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If you don’t feel you can tackle the site preparation you can opt to hire a local landscape contractor. The crushed stone base is now the most widely accepted site preparation for sheds under 400 square feet. To be sure that your layout is square measure diagonally from corner to corner and be sure these distances are equal. Depending on how high you will be building your base you will need additional timbers to be used as “dead men”. I want it firm enough to resist shifting but NOT so firm that water tends to linger around. Or maybe a combo of it and a Road-Pack type mix where main runners would sit (if it has them)?
I’m uploading some older posts and a section for people to share pictures of their sheds. Is there a way to use the stone method as a foundation with large roots very near the surface? If the tree is not dead then you run the risk of having the roots knock the shed out of level over time. You could also dig around the roots the best you can and back fill with the crushed stone however you will still have some leveling issues in the future. I would suggest stoning on top of the roots and then setting the shed on some 2 or 4 inch thick solid concrete blocks.
When you get backsplash around the shed from rainwater running off the roof the stone which extends around the perimeter keeps the run off from splashing dirt back onto the side. Pooling water could be an issue if you get several inches of rain or if the site is in a low lying area but having done thousands of sites using the crushed stone base method I have yet to experience a problem. With the crushed stone base is there any need for runners or will it be ok to just start your floor joists on top of the crushed stone once leveled up? In our storage shed buyers guide we discuss site preparation but I am going to go a little more in depth here. For over 18 years we have been recommending this type of site preparation and within the past 2 years more and more towns and municipalities have begun to catch on and recommend this type of base to those applying for shed permits. The water will wash the finer particles through the stone allowing the crushed rock to settle. The crushed stone will compact well enough to support the building while still allowing for drainage. Over time they are going to deteriorate and cause the stone and shed to settle and fall out of level. Seems like if you dig a 3 inch hole and fill it with rock, you have a 3 inch deep pool full of rocks, whereas without the hole the water could run down a slope and away from the building. Further, it keeps weeds and grass from growing around the shed which will cause the siding to deteriorate over time. Should landscape cloth (the type that is placed under mulch) be under the gravel to inhibit the growth of weeds around the shed?
This allows the floor to breathe whereas putting the joists directly on the stone will limit airflow. With that said,starting at the highest corner wrap the string around the bottom of the stake and run it to the lowest stake.
Drill holes through the timbers every 4 feet and rebar the timbers into place using the 4? lengths of rebar. Eventually, they may push the stone and therefore the shed up causing it to be out of level so keep that in mind.
For instance if you are creating a elevated stone pad for a 10?x16? shed you would first add 2? to the length and width then add the four sides together. For larger bases you may want to add “dead men” which are timbers which run perpendicular to the outer timbers to help keep the from moving however since the outer timbers are set in the ground the dead men are not entirely necessary. At the lowest point measure from the string to the ground and add 4″ to this distance. Since this is the lowest area of the site this is where you will be excavating the least digging down only 4 inches. At the highest point of the site you will be digging down until you have excavated enough to create a flat surface to receive the stone.
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Published at: Storage Buildings