There are life changing moments in every man’s life that will always be remembered. Their wedding, the birth of their first child, the day they won the lottery; all of these things pale in comparison to the day they got their new shed. Yes, we are a nation of shed lovers; obsessives, some may say. What is is that attracts me to sheds? Maybe it is that the shed provides a last bastion for manly hobbies and activities. Slowly, and room by room, the house has been taken over by female paraphernalia and children’s toys until the only space left for the male of the species is ‘dad’s chair’.
So the time comes to upgrade the garden shed and claim back some space of their own. Before it is delivered, however, there is much preparation to be done. Power will need to be installed and a good base provided for the new building to stand on. Here are a couple of ideas for bases, that you may consider putting down if you are awaiting delivery of your new shed.
Sand and Hardcore
This is the most basic base on which to erect your shed. In order to create this base, follow these instructions:
- Dig a hole four inches deep over the whole area that the shed is to stand on.
- Fill with sand and hardcore from a builders merchant.
- Hire a compactor, or ‘whacker plate’ as it is also known.
- Compress the sand and hardcore until it is firm and level.
This type of base is adequate, but not ideal, for basic garden sheds that may only be used for parking a lawnmower and keeping tools. It is not ideal, but if money is tight, it is better than nothing. The sand and hardcore do allow for some drainage which will help to stop the floor of the shed rotting.
A concrete base is by far the best there is. It will support a shed that is used for any purpose and keeps the bottom of the shed dry, which is of prime concern. All concrete supplies are available online and the base is easy to lay following this procedure:
- Excavate the area of the shed to eight inches.
- Line the sides of the hole with timber to give a straight edge to the finished job.
- Put four inches of sand and hardcore into the hole.
- Use a compactor to firm it.
- Line the four inch hole that remains, with a damp proof membrane.
- Mix the concrete using one part cement, two parts sand three parts gravel.
- Fill the hole to the top and use a straight piece of wood to level the mix by resting it on the timbers lining the hole.
- Trowel to a smooth finish for an outstanding job.
A good base will help the shed to last for many years. Electricity can be installed to make it a very useful building indeed. Guttering is advisable too as it stops water puddling on the base and slowly rotting the shed. The guttering can take water to a soakaway underground or to a water butt, which most people use these days.
Your shed should last at least ten years if the wood is treated properly. During this time you will have many adventures in there. For a few years anyway, before the clutter from the house spills over and fills the shed. It happens to all of us; you are not alone.