Preparing Your Site for Installation

Smoothing the way for your new backyard storage shed.

Your shed is designed to sit directly on ground contact runners, or an aluminum or galvanized metal base, that protect the shed’s underside. Most runners are ground-rated, meaning they can withstand moisture from the ground and prevent termites. To ensure your shed’s long life, make sure that your runners and floor joists are made of treated wood or galvanized metal.

The plywood flooring in your home is likely untreated, and you can do the same for your shed’s flooring. That said, if the charge for treated or untreated flooring is the same, it can’t hurt to go with the treated wood. There are even engineered flooring products that are superior to treated plywood, so ask your dealer what’s available.

Next, you’ll need to level the site where your storage shed will go. Most installers will place the shed on concrete blocks if asked, but they aren’t necessary if your runners and floor joists are treated. Most problems in leveling the site come from underestimating the elevation drop between the site’s high point and its low point.

If this drop is incorrectly measured, the installer will likely not have enough blocking to properly install the shed, and the site may need to be re-leveled, which will cost you more money. Save yourself a lot of time and frustration by talking accurate measurements and making sure your installer/dealer has them before they arrive.

Also check the firmness of the soil before the delivery date. If the ground in the desired shed location is soggy, then you’ll either need to find a new location for the shed, or postpone the delivery until the ground dries out and becomes firm enough for the shed to sit on.

The following is an example of how to perfectly prepare a site:

  • Establish a gravel bed of 2-B or other porous stone at least 4 in. deep.
  • To help with water runoff from rain and weeds, lay out the gravel base to be 2 ft. larger in length and width than the shed; for example: a 10×12 shed should sit on a 12×14 gravel base.
  • As a guideline for your base, use 3 tons of gravel per 100 square feet of shed; for example: a 12×16 shed = 192 sq. ft. x 3 tons = 5.76 tons of gravel.
  • Use a straight edge or line level to ensure that the base is flat, and not racked or twisted and compacted.

Once your shed is installed, you should never stack any materials against the side of the shed or mini barn because this can inhibit air flow and can cause a buildup of moisture that will prematurely age the structure.

Backyard Storage has been in the shed business for over 15 years, and we have the outdoor storage solution for you. So, plan ahead and let our team help with any questions.