When it comes to considering shed foundation materials, size does matter. Start the process of shed selection by first verifying the zoning laws in your town. Zoning laws may dictate where in the yard a shed can be located, size restrictions on the shed as well as what type of materials you may use.
With local regulations in hand, take a look at the landscape of your yard and decide the best place to build a shed foundation. It is crucial to avoid areas too close to trees since growing roots may disrupt and displace the foundation. If you plan to have electricity or running water, decide the best paths for those utilities and select an area with easy access.
The general rule of thumb for shed foundations is to allow a 2-foot clearance around the perimeter, easy access to utilities, and no overhanging branches or tree roots nearby.
The types of foundations for sheds can range from a gravel pad to a concrete pad to concrete piers and lumber. For small to medium-sized sheds, a gravel pad foundation should extend at least 12″ further than each side of the shed. For example, if you are considering a 10×12 structure, the gravel pad should measure at least 12×14 to allow for water running down the side of your shed and dripping from eaves to drain easily. If there are extra long eaves, you will want to extend the border of your shed foundation accordingly. In general, the depth of the gravel foundation should range from 4 to 6 inches.
For larger structures more than one story high, or greater than 160 square feet, concrete foundations support more weight than gravel pads and are considered permanent.
In order to enjoy your new structure for years to come, make sure you do your research on shed site preparation in conjunction with your town’s zoning regulations. Building an appropriate shed foundation that is level, abides by your town’s zoning regulations, and one that can support your structure will ensure many years of use.