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Old 08-27-2012, 08:38 AM   #1
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Sinking Shed - Pictures attached


You know, after buying my first house I am more and more learning the true meaning of the phrase "buyer beware!"
It looks like where the shed was placed is a natural low point for the property. Instead of building that area up and putting something solid down for foundation they've just kept sticking stuff under the shed to prop it up.
Water is supposed to drain along that back side of the shed along the fence line away from the shed (its down hill to a lake about 200-300 yards down the street.
At this point I cannot open the front door to the shed all the way.
Its been raining off and on for a few days but pretty much since I've moved here 4 months ago that back corner of the property has been damp and soggy. I think the backdoor neighbors and next door neighbors natural drainage goes there too.

I have a feeling that any kind of "Good" fix to this is going to be very expensive. I can't see any way to fix the ground and drainage issues without moving the shed. That shed might as well be a mountain. Makes me want to just take an axe to the whole thing and reclaim that whole section of the yard. At least then I can start over.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:43 AM   #2
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Sinking Shed - Pictures attached


Also, If I got rid of the mountain-I mean shed then I would have access to the mulberry tree its under, Thats the only tree on the property right now... The problem is that the garage is already pretty full so the shed is dang convenient for the lawn mower and other tools. I want to have my cake and eat it too!
There's got to be a way to secure the shed.

At the minimum I was thinking of digging a drain behind the shed all along my back fence line to help it drain out of my yard and on down the hill (yes, through the neighbor's yard but according to the title that area is a 5' "Utility & Drainage" easement so the water is "supposed" to be flowing that direction).

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Old 08-27-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
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Most likly all they did was just sat it on the ground resting on the skids.
I've lifted and fix, and even moved sheds that size by myself.
I use farm jacks to lift it. http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...0544_200310544

Depends on how much work you want to put into it to fix it.
To move it you lift it and use 4" PVC sch 40 PVC pipe as rollers under it.

To just get it higher one way would be to lift one end, and slide in 4 X 4's long enough to span the 4 X 4's, running the other direction (longer the better as long as they do not stick out behind the walls)
lift one side and add two 4 X 4's then go to the other side and do the same thing.
You will need at least three, 4, would be better. Four will give you more support under the shed and increace the surface area resisting the sinking.
Done right it's safe because you should not have to go under the shed.

There's better ways but that would involve moving the shed to be able to work.

Without that shed being higher you can plan on it rotting out the siding and trim.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:02 AM   #4
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Ahh, the lovely Jack-all (as we called it) from my youth. Such memories. I only got my thumb slammed between the handle and the riser once. After that I followed Dad's direction on how to hold it. That is one of the many things I wished I had listened to advice the first time around.

So to OP, be careful how you hold that Jack.

I agree with Joe, jack that up and put some 4X4 underneath it.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:05 PM   #5
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PS do not try and just set the new 4 X 4's in line with the old ones. It will not increase the surface area and may tip over.
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:03 PM   #6
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What's under the shed floor? Does it have an actual structure? As in, floor joists? If they're of a decent size and they're in good shape you might be able to raise it up using some jacks and a couple of 4x4's run across them under it. The shed would have to be empty for this as you want to avoid putting any more stress on the structure than necessary. The hard part will be getting the first 4x4 under it. But that's where the farm jack is handy as it can lift on just the edge. But you'd want to make sure you're lifting up on a sturdy part of the shed's base, not just along some siding. Otherwise you'd have to dig down under enough to get another kind of jack in place. If it's got a decent structure under it you ought to be able to lift it enough to come up with a fix. If it's moist in that area then you're probably going to want to raise it at least 8" so air can circulate under it. Just cover the side gaps with lattice.

As for moving it, you'd be surprised how well it can be rolled along using a couple of 4" PVC pipes. Provided you've got a reasonably even surface to roll it along. I once moved one a good 50 yards that way.
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:15 PM   #7
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Its got an actual floor so I guess there are floor joists under it? I don't know much about the construction. Attached is a picture (before I moved in, which is why its trashed) of the floor.
I think If i put 4x4s under it in the front I'll have to dig it out a bit, So much dirt has built up I doubt anything will be able to just slide right in.

Also, just to clarify, are you saying to put 4x4s all the way across the bottom? Or just under the edges crosswise (like a railroad track tie, where the edge of the shed is the track and the 4x4 is like the rr ties).

Just trying to wrap my head around it a bit better. If I get a hold of a Jack I think it sounds like something entirely possible for me to be able to do.

After that then there's the re-roofing, but new shingles is not such a big deal (going to be a pain with the wasp infested mulberry tree though).
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:37 PM   #8
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The idea is if your floor has joists under it then you'd run 4x4 beams across them (perpendicular) to lift it. So it depends on the direction of the joists under your floor. If they run front-back then you'd lift them from the sides. You'd have to know this before deciding how to tackle the problem. Either by looking from under the outside edges or by finding a nail pattern on the floor inside; the nails should follow the joists.
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
The idea is if your floor has joists under it then you'd run 4x4 beams across them (perpendicular) to lift it. So it depends on the direction of the joists under your floor. If they run front-back then you'd lift them from the sides. You'd have to know this before deciding how to tackle the problem. Either by looking from under the outside edges or by finding a nail pattern on the floor inside; the nails should follow the joists.
Lol. Don't know what all they were doing out there when they built it but I'm seeing nails going both directions. Its rather... insecty-buggy-infestedy around the edges of the shed. I'm going to try and get a camera with flash under there, should be easier than stick my head down there with the ants and mosquitoes.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:12 PM   #10
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AH! Taking video has been most enlightening. It appears they've already done this procedure at least once before. There already appear to be 4x4s going back to front and the floor joists are going side to side. Now what?
Also, linked is video of the awesome job they did and how rotted it is. Super.

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Old 08-27-2012, 04:03 PM   #11
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That's the way store bought sheds and even site build sheds are done most often. Problum is 3-1/2" is not high enough to keep the siding from being to close to the ground.
The way it should have been done is the top soil gets removed and the area gets back filled with # 57 stone so it's higher then the surrounding grade, and leveled it also needs to be large enough so any rain coming off the roof hits the stone and does not splash back and just drains off.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:52 PM   #12
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Tie a rope around the shed then to the tree above the shed...
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by knotquiteawake View Post
AH! Taking video has been most enlightening. It appears they've already done this procedure at least once before. There already appear to be 4x4s going back to front and the floor joists are going side to side. Now what? Also, linked is video of the awesome job they did and how rotted it is. Super.
Meh, I've seen worse. Nice job on the video, btw. If it's only their added wood that's rotted then you could just replace that. If it's the shed structure then you have to decide just how much work you want to put into it. If it's still in decent shape and you've got space nearby then it might be worth considering a move. Prep the new space 'done right' and move the shed onto it. Otherwise just get that one lifted up more and supported better.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:36 AM   #14
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Tie a rope around the shed then to the tree above the shed...
Oh hey! That just might be crazy enough to work! I like it!


As far as moving it, the move would have to be temporary. There is no other place the yard where I would want it long term. I would move it, prep where I want it, and move it back.

I think in the end What I'm going to do is to first dig out the front, then jack up each side and put 4x4s in, and finally try to deal with some of the drainage issues on that corner of the property. I had never even considered the whole jacking it up idea and thats what I love about this site!

In my perfect world, somebody would trade me that shed for a shed 1/2 its size...
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:50 AM   #15
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Keep us posted.

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