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ammonihah99 07-21-2011 05:22 PM

Wood Shed Foundation Level with Grade?
I am in the process of planning a 12 x 16 shed and need some help with the foundation.

First issue is money, I don't have any :), so I can't pour a slab, it's got to be on concrete piers or treated skids (or sleds, runners or sleepers, whatever you call them). What I would really like though is to build it so that the foundation isn't raised up six inches off the ground. Is this possible?

I live in Phoenix, so it's pretty dry. Would it be asking for too much trouble if I just built the floor frame of treated 2 x 6s and set them directly on a bed of two or three inches of gravel? If foundation stability is an issue, I could include some buried concrete blocks in the gravel.

I was hoping the gravel would be enough for drainage (when it happens to be one of the 10 days a year it DOES rain :)) and the joists would be enough for critters to keep out. (My brother had a cat die under his shed a few years back, that was NASTY.)

I just really don't like to look of raised sheds with a gaping hole underneath, but if I must, I must. Guess I could throw on a lattice skirt . . .

Daniel Holzman 07-21-2011 05:58 PM

If local building codes allow, you can do pretty much anything you want, and can afford. I have a 24 x 10 foot shed in my backyard that is built on 8 concrete blocks. Half of the shed has a wooden floor, the other half has no floor at all (just soil). I store my firewood on the soil side (I put a few inches of gravel in there for drainage), and I store a few tools on the wood side. The shed has been there since about 1960, I reroofed it a few years ago, and added a chicken coop addition (since used to store more firewood) five years ago.

Of course, a concrete floor is ideal, with a solid foundation, strong grade beams etc., but you do what you can with the funds available, as long as it fits within code requirements. You build according to the value of what you are going to store. In my case, there is nothing valuable inside, so I don't lose any sleep over it.

ammonihah99 07-21-2011 06:20 PM

Local code keeps hands off pretty much anything under 200 sq. ft, hence the 12 x 16 shed at 192 sq. ft. :)

I'm not planning on doing anything too extravagant, just T1-11 siding. No other sheathing. No windows. No pre-hung doors. I need it to look nice on the outside, so I'll trim and paint and add gables and a shingled roof, but as far as structure goes, bare minimum. We do have monsoons in summer, but that's just a bunch of rain and dust with an occasional gust of wind. I know plenty of people with cheapo aluminum sheds that do fine in the monsoons.

I do have a concern for termites, but the treated joists and gravel should keep them at bay, I think.

I will use it for storing mostly tools, so it will have a lock, but it won't store anything that can't get a little bit of dust on it.

AGWhitehouse 07-21-2011 10:27 PM

Sounds like you should lay a stone base (6-8") and just lay the walls right on that. The shed floor woul be the gravel. If termites, etc. are an issue then you could run a row of block around the perimeter and rest the walls on that. If wind is a concern, drive some stakes at the corners and strap down. That would be the cheapest approach. And if you use the block perimeter idea, you could pour a slab down the road and use the block as a pour stop.

oh'mike 07-22-2011 06:37 AM

My lawn tractor shed is built like a pole building.

4x4 treated fence post corners ---no floor (yet:laughing: I only built it 15 years ago)

I figured on pouring a floor when I finished the shed.

AGWhitehouse 07-22-2011 10:44 AM


Originally Posted by oh'mike (Post 691185)
My lawn tractor shed is built like a pole building.

4x4 treated fence post corners ---no floor (yet:laughing: I only built it 15 years ago)

I figured on pouring a floor when I finished the shed.

Ah yes! A pole barn is probably your cheapest bet...Less framing on the walls needed because of the structural integrity of the corner posts.

ammonihah99 07-22-2011 12:01 PM

Thanks for the replies and the suggestions. I think a want a wood floor though. Not sure why, I just think it would be a shame to go to the work of building it and making it look nice without a decent floor. But if I can build a pole barn with walls, it means I can set the floor right on the gravel right? Same kind of thing?

AGWhitehouse 07-22-2011 12:07 PM

You can set it on gravel either way. traditional frame would have the support be the floor system sitting on gravel. the pole barn would have the walls on the poles and the floor floating.

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