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How do I anchor a garden shed?

Rob26's picture

I'm planning to build a 6' x 8' utility shed for my wife. This will be a simple sloped-roof, 2x4 framed shed, sheathed with 1/2" plywood, with 3/4" treated plywood flooring. I have seen several suggestions for setting the base of the shed, from placing the corners of the rim joists on concrete blocks (which are leveled on a bed of sand) to pouring concrete pillars to the frost line depth and anchoring to that. What is truly needed to ensure stability over time? Thanks in advance for your advice on this.

(post #98249, reply #1 of 4)

Rock dust makes a better bed than sand does. It packs firmer.

Normally, I dry-set a perimeter of concrete blocks on a tamped bed of rock dust and build the shed on that just like I would a house on a poured foundation wall, except there's no mudsill. I use doubled rim joists all around to provide a bit more stability.

That's usually all it takes; once you load the shed with lawn mowers and wheelbarrows and tools and all, it weighs enough to stay put through most wind you might encounter. I mean, you're not in Florida, after all. But do make sure you frame the roof up to snuff; your snow load up there is fairly serious. I have seen too many badly-built sheds collapse up here when the first thaw comes and rain soaks the 3'-4' thick snowpack on the roof....



A day may come when the courage of men fails,when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship...

But it is not this day.


How now, Mighty Sauron, that thou art not brought
low by this? For thine evil pales before that which
foolish men call Justice....

(post #98249, reply #2 of 4)

A friend of mine built her shed on a couple of skids.  8X8 landscape timbers with the bottom edges cut at about a 20 or 30 deg. angle.  Just resting on the ground.  That way she could move it whenever she wanted by dragging it behind a tractor.  Her's was 10' x 10' x 12' tall.  I don't know if this is any help.  Just an idea.

(post #98249, reply #3 of 4)

Your principal concern, once set on piers, cinder blocks or whatever, is wind-sheer. Although it doesn't seem like it, a 60 mph gust can topple your garden shed quickly if it is not anchored well.

For my 10' X 12' storage shed, I used 4 trailer anchors...these are auger-style hold-downs that are literally screwed into the ground, usually about 36" long or so. Careful placement in the corners, and with SS lags or through bolts holding the corner framing to them, should hold your building securely in place, regardless of what it is resting on.


(post #98249, reply #4 of 4)

If I was building my own personal shed I wouldn't use any method other than pier construction.Once for my father in law, I even built a fancy shed with a full out alaskan slab foundation along with concrete retaining wall / planter boxes. However if I was building  a shed for someone who didn't want to get carried away I wouldn't be opposed to any of the ideas suggested.  Although personally I don't think  throwing  a few sona tubes into the ground and mixing a  few wheel barrels of concrete, is that hard. mind you, our frost line is only 18" here.

Edited 5/10/2005 11:05 pm ET by nails2