Do I Need A Foundation Under A Small Bike Shed?

Answered by Brett ~ November 12, 2010 ~ Comments

I want to buy a prebuilt small shed (8x12) for bikes and garbage cans. It will be delivered to my house. Do I need to put it on a cement foundation, or is there a cheaper option?

Jake R. ~ Missoula, MT

Brett Kulina

Jake, if you want your new storage shed to last more than a few years, then you are going to have to place it on some sort of foundation. You would be amazed at how quickly wood can rot when left on bare ground or in a wet location. Even if your storage shed has a floor that is made from pressure treated wood, you still need to insure that water from the ground does not wick up into the trim or siding boards. In general it is wise to have at least 6" of clearance between the ground and any untreated wood.

Here are two of options for you to consider:

1- Pour a small concrete slab or footing foundation. This is the most permanent option, as well as the most expensive. If the area where you want to place the shed is level and easily accessible by a cement delivery truck, then you might be able to pour the foundation yourself. Working with concrete is not easy, but with some detailed instructions, most capable DIY'ers can handle a small project . If you're not up to the task, hire someone else to do the work. Foundations are usually considered permanent, so choose your shed location carefully.

2- Put the shed on cement blocks. This option allows flexibility, as you could pick up the blocks and move the shed sometime down the road. If you do put your shed on cement blocks, then remember to close off the underside of the shed with some sort of durable skirting, such as pressure treated plywood or metal flashing. This will keep the critters out and give the shed a more finished appearance. There are several different kinds of cement blocks available, and most home improvement warehouses stock the standard 8"x8"x16" blocks as well as the 8"x8" blocks, which have a short length of steel rebar sticking out of their tops. Regardless of which type of block you choose, none will be as strong as j-bolts anchored into a cement foundation, which is one downside to going this route.

If money were not an option, and I had a good building location, then I would choose a poured cement foundation. If your storage shed does not have a floor, then I would put it on a slab. If it has a wood floor, then put it on a perimeter footing. On the other hand, if you do not want this shed to be a permanent fixture on your property and its location will be temporary, then perhaps the blocks would be better. Regardless of which you choose, just make sure you get the building off the ground. Good luck!

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