A concrete shed base is without a doubt the strongest and most durable form of shed foundation. Four large lorry loads of cement and a transformation takes place within the building shell.
Without question, laying concrete is a job for the experience professional or at very least a competent DIY’er. Preparing the ground and getting it as flat as possible beforehand makes setting up the shuttering a whole lot easier and ensures a uniform thickness of concrete throughout the base. Never lay concrete over turf as turf will rot down over time and the base will become unstable.
If your site is prone to damp, use a damp proof membrane (thick plastic sheeting), but make sure to add the membrane to the whole base or a crack will appear where the sheeting ends as the concrete will dry at different rates. If you are concreting up against a wall, use damp proof sheeting between the concrete and the wall, otherwise damp may transfer from the base into the wall. You will probably need a rake, tamp, shovel, float, spirit level, gloves, Wellington boots, hose pipe, and wheel barrow, at your disposal. Ask the concrete company for a reasonably ‘wet’ mix, which will make finishing of the concrete easier especially in hot weather. Use your rake to get the concrete as level as possible with the top of the shuttering whilst it’s being poured. Use a ‘straight edged’ tamp (make sure it’s not bowed), ideally just wider than the base width to drag back excess concrete and ‘tamp’ the levelled surface in order to smooth it, working off the top of the shuttering. Use a ‘float’ to smooth the outer edge of the concrete base, (the width of the float approximately 250mm) for a professional look. If a ramp is required at the front of the base, either concrete this with the shutter in-situ and leave it in place or remove it after the concrete has set (if it will come out), or alternatively concrete the ramp on a separate day when the base has set and shutters have been removed. Double garage sized bases are best tackled in two halves, on separate days, but remember to tie in the two halves with steel mesh.
Best to leave your shuttering in place for at least a couple of days, and ideally allow the concrete to cure for a minimum of 7 days before installation of your building. It is always better to lay concrete with a friend, rather than trying to do it on your own. For further information about concrete garage base laying tips or any other query please feel free to contact us any time. Laying your own concrete garage baseMany of our clients opt to lay their own concrete base for their shed or garage. Looking to upgrade your garage's windows & doors, or maybe you'd like to add brick cladding? Overlapping jointsAll KLN Garages concrete panels have cleverly overlapped and bolted joints that form a perfect weather resistant seal.
Arrange a free quoteFor a free no-obligation quote, simply complete our feedback form and click the submit button and we'll get back to you to discuss your requirements. Our designated areas includeNorthamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Warwickshire, as well as Cornwall & the West Country but we're happy to supply nationwide. Our 10 year guaranteeOur manufacturers will guarantee the structural integrity of your new concrete garage, shed or workshop for 10 years from the date of installation. Get in touch with us todayContact us today to discuss any questions you may have with the sale, delivery and construction of our new pre-fabricated concrete garages or workshops. 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. When removing the floor joists it is more than likely that recesses will be left in the wall. Measure and chalk a line around the room, using a spirit level, to mark the height of the new floor. Measure down from line A 25mm and draw a line to mark the top of the concrete layer, and label this B.
From B measure down 100mm and mark this line C to indicate the top of the damp-proofing and insulation layer.
From D measure down another 50mm to mark the top of the hardcore layer which should be marked E.
Before concreting you need to infill the area with layers of different materials.The first layer is the hardcore, which can be rubble made up of old bricks or tiles, but break up any large pieces with a sledge hammer.
Laying technology of cork floor on concrete base with layers of thermal insulation and soundproofing. Tons of breezeblocks have also been delivered and very soon the central partition wall and the end wall will start to rise from the rubble. The benefits of a base of this type is that you will enjoy a prolonged life for the shed or garage. Suppliers of pre-fabricated concrete garages throughout Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Warwickshire.
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. Before laying a concrete floor, you must consult your local Building Control Department as changing a floor can affect the ventilation in other parts of the building and it is possible that insulation will also be required. It will also deliver more stability and combat some issues such as the possibility of badly fitting doors and windows that could be the result of not having a level foundation. Next, lay the polythene inside the frame (on top of the sand) and fold as tightly as possible into the corners.
If infill material of more than 600mm is required a new suspended floor must be fitted instead, as the settlement of the infill material may result in damage to the new concrete floor. Layer the screed up to the level of the top of the battens.Smooth the screed with a plastering trowel. We recommend that you use string and pegs to measure out the base 5cm or 2” larger than the building. However, if you are planning to lay a thick floor covering on top of the new floor such as quarry tiles, allow for the depth of the tiles. If more than one sheet is required, overlap the sheets by 200mm (8in) and seal any joins with waterproof tape. Using the top of the insulation board at the sides of the room as a guide, scrape the straight edge forward to level the concrete. Keep in mind that you are likely to want access to all sides, a garden building provides excellent storage options for flowerpots, wheelbarrow and other items that you are not planning on storing inside of it. You can then fit skirting boards to cover the damp proof membrane visible above the surface of the floor.The floor will take a few months to dry out completely. In order to build a base that is firm and stable, you will need to use 7.5cm or 3” of hardcore beneath the concrete layer.
This will be enough depth to cater for both the hardcore and an additional 7.5cm or 3” of concrete.
To mix concrete, use either pre-mixed concrete with water, or you can use 1 part cement with 5 parts ballast.
We recommend that you take your time to carefully add small measures of water so that your concrete is dryer than it is wetter.Spread concrete. This can be levelled off with a piece of timber, using the framework as a guide.Leave concrete to dry. If there is a forecast for wet weather, then use polythene to protect the drying concrete for 24 hours. Keep the sacks damp by sprinkling with water so that the concrete does not dry to fast which will cause cracking.

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