Overview: Whether you’re an active gardener, seasonal landscaper or just someone looking for a unique summer project, undertaking the construction of a garden shed will provide not only a fun, but memorable experience for all those involved. While this project will require an investment of both time and money, it will leave any man, woman or child with a wonderful sense of accomplishment, not to mention a dynamic and useful structure. A shed can take on various forms, from a plain square shack of corrugated metal to an elaborate, ornamental A-frame building. For those new to construction or uncomfortable buying their own supplies, know that there are prefabricated shed kits available. At the most rudimentary level, think of a slab foundation as a single piece of thickly poured concrete uniformly shaped with a flat, level surface. The slab foundation, though somewhat labor intensive, does not require a high-level of skill or experience to create, yet it offers a handsome look with long-term durability if done properly.
Tools: Like any household or landscaping project, some basic tools will be absolutely necessary.
Note: The necessary amounts for Items marked with a *will be determined by the size and scope of the project. If this will be your first attempt at a garden shed, choose a basic square or rectangle for the shape. For those advanced builders—or those just plain curious—more unconventionally shaped sheds exist, but if you’re seriously considering a triangular or circular design, your skill and familiarity with construction should make this guide unnecessary. For those with only unlevel or hilly building space, know that completely leveling your chosen site will be an additional step in the process so plan accordingly. The area now marked off, check the future corners of your shed to ensure that you’ve measured out right angles. Having already identified and outlined the site of your future shed, it’s time to break ground. At the border of the area marked off, continue removing soil to a depth of 10 to 12 inches, forming something akin to a trench all the way around. The bulk of the digging done, begin framing with boards cut-to-length—A veteran tip: wait to purchase the boards until all digging has been completed.
Begin by layering the entire foundation—including the footings—with 2 to 4 inches of basic gravel or crushed rock.
Once the gravel layer has been poured and re-leveled, strongly consider placing 1 or 2 layers of square steel mesh (or if it’s a small project, chicken wire) on top of the foundation area. The good news is you’ll only need enough mesh to cover the central part of the foundation, leaving roughly 4 to 6 inches of space the between the border form and end of the mesh. For those unsure about what type of mesh to use, talk to the professionals at your hardware store about the details of the project. Rent a mixer or—if the shed plan is large enough—order ready mix concrete, which will be delivered to your property ready-to-pour from a truck.
Whether mixing it yourself or getting it delivered directly, make sure to put gloves on and wear clothes that can get ruined.
If a truck or mixer isn’t pouring concrete directly into your worksite, use a wheelbarrow to transport the concrete to the foundation frame.
Also, if the future construction plan requires anchor bolts for the walls, set them into the concrete now while it’s malleable. Concrete will usually begin to set in about two or three hours, so make sure that you’ll have an uninterrupted window to work once the mixing and pouring has begun. This is great, thanks for the advice, it really helped me with the construction of the base for my BillyOh shed.
A good concrete mixture is a ratio of 1 part cement, 3 parts sand, and 3 parts aggregate will produce a concrete mix that is ideal for a greenhouse. When mixing the water with the cement, sand, and stone will form a paste that will bind the materials together until the mix hardens.
Many thanks for the information you have put on whatshed I think you have covered just about everything in your reply and it is very helpful to me . I read a lot about keeping the base level or screws may not align with holes etc when building a shed in-situe on the base. How does this work with a fall to allow rain to run off if the base is minimally oversized?
In relation to what sort of of wood you would want to use when building the shed I would suggest looking at out guide on that explains the types of wood to use when building or buying a shed.
You might want to check out our How to Build a Shed Guide for a few more tips and pictures on putting a base down. Ideally you want the base to be higher than the surrounding ground so that you get no water settling in the shed.
See our most popular sheds, the Kent Apex Wooden Outdoor Garden Shed, Essex Pent Wooden Garden Shed and Canterbury Garden Shed Pressure Treated! Choosing the right place for the garden shed is a real challenge, as you have to both comply with the local regulations and choose a location that won’t affect the look of your backyard.
Generally speaking, garden sheds come in a large variety of shapes, sizes and designs, but you have to choose the one that fit your needs and tastes perfectly. Building a garden shed may look as a complex woodworking project, especially for amateur handymen, but it is actually pretty straightforward, provided you select the plans with great care and select the materials properly.
Smart tip: If you want to get the job done in a professional manner, you should plan everything from the very beginning, paying attention to the local building codes.
After you have set the layout of the shed, you have to pour the concrete footings, that will support the weight of the wooden construction.
After you have dug the holes, you have to pour a 4” layer of gravel and compact it thoroughly. Afterwards, you have to cut several 2×6 joists and anchor them to the perimeter beams. In this image, you can easily notice the manner in which you have to anchor the joists to the perimeter beams. Smart Tip: Work with great care, making sure you plumb and align the joists at both ends, before securing them to the beams. Smart Tip: We recommend you to install tongue and groove plywood, as the sheets would join together easier. Continue the project by installing the opposite wall of the shed in the same manner described above. From our own experience, we recommend you to assemble the wall structure on the ground and afterwards lift it on the floor with the help of another person.
Smart Tip: We recommend you to double the door header and the side jambs, to create a rigid structure before fitting the new door. As you can see in the image, you have to build the trusses on the ground and then secure them into place, by inserting 4” screws. Measure the rafters properly, as the trusses must be same, otherwise it will be impossible to install the roofing sheets. Building the roof of the shed can be done in many ways, but in this diy article we show you a quick technique.
Lift the trusses, plumb them with a spirit level and drive in several screws through the bottom element of the trusses in the top plate of the walls. As you can see in the image, the shed should overhang about 10” in the front and back faces, to drain the water properly and to add character to your construction. Seal the gaps with silicone or with other products designed for this task, otherwise the water might damage the roof sheeting.
Next, install 1×6 wooden trims to the rafters, as they will complete the appearance of the garden shed and mask the edges. Thank you for reading our article about garden shed plans free and we recommend you to check out the rest of our projects. Summary: A DIY guide to laying a garden shed base, including how to use formwork and shuttering for concrete. How to build a shed base for your garden shed is a very popular question to diydoctor and in all honesty there are a number of ways to do it.
We have chosen a standard construction method which allows for a damp proof membrane under the slab to stop damp rising up through it.
For small sheds this could be dug into the ground removing the need for any brickwork around the edges. A basic run down of the process is to dig the hole 300mm wider and longer than your shed floor, 100mm deep (providing the ground underneath is solid) and pour the concrete onto a damp proof membrane you have laid inside the base of the hole.
However you build your shed base you need to make sure the ground is level over the area of the entire base. For the above ground method, you first need to decide if your ground is firm enough to lay a slab without a hardcore sub-base. If the ground is firm enough and the peg is difficult to drive into the ground then carry on with the instructions below.
If the peg goes in too easily then remove 4 inches of soil for an area of ground which is 500mm wider and longer than the floor of your shed and fill this with scalpings. It is necessary to compact the scalpings before adding the concrete so that they are as tightly packed as possible. In the diagram above, the damp proof membrane, which should be at least 1000 gauge polythene, is shown going under the formwork (frame) for the base.

Using 150mm x 25mm sawn and treated timber, cut the four sides of the formwork for your base. When the posts are banged in you need to use a spirit level to make sure the top of the formwork is level.
There is no need to use large nails or screws as the concrete will hold the boards in place. To make sure the angles of your formwork are at 90 degrees, measure from corner to corner across both diagonals - the measurements should be identical. With a level and square frame in place you can now lay 25mm of soft building sand in the bottom. Stand the timber upright on its edge and push and pull it backwards and forwards across the frame while dragging it from one end to the other and this will level it roughly. This vibrates the concrete into place and it will find its own level - This is called tamping (See image below for an example). Lastly, have a wander around the frame tapping gently on the outside all the way round with a clawhammer.
While the concrete is going hard, without disturbing the posts (of which there should be at least 300mm in the ground) dig a small trench all the way around the base, right next to the frame, about 5 inches wide and 2 inches deep. This brick wall serves two purposes, it holds the damp proof membrane up so no ground water can seep between the underside of the slab and the membrane and it also gives a much better looking side to the slab. We are assuming this base is for keeps so you want it to look good as well as being completely functional! Keeping the polythene held up, lay two courses of bricks around the base (For tips and help on doing this see our laying bricks and blocks project here).
Lay the top course of bricks with any frog (brick indent) facing down so that you have a nice flat top.
Point up the brickwork (see our pointing and repointing brick and blockwork project for help) and you should have a good looking base for your shed - Good work!! There are no hard and fast rules, so this is really up to you and how you want your finished shed and base to look.
For a practical demonstration on how to use a vibrator plate compactor, go to our video section on foundations here. Sheds are incredibly useful and flexible, providing invaluable storage for your garden equipment and tools, alongside sheltered workspace for a variety of home, garden and DIY jobs.
In this handy, step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to build a shed using a kit, from laying the floor, to securing your shed once it’s complete. Having a concrete floor for your shed will add stability, and provide a more durable, hard-wearing platform, helping to extend the lifespan of your shed – but it does require some additional work.
Once you’ve dug out the area, fill it with a 100mm layer of hardcore, then fence off the hole with the wooden shuttering. NB – If you’re using a concrete base, you’ll need to affix the sides of your shed to a pressure treated timber wall plate, which can then be anchored to the concrete base using anchor bolts during fitting, to provide stability.
Measure your shed, then take your six concrete blocks and lay them at each corner, and in the middle at either side of the shed. Now, lay your three fence posts on top of these blocks, creating a platform that you can screw the timber floor of your shed kit to. Do the same with the other two sides, so you have two connected pieces, then screw these together, and put them in place. If you’re working with a concrete floor, you’ll also need to secure the timber wall plate to the bottom of your sides at this stage. Although some sheds come with the roof felt already attached, you may need to do this yourself. If your shed is made from untreated wood, you’ll want to apply a couple of coats of a good quality, water based preservative that will help to add aesthetic appeal and protect it from the elements.
These are widely available from any DIY shop, and come in a range of colours to suit every taste.
Unfortunately, shed break-ins are very common, so you’ll want to fit some security measures if you’re storing anything valuable inside. Whilst a simple padlock may deter opportunists, you may want to consider making a wire mesh protector for your windows, and fitting an additional security bar to the door to prevent determined thieves. As an added precaution, we also recommend burring over the heads of your screws to prevent thieves from unscrewing them to access your valuables, and fitting a motion-sensitive light for additional protection.
Most of the tools needed to complete this DIY task can be found in the DIY tools section of our shop – all at fantastically low prices! Written by Ryan HirstHi I'm Ryan and I am the online marketing assistant at Eurofit Direct. To see our content at its best we recommend upgrading if you wish to continue using IE or using another browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome. Plan B A visit to Glee, the garden trade-only exhibition at the Birmingham NEC, revealed a whole range of recycled and environmentally kind products that could be used to create an earth-friendly and interesting garden shed.
Below ground, the pour will typically be thicker and deeper around the edges, giving the slab a strong footing on which to rest. Not only will this simplify the laying of the foundation, but it will make general construction easier later on.
The ideal space will consist of level, undisturbed and firm soil. Avoid land that doesn’t drain well. Pegs and string tend to work best for this, but is not necessarily required, just recommended.
An easy way to do this is to measure the diagonals—if they are equal to each other, the corners are square. Keeping the border pegs in place for reference, begin digging out the entire area somewhere between 3 and 4 inches. Re-measured for the site again for accuracy and then take those measurements to the hardware store or lumber yard. Just make sure that the boards are level with each other and that no noticeable gaps appear. Later on when pouring the concrete this extra measure of caution will not only ensure that your boards don’t warp or bow, but it will keep concrete from leaking out during the curing process. Though it’s technically an optional component, the mesh helps to reinforce the concrete and prevent post-cure cracking and shifting. Based on what you’re trying to do, they should be able to provide the best recommendation for strength and quantity. A pry or crowbar generally helps expedite this process. Once the forms are off, step back and admire your handiwork. Accurate concrete mixing ratios can be achieved by measuring the dry materials using buckets. Personally what I would do is go to your local timber merchant and just get a feel for the sort of thickness you feel would be best suited. We would also suggest that you can also put down some wooden supports that the shed can sit on top of, this way the structure is always above the ground level.
It is extremely important that all garden buildings are constructed on a firm and level base which is constructed from the correct, durable material. We also specialize in Custom Made Sheds and delivery areas include London and the South East, including Kent, Essex, Sussex, Surrey, Middlesex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire & Middlesex. Building a light construction in your backyard to store your woodworking and garden tools, as well as other objects you don’t use on the regular basis is a great idea, but you need to understand the implications of this project. From a technical point of view, the soil should drain water properly, otherwise the foundation of your construction might be affected on the long run. When designing the feature shed, you should take several aspects into consideration, such as computing the needed area to store all your tools, the shape of the roof or your budget. As you can see in the image, there are several components you have to build from pressure treated lumber and assemble together with galvanized screws.
Read the legal requirements and design the garden shed taking them into account, as well as your budget and needs. Therefore, we recommend you to build several batter boards from 2×4 slats and string, to set the perimeter of the construction. In addition, you should apply the 3-4-5 rule for each corner, as to make sure they are right-angled.
Therefore, we recommend you to use metal corner brackets or joists hangers and drive in several screws through the pre-drilled holes.
As you can notice in the image, we recommend you to frame a window on one side of the shed, to let the light in. When fastening the walls to the floor of the shed, you have to brace them temporary with 2×4 slats. Make sure you frame the window properly, installing a double header and extra trimmer studs. Nevertheless, if your budget is tight, you can still get the job, without installing siding on the interior faces of the shed.

Toe-nail the rafters to the top plates, by inserting 4” screws, after drilling pilot holes. Assemble A-shaped trusses for the garden shed plans on the ground, making sure they all have the same shape and size. After you build the four sets of double rafters,  you should align them properly and lock them into place with 3” screws. In this manner, the roof will drain the water efficiently, protecting the shed against damages.
In order to get the job done like a pro, we recommend you to insert 2” finishing nails.
We recommend you to pay attention to the instructions provided by the manufacturers of the shingles, before fitting them on the roof. If you have planned everything accurately, they should fit without any problems, but if you have to adjust their dimensions you could use a jointer. Don’t forget to fill the gaps with wood putty, sand the surfaces with 120-grit sandpaper and paint the siding with protective paint. Don’t forget to share our projects with your friends, by using the social media widgets. Not only do we show you how to build a concrete shed base but we also show you how to get it smooth and level and also include a damp proof membrane.
To do this get a 50mm x 50mm post and without sharpening the end try and drive it into the ground. They are a little more expensive than broken brick hardcore but much much easier to lay and compact.
If not then over time they could move and slump, removing the support for the concrete and causing it to crack as there is no support from below.
It should, in all cases, be 300mm longer and wider than your shed floor and as level as possible. These posts will obviously hold the timber on its edge, but more importantly are for stopping the timber bowing out as you place the concrete.
Using a piece of timber laid across the top of the frame and concrete (with one person at either end of the timber), wiggle it about to get the top of the new base level. Next, lift the board at both ends about 4 inches above the frame and tap it back down on the frame, moving up and down the frame as you do so. The bricks are for decoration but if they are well laid it doesn't matter if the shed sites on them too, going right to the edge, as the decorative part of the brick is its face. We work with Checkatrade to ensure that we recommend only reliable and trustworthy tradesmen. Plan ahead, and consider your available space, along with what you’re going to use it for, before selecting the shed that’s right for you. First, you’ll need to dig an area 150mm deep for your base, making sure it is fairly level. Mix your concrete (1 part cement, 2 parts sand, 3 parts aggregate – or just buy a ready mix!), then lay a 100mm layer of concrete on top of the aggregate, using the wooden shuttering to keep it in place. This should be fairly easy – it doesn’t matter which sides you start with, so choose two adjacent pieces, and screw or bolt these together.
Then, you can screw it down to the timber floor or anchor it to the concrete floor using the anchor bolts. The best way of fitting your shed roof is to fix these panels one at a time, using Spax screws, so you don’t have to waste time drilling pilot holes, and it provides a tight, secure fit.
Starting at the bottom of each side of the shed, lay the felt across the roof, and secure it in place using either bitumen based adhesive, or with some galvanised clout nails. Make sure that you overlap the felt at the top, and not the bottom of the roof, (so the top piece overlaps the bottom), to help create a better, more watertight fit. My role includes contributing to the company blog and managing the Eurofit Direct Facebook and Twitter pages. So I said yes, paid a friend A?20 diesel money to collect it in his van, and was amazed at the quality when it arrived. During the wet season, such ground can not only flood, but shift with increasing saturation. Chalk-lining or spray painting are also suitable options, so long as wet weather won’t damage the markings.
Have them cut the boards according to your measurements—it will save time and reduce stress. Sit the mesh up on broken pieces of cinder block or plastic chairs so that it will rest in the middle of the slab. After reading the post above and actually seeing the process and technique I went for concrete. The ‘visqueen’ or PIFA 1200 are off-the-shelf products that are commonly used throughout the construction industry. Assembling the base incorrectly can lead to future deterioration of the product such as doors dropping out of square, thus becoming complicated to use or causing a water leakage.
After you select a proper location for the garden shed, you have to build several concrete footings, construct the floor, the walls and the roof of the wooden structure. In addition, you should place the shed in such a way that it would allow you to store the garden tools close the areas where you grow your vegetables and flowers.
From our experience, we consider that the more complex the shape of the shed, the more expenditures would imply your project.
Use a spirit level before driving in the screws, otherwise the floor won’t be horizontal. Therefore, you have to decide the dimensions of the door you are going to use and frame the wall accordingly.
The bottom drip cap should be placed under the roofing felt, while the side ones should be above. Next, lay the polythene inside the frame (on top of the sand) and fold as tightly as possible into the corners. Simply hang the door by either screwing in the hinges, or slotting it in place, and fix the windows in the holes provided. The main reason for using a damp-proof membrane prevents the newly poured concrete from drying out too quickly (de-watering) because of water absorption by the sub-base or sub-grade, which will adversely affect finished strength and can cause hundreds of tiny surface cracks.
Note: The incorrect assembling of a garden building on an incorrect base is also likely to void any guarantee that may come with your shed. Afterwards, you have to install the asphalt shingles and fit the door and windows, to get your shed ready for use. First of all, always remember that placing the base too close to any walls, fences or other objects may cause problems. Branches are likely to grow and come into contact with your shed, so do your best to avoid.
Check for overhanging foliage regularly as any rubbing on the roofing felt may well lead to your shed becoming vulnerable to adverse weather conditions and even rain. The reason for the original excavation to be 2" bigger all round is to take into consideration the wooden frame, you will now have an internal area exactly 8'x 6'.
If you decide to use thicker timber you will need to take this into consideration at the stringing out stage.
A green roof insulates the building from extremes of temperature, keeping it warmer in winter and cooler in summer. A concrete mix of 5 parts ballast 1 part cement should now be mixed and poured into the area, enough concrete should be poured so that it is just proud of the formwork, it can now be tampered down level and flat using a straight piece of solid timber, the result is a smooth level concrete pad. I fancy it as a summer office; Martin, who did the hard work of constructing it, has already filled it with tools. A simple solution was to fill the cavities within the HawkLok tiles with a recycled aggregate.
Crushed scallop shell will stop vermin from burrowing between the paving tiles and also improves drainage. This wooden frame can then be levelled into the pea shingle for a well drained wooden base.
A quick trawl of the local free papers or a recycling website such as FreeCycle, can turn up an amazing variety of garden paraphernalia, including unwanted sheds.
Which ever base you decide to build it is important that the floor has enough support the entire length of the building and this support has to be level and flat. We used FSC-approved timber posts from Forest Garden (0844 248 9801), these were bolted to Forest Garden FSC timber railway sleepers using Metpost Boltdowns (0871 210 7588). It has 30 superbright LEDs powered by a strong battery, charged via a solar panel to give up to 10 hours of light on full charge.

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