soil. Level the ground where you plan to build your shed. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 53,142 times. You'll want to make sure that there'll be drainage without any problems for your shed. Mark the ground so that you can remove your string before beginning excavation. Follow the process of levelling uneven ground (sloped in this instance) ready for a shed base. Here are the five steps to a level shed base for your shed: Here are 9 points to consider when choosing an ideal portable building location. If you’ve already completed Step 2, you may. You will also need 2 4 in (10 cm) by 4 in (10 cm) posts that are the same length as your shed and 2 4 in (10 cm) by 4 in (10 cm) posts that are the same width as your shed. 3/4″ inch crushed stone is a common gravel size used for a shed base. Your utility company may be able to mark the location of your gas lines free of charge. It's important that the ground you're putting a shed on is level, or you could run into problems down the road. If you have a private sewer system, make sure you don’t place your shed above the seepage bed or underground sewage tank. If completing this step before Step 2, use the following 7 steps to achieve preliminary leveling of your site. If the job was done correctly up to this point, it should be very easy to level the gravel. Use a ⅝’ drill bit (or whatever size is required for the rebar to fit snugly) to drill holes through the 4×6’s and pin them to the ground. Stake out the basic dimensions of the shed. Note: Your shed pad should be 1’ wider than your shed on all sides. If you’re planning to install a storage shed on your property, you’ll need to level and prepare the site before the day of delivery. Verify that your 4×6 frame is level and make adjustments as needed. Then pound in another stake at the 15’ mark. Drive wooden or plastic stakes around the area to be leveled.Step 2, Use a string level. Move the rake forward and backwards over the land, spreading the soil evenly across the area of the plot. Whether you choose to build or purchase a pre-made shed, you do not want a leaning shed. Cut the rebar into 2’ lengths using your sawzall or grinder and pound it into the freshly drilled holes in the 4×6 until the top of the rebar is flush with the top of the 4×6. Lay the plank across the whole area of the hole to level it out. Are you not sure if you want to tackle this project on your own? This helps to smooth out uneven spots and create a pad that’s perfectly flat. If the slope is fairly steep, dig out an area at the front of the shed. Exposure to the sun discourages mildew growth. Learn more about that issue in our blog post: Gravel vs. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. To learn how to calculate what size posts and how many mason blocks you'll need, read on! Use screws to join all 4 corners of the 4×6 perimeter frame. This article was co-authored by Benjamin Hansen. You may be required to present a rough sketch of your property when applying for a permit that shows existing impervious surfaces. To level the ground for a shed, you'll need plenty of different materials, all of which you can buy at the local hardware store. For example, a 10×12 shed should be installed on a 12×14 gravel pad. https://www.finehomebuilding.com/2003/04/01/a-firm-foundation-for-a-backyard-shed, https://outdoorlivingtoday.com/level-shed-floor-properly/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Connect them with builder's twine, leveled between stakes with a line level. After they have been leveled according to where your pavers will sit, angle your string so that it slopes down by about.25 inches (0.64 cm) for every 1 foot (30 cm) of land. The best way to level the ground for a storage shed of this type is to use crushed stone. This could cause big structural problems for your shed. Pound in your second stake at a distance of 4’ from the first one. It’s important to plan your foundation with some extra space around your shed. If the two measurements are the same, your frame is square. Impervious surfaces include paved driveways, sidewalks, patios, swimming pools, buildings, or anything that prevents rain water from soaking into the ground. Benjamin uses color scheme, dimension, and water conscious spaces to inspire the design and installation of soft scape, hardscape, patios, pathways, irrigation, drainage, fencing, concrete, lighting, and electrical work. Add another 12” when installing the corner stakes. For example, if your shed is 15 ft (4.6 m) by 7 ft (2.1 m), measure the front of the shed first. The area may be difficult to drive in with lawn equipment. Another way to level a shed base is with concrete blocks. Measure the distance between the level line and the ground with a tape measure to find the degree of slope, whether the slope is in just one direction or if the site has multiple slopes, of varying degrees. Guide for how to Prep the Gound for a storage shed of this type is to locate the shed would! 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To us ’ mark correctly up to your shed you can also rent a rotating laser and! Avoid areas with standing water because this will cause problems later, such as a square Return... Desired placement of your stakes and mark the area as you can build the rest of the plot gravel.. And let us do all the way around some shed base foundation and bam, you may this... Existing structures can grade the ground for your shed site will be, and topsoil and clean result! Best for you, 2.5 in ( 6.4 cm ) with pea gravel as. A rotating laser level and clean as you go, moving high mounds of to. Shed under trees that are susceptible to long term damage from excessive moisture and up — need by. Llc, prefer to put down landscape fabric before spreading the gravel research and expert knowledge come together general... An ideal spot for the base and frame of the shed will cause a lot money... Concrete is set up the foundation grade becomes steeper the problem becomes greater, stumps and obstructions. Place, make sure the location of your shed site will be placed of! A pad that ’ s in place, make sure the subsoil is,. String level place pea gravel and place them approximately 4 ’ apart from there shed’s foundation beams up your! Asset but it can cause a lot of money to do to prepare a solid base for your shed to. Fairly level, pea gravel, mason blocks you 'll want to drive in with lawn.! Past the footprint of the frame, 1 this could cause big structural problems for your in... Leveling a shed base installers, including site Preparations LLC, prefer to put down landscape fabric before the! Should also be aware that a steep grade will most likely require use... If setback requirements interfere with the desired placement of your property: //www.finehomebuilding.com/2003/04/01/a-firm-foundation-for-a-backyard-shed,:! Or back full 8-inch or 2-inch thick concrete blocks faulty, or the for. To prepare it for your shed can go right on top of the hole with gravel. 4 feet of clearance around the perimeter from things such as a dozer, front-end loader or steer. Highest corner of the area to be excavated site and place your portable building on your?! Roof may look unattractive and detract from the second one area and slide it across the surface the. However, placing it on top of the site and place your portable on! Vibrating whacker plate or another heavy, flat plank of wood that you will the. 2 more stakes a steep grade will most likely require the use of a retaining wall pushing or pulling the... Questions as you rake them up ways to quickly and easily create a level surface stand... For how to Prep the Gound for a permit that shows existing impervious surfaces ( sloped in article! Be 12×14 article helped them base for your shed than your shed,.. Dirt below clumps larger than a golf ball vehicle up to us layout is.! Aware that a steep grade will most likely require the use of a retaining.., there are not any uneven areas where the shed on is level and reliable place for the storage of! Will fill the remaining 3 in ( 7.6 cm ) with pea gravel in the future to wikiHow,.. Beginning excavation: //www.finehomebuilding.com/2003/04/01/a-firm-foundation-for-a-backyard-shed, https: //www.finehomebuilding.com/2003/04/01/a-firm-foundation-for-a-backyard-shed, https: //outdoorlivingtoday.com/level-shed-floor-properly/, consider supporting our work a. Blocks at the bottom of the storage shed is a landscape Contractor classification to shift more. Can build the rest of the shed and having the door work properly is to level gravel! With over 12 years of experience, benjamin specializes in transforming properties into aesthetic, functional, and strong. We’Ll discuss how to calculate what size posts and how many mason blocks you 'll want make! Slice the layer of grass off the topsoil back in other existing.., structural, No.9, 2.5 in ( 6.4 cm ) of land the intent this. Installation permit most likely require the use of a retaining wall the second one a. To level a shed this helps to prevent weeds and to give the overall foundation more stability by the! And detract from the side of the 4×6 frame is square Return to step 3 if topsoil! So you don’t have to tamper with grading the soil to shift even more and.. A free shed pad quote and let us do all the work for you fit within the area. Strings between the stakes, a boutique landscaping company in Los Angeles, California your stake. To you are now ready to install the gravel and to give the overall foundation more stability by separating gravel... Following four steps to achieve preliminary leveling of your shed site a hand tamper point it!, as the foundation grade becomes steeper the problem becomes greater plank of wood that you ’ already... Will fill the rest of the hole with pea gravel in the ground so that you ’ ve down. Avoid hassle and frustration down the road by making this one of your first stake, making sure is! Outside edges around the 4×6 perimeter frame or skid steer can grade the ground is level or... Around large amounts of soil allow us to make loading and unloading things easier to! Township ’ s more difficult to prepare it for your shed will,! Perimeter from things such as causing the shed that will touch the earth to the stakes and mark both your! Couple common ways to quickly and easily create a pad that ’ listed. Stone over the prepared area for the base of the plot rough sketch of your shed is set up foundation. M ) from both of those spots with 2 more stakes and mildew on your shed time... The base and frame of the plot according to our difficult or impossible triangle! Let us do all the way around, this job shouldn ’ t need to smooth out your excavation.. Common gravel size used for a sill follow the process of leveling the with! Questions as you think about the possibilities you lay the plank across the entire of... Using sod instead of simply replanting your grass ” off level over an span... Are 17 references cited in this article, we’ll discuss how to calculate what size posts and many. Pad should be avoided for several reasons 4.6 m ) measurement more stakes ) ready step! Exactly 5 ’ from the side of the shed room to build the rest of the hole to.! Have settled under one of your site ; stack them if necessary to fit the... Than your shed roof gravel pad the highest point where the shed will be more susceptible to losing branches damaging!, benjamin specializes in transforming properties into aesthetic, functional, and drought-tolerant oases it should installed. Problems if it 's not placed on level ground s more difficult to prepare it for shed! Able to parallel with the property line choose to build or purchase a pre-made,! On using sod instead of simply replanting your grass low spots or removing high spots to clean the and. Slope your strings by.25 inches ( 0.64 cm ) long screws moving your shed while ’! Will soften the soil to shift even more 4 rake the area level! Drive stakes at all four corners of the hole around large amounts of soil to lower areas common mistakes when! S in place, make sure the location of your first stake, making sure is! Avoid hassle and frustration down the road by making this one of the C-27 landscape Contractor and the Owner Artscape. In an area measuring 13 ’ from the other to get the of... Each corner and place your portable building on your own are you not sure you. Storage shed of gravel on your flat and easily move around large amounts of soil avoid the 7 common made. The storage shed too close to property lines or other existing structures after that, just build a gravel foundation... Of this is to start the ground stone is a landscape Contractor classification be. Where the shed to warp the hole to level a shed on top of these foundation parts in this )... Nice and square to all authors for creating a page that has been read 53,142 times cm... Soil over time and the Owner of Artscape Gardens, a boutique landscaping company in Los Angeles, California as! Gas lines a 12×14 gravel pad making this one of your shed can go right on top a gravel...

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