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Making shed foundation look attractive

Posted by pam29011 5 (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 12, 11 at 23:58

We've just ordered an 8x12 shed to house a riding mower & other garden tools. I'm figuring out the foundation/base to use under it and I'm struggling to figure out how to make it look good (or if that should even be a concern).

We were planning to dig down about 6", backfill with crushed stone, and use 4" thick solid concrete blocks to set the sleepers on. This base will surround the shed with 2' extra on all 4 sides (so it will be 12' x 16' for the 8'x12' shed).

The shed's floor joists are 12" oc & the floor is 3/4" PT plywood. So I wanted to have the blocks 12" oc. Here's the layout of the shed base, from a birds eye view (the joists will run top to bottom in this picture, along the long axis of the 8" wide blocks):
Shed Page 2 Foundation Layout

The blocks will be hidden by the shed, but I'm not sure what to use to fill in that strip between the shed & the edge. We're not putting gutters on the shed, so it needs to be something that can handle some extra water without turning to mud. Here's a cross section that shows the gap, and an outline of the shed itself. I want the shed to be attractive & look good. DH couldn't care less about that so I compromised on vinyl siding but I still chose a slightly steeper roof pitch & added a transom window over the double doors. Point being - I want it to look good without making it over the top expensive.

Shed Page 1 (dirt cross section)

Later I'll figure out the path to the shed, and I'm leaning toward this kind of look. I like the mix of casual and formal this has (stones have gaps between, but edges are crisp and not all hodge-podge). Plus I think we could just mow over this without doing a lot of edging.


Question is - do I need to make that 2' wide swath of space around the shed match this? Will it look hideous if I use something boring like 12" square concrete pavers? Or should I just focus on the one project (shed foundation) and plan to update the perimeter when I get around to developing paths?

I'm wondering if I'm making it all harder than it needs to be, or if I'm smart to consider the whole thing before ordering materials.

Thanks in advance!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Making shed foundation look attractive

Does each gray rectangle equal a block Pam? Do you need that many because you may be better off standing your shed on a concrete slab. This would probably not cost a lot more and solve your other problem too.

RE: Making shed foundation look attractive

Yep, each gray rectangle equals 1 block.

My worry about a slab is that it could hold moisture up against the wood & not have as much airflow. And there's something about the permanence of a concrete slab that worries me (as in, if I screw this up then there is no going back once the concrete is poured).

I don't know if I really need that many blocks. Maybe I could leave more than 4" between blocks along the joists, just using one block on each end and one in the middle of each joist (instead of 5 blocks under each joist there would be 3). That would take the block from 65 to 39 pcs.

Any suggestions on the swath of space around the shed? More importantly - should I worry about this swath now or wait til I figure out the path materials?


RE: Making shed foundation look attractive

I have a similar shed. It sits about 12 inches above the ground. It doesn't sound as though yours will have that much gap. I left one side and the back just plain since it can't be seen. The other sides have steps and flower beds that are just extensions of the yard - nothing planned just to hid the gap.

I would wait until the shed goes in to see what kind of space you really have to work with. It may seem like more or less or something you don't actually have to deal with.

RE: Making shed foundation look attractive

I have no experience with shed foundations, but I wonder if, with the small open spaces under the shed, there's a danger you'll get snakes and rodents under there?

RE: Making shed foundation look attractive

Pam: do you already have the shed? If not is it available without a wooden floor? If so the concrete slab is the floor i.e. rotting floor problem, hiding blocks problem, critters under floor problem all solved.

RE: Making shed foundation look attractive

You want to use the blocks for filler and are worried about matching materials later?
My suggestion: Use the blocks. When you choose to install your pathway, face the foundation with leftover material from your pathway. Easiest way to make it all tie in without the hassle or expense of an elaborate foundation.

RE: Making shed foundation look attractive

I agree with ink. In the past, I have had smaller outbuildings which rested on blocks and they were much more problematic in the long run than the others which were placed on a concrete slab. Alternatively, if your main concern is accommodating the joists, consider a pony wall instead. Talk to a general contractor or even the people at the lumber centre and see what they recommend.

And if you're worried about ground moisture affecting the structure, why would you not install inexpensive gutters? If you don't want downspouts, you could still use rain chains leading to water barrels.

RE: Making shed foundation look attractive

Ink - I don't have the shed yet. And that idea never occurred to me! That would certainly keep the shed nice & low to the ground, so the ramp would have a less steep climb & I wouldn't have to worry about building steps. Hmmm....

MTO - Good point about vermin. Luckily we have a cat & dog who both use a dog door & are outside a fair bit every day (as much as they want). The yard is fenced to be cat-proof, so this is safe. But those 2 terrorize any mole, vole, or squirrel within their territory. Usually the dog flushes the critter out & after he can't figure out what to do with it, the cat steps in for the kill.

Tanowicki & VilleMarie ... I like your thought processes. It is so tempting to do it this way.

I think I'll ask DH what he thinks about a concrete floor & based on his reaction (and willingness to help with finding concrete contractors) I'll decide to use the concrete for the floor or just worry about making it all look good later. I know I can do the crushed stone & block foundation on my own, which takes a lot of the pressure off. If it's ugly, I've only inconvenienced myself. But that cement floor option is so tempting.


how to hide a huge gap ground to bottom of shed

I have around a 2foot (yep) gap between the bottom of my shed and the ground. I am wanting to concrete the floor but I have to fill the gap in some way - I want it to look need and tidy.
Any suggestions??

RE: Making shed foundation look attractive

You are tagging on to someone else's old thread. Instead, begin a new thread with your own title. Know that everyone will want you to add a picture right off the bat, so just go ahead and do it with your initial post. Show some of the surrounding in your picture so people can grasp the context.

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