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We’ve had a lot of bad weather over the Winter and many homeowners may find themselves starting Spring with “building a new shed” high on their list of jobs to do once the weather gets better.
Sheds, whether big or small, are expected to spend their whole lives in your garden and safely store your tools, bikes or garden furniture without leaking or blowing away for at least 10 years – preferably more. This sort of lifespan is perfectly achievable with regular maintenance and by taking care to choose the more appropriate base for your shed.
Why Does A Shed Need A Base?
A shed base lifts the shed off the ground and prevents damp seeping into the floor and rotting away at the structure. A good shed base will keep the shed level and can be adjusted to overcome imperfections in the ground. If you try to assemble your shed without a base you will find the walls and roof fail to meet squarely and, over time, the imbalance will cause the shed to prematurely disintegrate.
What Can I Build My Shed Base From?
There are four main options – concrete, timber, eco-friendly plastic and paving. Before deciding on your base you will need to know where you will be sitting your shed, what you intend to store in it and how big the shed will be.
#1. Concrete Shed Bases
Concrete is hard-wearing but needs to be laid by professionals for the highest quality finish. The ground needs to be prepared correctly with a sub-base and then formwork installed to mold the concrete. The setting begins fairly quickly after being mixed so you need to be ready to start pouring, and you won’t be able to erect your shed until the concrete is fully cured which could take several days.
Pros: Strong, stable, long-lasting
Cons: Needs a sub-base, needs a professional
#2. Timber Shed Bases
Also known as a portable it uses metal legs to fix the base securely to the ground. These come in the form of long spikes hammered into a lawn or smaller feet which can be bolted to a patio. Once built the shed can be built on a timber base immediately.
Pros: traditional appearance, can build shed immediately
Cons: will eventually rot, can warp and damage shed
#3. Eco-Friendly Plastic Shed Bases
Eco Deck Shed Bases offer an easy to install option for the homeowner that will prevent a build-up of damp as plastic does not absorb moisture from the ground in the same way that timber does. Your base can be installed above or below lawn level or on a hard surface and unlike concrete or paving the shed can be built on the base as soon as installation is completed.
Pros: free-draining, easy to install, many installation options, strong, long-lasting
Cons: not to everyone’s taste
#4. Paving as A Shed Base
For a slightly easier to install option that is as hard-wearing as concrete and that can be incorporated into a larger patio or path, the final alternative is to install paving. Typically larger slabs are used which means you will require an assistant, but the job is possible for the amateur. Paving will need to be cemented in place to avoid movement which will mean you will be unable to build the shed for at least 48 hours after laying your base.
Pros: faster to install than concrete, strong, can be incorporated into a patio
Cons: Requires a sub-base, may need professional assistance, hard to take up
For most uses, the fastest and easiest method of shed installation is to build a plastic base.