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An Illustrated Guide To Building a Shed Foundation

Updated on February 25, 2010

Going to build a shed yourself? That's great - it's a fun and exciting project. Hopefully you aren't going to start from building the shed door or wall. There is nothing wrong in preparing some of these parts in advance but when it comes to really assembling your new shed you are not going to go far without foundations.

If you neglect the quality of your shed foundation all other efforts and money may be wasted when your shed simply fall apart. Let's do the things right and build robust foundations with this illustrated guide.

The foundation we are going to build will be based on deck piers and will use almost no concrete. Here are the materials you'll need: 

  • 9  deck piers
  • just a little concrete or gravel
  • 10 - 15 joists depending on the size of the shed
  • 2 pieces of thick plywood with the size of the shed 
  • nails or screws

Let's start:

Step One: Install Deck Piers

Dig 9 equally distributed holes in the foundation square - one at each corner, one in the middle of each side and one in the center of the entire square.

Fill the holes with concrete or gravel and install the piers in them. Make sure they are stable enough and stick a couple of inches above  the gound.

Step Two: Create a Lattice

First attach three beams to the deck piers. Then install 8-10 perpendicular jousts over these beams to form something like a lattice. 

Make sure the construction is stable, the joists are equally spread and there are enough joists to cover the entire area. 

Step Three: Attach Plywood

On the top of the joists install the squate piece of thick plywood to create the floor of the shed. Use as much nails and screws as you need to make this very stable. 

And your foundations is ready!

3 simple steps, that's it. Of course doing it is not as easy as writing about it, but don't worry - you should be ready for a day or less.

Use quality wood and plywood, the foundations are important. If you are installing the shed in humid climate  you may need to use treated plywood and metal joists. 

Some General Tips

  • Give enough time to the concrete to dry up before you move to the next step.
  • Check out ShedBuilder for more guides like this one.
  • Learn some basic woodwork skills before doing such a project.
  • Prefer screws over nails. Not only they are stronger - when hammer too many nails in a joists it can split itself.
  • Work with pleasure, this is not a competition :)

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      building a shed 7 years ago

      That's a another great guide, Voyo! I've just read your other hub about building a shed roof and love your instructions!

      Keep on sharing! :)