Thinking about getting a shed for your back garden? You obviously need to start with a base. After all, you want a solid construction and a pretty durable design.
In theory, it sounds like a fairly simple job. It makes a good DIY project as well, but unfortunately, there are many small details that DIYers often overlook.
Unless you are a woodworker or an engineer, chances are such small details may affect the final outcome. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to get the job done by the book.
Choose the location first
However, every single detail matters. Take your time and think about light, access, plants around it, electricity if you need it and so on.
Just because you have plenty of space, it does not mean that any place is perfect. You may find the perfect position in a corner, but getting electricity in there could be a nightmare.
You will also need to get the building materials in there, so access is a must. Imagine the final outcome too. Will it affect the view of your garden?
Go for perfectly level ground
Based on what the base will look like, you probably imagine that you can compromise here and there with the ground level. Bad idea!
Even if you have a small shed and the base is basically a frame, you still need the ground to be perfectly level.
The place should not be pooling groundwater, so wait for a few days of rain before deciding. It should not be rocky either, as these things can affect the final structure.
Check the ground after the installation
Assuming you have built the frame and you have already hammered it down into the ground. Is it still even? Is the ground level?
Most newbies overlook this aspect. They check the ground prior to the installation. They fit the base in, only to realize that the final result is not level.
The wooden base will go into the ground to a certain level, in case you place it on soil. It might go a bit deeper in one corner, meaning everything will be affected.
The idea is to check the level once you are done, and the base is installed too. If needed, you could go a bit deeper on one side or the other until it is perfectly level.
Some garden buildings may not need a perfectly level base, but the integrity of your shed may suffer because of it.
Design, then install
If this is your first shed or garden building, you may have the instinct to build the base as you install it. Basically, most newbies will build it in the installation place and fit pieces together as they are installed.
It could work, but it will take plenty of time. It is not comfortable, and you will need to work your way around pieces that cannot be moved, which makes the whole job even more difficult.
When you build a wooden shed base, find a clean and neat place to turn into your workplace. Assemble everything there and move it to the installation place later on.
Moving a big piece will be difficult too, but it is much easier than actually building it in a problematic location.
Do it in small parts
It makes no difference if you are interested in playhouses for your kids or a shed for your garden tools. You need to take your time.
In theory, doing everything in one go will ensure longer lasting results. Pouring cement around the wooden frame in one go will provide an airtight result.
However, you would need plenty of time, the right tools, some expensive machinery and perhaps some help too, especially if you are new.
Doing everything in small bits is just as useful. You can take days to complete the base, but make sure the surface is prepared accordingly before every new session.
For instance, you can do one layer at a time, let it dry and harden, then go for another one.
Measure three times
Whether you have to cut one thing or another or you need to install a piece here or over there, make sure you measure three times.
No matter what you do, if it involves measuring, do it three times. This is the most common problem associated with DIY projects.
Bottom line, while not difficult, building a wooden shed base does require a bit of attention, especially if this is the first time you have built one.
Small tips and tricks will make your life easier, but also prevent you from making irreversible mistakes that can ruin the whole project.