How to Lay a Level Shed Base
by Dakota Storage Buildings, on July 25, 2019
This post was updated on April 30, 2020.
Your shed base should be properly laid and completely level.
You finally found a shed you like, and it has all the features you want. YAY! Now it’s time to order it and prepare for its arrival!
Before you place your order, research what zoning codes apply to your area. Rural areas are usually more lax, but those living in a city, town, or subdivision may have restrictions on size, color, foundation type, and sometimes style.
Now, consider the function of your shed and how much you’re willing to spend on its base. Many choose Class 5 gravel or concrete as their shed base material. While a gravel foundation is usually sufficient, some feel that a concrete foundation—although more expensive—is better suited if small tractors, boats, snowmobiles, ATVs, or vehicles will be stored in the shed.
After securing the proper building permit and determining what type of shed base is best, go ahead and order that shed and prep the foundation!
If you plan to hire someone to build your foundation, you may want to print instructions and share it with them to ensure the site is properly prepared and leveled.
We cannot stress enough how important it is for your site to be perfectly level. An unlevel foundation will cause the frame of the shed to twist, and make the opening of doors and windows difficult.
Follow these steps to create a level shed base.
1. Choose a Location
Choose the perfect spot, measure the space, and remove vegetation. Make sure the foundation’s perimeter is slightly larger than the shed itself and that the depth extends past the frost line.
2. Build a Temporary Frame
Begin your new shed foundation by constructing a temporary frame to contain the base material for your new shed site. We suggest using 2″x4″ lumber to build a three-sided frame. Fasten the frame to wooden or steel stakes from the outside to ensure easy removal of the frame after it is filled with the base material.
NOTE: The frame MUST BE properly leveled.
2. Fill Base with Material
To ensure the new foundation will be perfectly square, be sure to level all sides and measure the frame across the corners before filling with base material. We recommend using class 5 (road gravel) or granite fines as your base material for a long-lasting foundation for your new shed. Fill the frame with at least 3-4 inches of your base material.
Regardless of the material you choose for your base, if your site is perfectly level and compacted, you will have a great foundation for your shed.
3. Level the Base
Slide a straight board back and forth over the top of the temporary frame to level the base material within the frame.
NOTE: If the frame has not been properly leveled, this step can not be completed accurately.
4. Compact Base and Remove Temp Frame
While this step is not essential to creating a solid foundation, using a compactor to finish your new foundation will make delivery easier and minimize the settling of the shed over time. Remove the temporary frame after the base material is compacted.
See shed delivery photos—and note the shed base.
One of our clients took these pictures when her shed was delivered. Note the foundation and how the shed is put into place.
Ever wonder how we get your shed into place? We can either build your shed onsite or reply on the adept movements of the Mule—the machine you see in the photo above.
The Mule shed mover provides a hassle-free delivery service thanks to a few key features. The Mule has a tight turning radius, which is perfect for maneuvering sheds through challenging spaces. Because the machine is small, the Mule operator has clear visibility of where they are driving and placing the shed. It's simple controls allow the operator to lift and move one end of the shed then remove the dolly wheels once the shed is in place.
Easy peasy! Now watch it in action.
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