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15.06.2015 admin
8x8 mini-cabin - simple solar homesteading, Simple solar homesteading is a not-for-profit social and cultural service organization dedicated to producing affordable off-grid housing designs and projects so that. DEAR TIM: I want to build a deluxe garden shed, but I have serious concerns about where to place the shed on my slightly sloping lot. I decided to use a traditional pier foundation system that is very common in many parts of the nation.
Large diameter posts made from treated wood or steel rise up from these concrete pads and connect to the underside of the structure. If your shed is square or rectangular in shape, you may only have to dig four 16-inch diameter holes in the ground to support the entire structure.
This 6x6 has been notched to allow the weight of the beams to be supported by the wood, not nails or bolts. If you decide to use treated lumber for the vertical pier posts, make sure it is rated for direct burial in the ground. I would also recommend that all lumber for the entire floor system of the shed be treated lumber. If you have seen a traditional wood deck that sits four or more feet off the ground, you have seen a pier foundation system. Ask the Builder is a FREE weekly newsletter that offers building information you can trust from award-winning builder and nationally syndicated columnist Tim Carter. Subscribe to the FREE Ask the Builder newsletter to receive professional advice for your home. Aaron and I have had a fabulous month of nearly non-stop guests.  Our friends and family are getting one [hopefully] last glimpse of the house (and us!) before the addition begins. However, I have to say, I was extremely impressed by the quality of the materials they showed us.  According to several stores we’ve talked to, luxury vinyl is on its way up to stardom- even above laminate! Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Concrete blocks or pavers can be used to make two different types of foundations: patio paver foundations and pier foundations. With a paver foundation, thin concrete paving blocks are placed on top of gravel and compressed soil, forming a patio-type surface. The joists will be running in the shorter direction under the Anchor Timber Building, as shown below.
The same thing can be accomplished with solid blocks by drilling into them and then using adhesive to fix the anchor in the block. As always, make sure that a plan is in place for shed support, moisture protection, leveling and tie-downs when working out the details of the shed base. Our pin bases are constructed out of  tanalised, pressure treated timber, and they’re reasonably priced. Our pin bases cost between ?60 and ?160, depending upon the size, and they can be part of a complete solution for shed delivery and installation. In general, we recommend pin bases for sheds and other timber buildings that are 8×10 feet or smaller.
For a small shed, summerhouse or playhouse, choose the simplest and easiest solution: a pin base that’s delivered and installed with your timber building. Perhaps your shed is being delivered tomorrow and it has rained every day for the past month.
Maybe you urgently needed a summerhouse, but didn’t have time to consider the issues of support, levelling, tie-downs and moisture protection.
Many of our clients choose to place their outbuilding on an existing pavement, patio or deck, and that can work out well. The fact is, most people don’t put a lot of time or money into building a dedicated foundation for their timber outbuilding.
Although following the tips is better than nothing, putting the outbuilding onto supports over free draining gravel is better, and a real foundation of poured concrete, masonry or piers is best of all, and is highly recommended for our largest timber buildings. Anyone who has owned a timber outbuilding will have opinions on the best ways to support and protect it. Whether you’re an Anchor Timber Buildings employee or customer, please add any tips you’d like to share to the comment section below!
We’ve just posted a new technical article on how to build a base for a small timber building out of gravel, pavers and geotextile. Here are a few tips for managing the installation of a shed or other small timber building if a base has not been prepared in advance, or if a very simple solution is needed.

Choose a level area of ground and place blocks, bricks or pavers in a shape that precisely matches the bottom of the outbuilding. You will need to tie down your shed to prevent it from tipping or being moved by high winds. The one corner of the attached garage was only seven feet from this majestic tree that provides us with beauty, shade and abundant helicopter seeds. A typical deck has two or three posts away from the house and these posts are connected to a beam. The newer treated lumber requires hardware that has an extra-thick zinc coating to resist corrosion. Visions of 12×12 tiles with faux grout and peeling edges with permanently encrusted grunge like every-apartment-ever passed through my head. Either type of foundation can work for most of the small to medium sized sheds, playhouses, summerhouses, workshops, etc.
That means that the top of each pier should be in the same horizontal plane as the top of every other pier. We always recommend our pin bases to clients who need to locate their sheds on sloped ground, but they’re also a good choice as a shed base on level ground. They’re strong enough to support a shed and any items that might reasonably be stored inside of it.
As you probably know, Anchor Timber Buildings does not charge extra for delivery within 50 miles of Leslie and Glenrothes. You were planning to build a fabulous base for your new shed, but you were simply not able to. Or, you may be putting your new outbuilding into a temporary location until you have the time or opportunity to build a good foundation for it. If you’re typical, then the new article gives a few tips on how to make the best of it. We want them to stay sound and attractive, and we want our customers to get the most out of the money that they’ve spent. However, many people who purchase ready made timber outbuildings do not make provision for supporting them and protecting them from moisture and overturning. Of course, concrete or treated wood supported on a free-draining gravel base will perform better than most of these options, and a true concrete foundation is best of all.
A long, straight piece of timber and a four foot long spirit level can reveal whether a given area is level. Believe it or not, I am in the midst of building a garden shed for my wife Kathy and I am facing the same set of challenges. When the backhoe ripped into the ground to dig the garage's trench footer, giant roots were shredded. Whereas a traditional foundation has a continuous-spread concrete footer that transfers the foundation wall load to the soil, a pier foundation has small square or circular pads of concrete located at strategic locations around the outer perimeter of the structure. By raising the structure up off the ground using this foundation system, air can still get to the soil and any water that runs across the soil can still get to all parts of the tree's root system. The posts that come up from the ground connect to horizontal beams that support the floor joists and exterior walls.
When you use this plywood for the shed's floor, you don't have to worry about condensation and mold on the underside of the flooring that would quickly rot out regular wood flooring. One end of the floor joists of the deck rest on top of the beam or are hung from the beam with special framing hardware.
Residential treated lumber has a different chemical composition that can cause rapid corrosion of traditional metal fasteners. The pavers support the outbuilding, and the gravel provides drainage and help keeps the pavers from sinking. These foundations can support a shed on most types of soil and on either level or sloped ground. Never place wood in contact with concrete unless it is treated (tanalised) or otherwise protected from moisture. If there are interior walls in the timber building, there will be two joists under them rather than one. Just insert a few anchor bolts in appropriate places to attach the building to the piers and then fill all the holes in the blocks with grout.
Their horizontal positions can be measured by placing long pieces of wood between two piers and then using a level to check to see if it’s laying straight.

Here are two examples of concrete pier foundations that have been built to provide a flat platform on sloped ground.
The pins are held into the ground by friction, and that provides some resistance against uplift and overturning. In addition, pin bases will obviously only work in areas where there’s a fair depth of soil.
If possible, create a level surface for the shed, with the ground sloping away from all of its walls. Some larger structures need additional support pads inside the outer boundaries of the structure, but I doubt your small garden shed will require this. If your soil strength is sufficient, the concrete that is poured at the bottom of the holes will easily support your shed for years to come.
If you bring in wet gardening tools, damp soil or if water blows into a door, it will be of no concern as it will not cause wood rot in the treated-flooring system. Often the other end of the floor joists are hung from a board that is attached to the house. It’s easier to explain this with pictures than with words, so we’ve provided illustrations. You can build a base with free-draining pavers, you can build a real foundation (article to come), or you can buy a pin base from Anchor Timber Buildings.
Finally, the pin bases lift the shed slightly above ground level, and that helps to protect it from pooling water. If one side of the outbuilding has a slope directed toward it, then find a way to route water around the shed. For pier-and-beam foundations, pier spacing will also depend upon arrangement of floor framing, particularly the location of bearing walls and partitions.
What foundation system can I use that will cause the least stress to the tree and provide plenty of oxygen and moisture to the tree? In fact, I had to obtain a zoning variance to build my shed because some of the tree's roots were in the way of my foundation. I recently had to remove a treated-lumber play set and was shocked to discover extensive termite damage to one of the buried treated lumber posts. Had the carpenters used additional posts and a beam near the house, the deck would sport a full-fledged pier foundation system. The best place for anchors is through the wall plates, the pieces of wood that form the wall bases.
The heights can be adjusted by adding or taking away gravel, and the gravel and compressed soil will help prevent settlement so that the timber building stays level once it’s installed and in use. The pin base itself will last for years because it’s made of treated wood, but if it ever needs replacement, it will be less expensive than replacing the shed.
It is healthy now and there was no way I was going to risk the tree's well being with the planned shed. If chemicals are allowed to be used in the soil outside your home, they will readily diffuse into the loose soil that is backfilled around the wood posts. Drill a hole in the right place to match the embedded bolt and add a nut to secure it once it’s set. The openness of  spot pier and beam foundation types creates natural venting of the crawlspace. Continuous wall foundations may include interior spot pier columns for support of the pier and beam foundation system. Moisture control of the crawl space is an important issue with this type of foundation construction. In these cases, the architect, builder, or repair contractor - designed, built or repaired the foundation in a way that seriously affected its structural integrity.
See: Foundation Settlement and Settlement Repairs - Common Defects in Foundation Construction --> -->Find out how architectural or construction defects and foundation settlement affect structures.

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