With Instructables you can share what you make with the world, and tap into an ever-growing community of creative experts. This tutorial shows how to lay a strong 6' x 3' x 4" concrete slab a foundation for a small structure such as a toolshed or children's playhouse. First you'll need to scrape a 3' x 6' section of ground with the flat shovel to level the ground while leaving the ground firmly packed. In a area that is subject to freezing for days or weeks on end a footing below the frost line and a layer of gravel will keep it from lifting then settling all wonky. Agreed - the normal method here is to use much longer bolts and wire them to the reinforcing mesh before the pour. Just curious as I don't see any in the pictures, but is any sort of underlay needed on this? See our most popular sheds, the Kent Apex Wooden Outdoor Garden Shed, Essex Pent Wooden Garden Shed and Canterbury Garden Shed Pressure Treated! 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.
Domestic Ready Mix Concrete Services in Surrey and South LondonAdvantage Concrete Company is proud to provide a one-stop shop for all your domestic concrete requirements in Surrey and South London. Whether you are laying a concrete base for a garden shed, creating a path or driveway or laying foundations for your home extension, we look forward to helping you with your project. By mixing your concrete on site, you only pay for what you use, saving you money and eliminating wastage.
The Right Ready Mix Concrete for Your JobAdvantage Concrete offers ready mix concrete and screed in a variety of different grades. Helping You All The WayNot only will we supply you with top quality concrete or screed at a competitive price, we can also help you lay it too. If you don’t fancy the hard slog of barrowing your concrete from our lorry to your job site, we offer a barrow and lay service where we provide the tools and labour to do the job for you.
Your slab will be 50mm thick (not including the trench around the edge) and you want it to rise 20-30mm above the level of the surrounding ground to stop water running into the shed. Important: We recommend you set anchor bolts into the edge of the concrete immediately after you pour the slab. Because this is a relatively small concrete slab, you should have time to place all the bolts after you pour the slab but before you work the surface of the concrete with your trowel. Refer to the plan and make sure you don't place any bolts where the doorway will be or below a vertical beam. Sign me up for free emails from Fine Homebuilding with the latest news, tips, and techniques. 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.
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. No ProblemUsing our modern Volumetric Concrete Mixing Vehicles, we specialise in on-site concrete mixing. If you’re not sure of the correct concrete specification for your project then speak to our friendly customer service team who will be happy to help. This can be quite tedious, but it is the best way to attach the frame of the shed to the floor in our opinion. In larger jobs the bolts would have to be placed first and the concrete poured around them. For a wooden floor, lay four 2.2m lengths of treated 100mm by 75mm timber down on your flat site.
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. Next, lay the polythene inside the frame (on top of the sand) and fold as tightly as possible into the corners.
Although there are other ways to attach structures to concrete, they all have their own draw-backs and require specialised tools. You can buy special anchor bolt holders if you do choose to place the bolts before the slab is poured. The timber needs to be treated to a grade that is suitable for continuous contact with the ground (ask your supplier). This will also let water drain around it and into the soil without causing the slab to upheave during heavy rain or freezes. 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.
This trench will mean that the concrete around the edge of the slab, where the walls will sit, is thicker than the concrete in the center. I read what papa2 said and he is correct, but you can fix that with pressure treated wood, painting the wood, or putting water sealent on it.
First of all, always remember that placing the base too close to any walls, fences or other objects may cause problems. Good luck, don't know what your climate is but if you get a heavy freeze you may see some cracks or even movement if this step was omitted.
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 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. This wooden frame can then be levelled into the pea shingle for a well drained wooden base.
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.



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