Prepare the Ground
Once you’ve finally chosen and purchased your shed and decided where its new home is going to be in the garden you need to prepare the ground. Softwood timber sheds require an even and level surface on which the shed can be built. Usually this will be provided by concrete, garden slabs or even a timber decking base. Just follow these quick and easy tips to help you. Make sure you have a level surface:
- Mark out the base area using pegs. Allow up to 5cm extra.
- Dig a 15cm deep, level hole. Insert a wooden framework to contain the concrete.
- Add 7cm deep level layer of stone or hardcore.
- Add the concrete cement mix. Spread evenly and level off. Allow to fully set in plenty of time for your shed to arrive.
Garden Slab Base
- Mark out the area and frame with string. Dig out up to 7cm topsoil.
- Add 4cm layer of cement.
- Using a spirit level, starting in one corner, lay the slabs.
- Allow cement to dry.
Timber Decking Base
Please refer to our Timber Decking Installation and Maintenance Guide for how to create a timber decking base frame.
NB: It is not recommended that you build your new shed directly onto a lawn, bare ground or gravel. The shed requires a level surface, otherwise you may experience warping or subsidence. If your shed is in direct contact with the ground it can also lead to damage from warp or rot.
Depending on the type of shed you have chosen specific instructions will be provided. However the general steps to follow are:
- Place support beams lengthwise across the deck piers. This is to support the floor joists which run in an opposite direction.
- Attach joists to the support beams and separate them with blocking.
- Secure plywood sheeting to the joists to form the shed floor.
- Build a framework for all 4 walls. Refer to the instructions provided because how this is done depends on the layout of your walls.
- Build rafters across the roof and separate them with blocking.
- Nail plywood sheeting to the rafters to form the roof.
- Cover the walls with boards provided to complete the structure.
- Cover the roof felting as supplied.
Once installed garden sheds should not require too much maintenance. However, we recommend that you following the following guidelines:
- Treat your shed regularly. If your shed needs a coating it should be applied at least once, a year. Naturally sheds get a lot of abuse from the weather so applying a good quality wood stain will extend its lifespan. Be sure that it is ‘preservative.’
- Check the roof. As it is an outbuilding leaves and debris can easily build up over time. Clear off any twigs, leaves or other debris to allow rain water a clear run. Moss is the worst enemy to your shed’s roof, unless you want to replace your roof we advise cleaning it and if necessary treat with moss killer.
- If there are windows ensure that they are sealed shut to avoid moisture from entering around the window frame which can cause wood to warp.
- Avoid anything coming into contact with the shed – avoid falling into the trap of using the shed as a lean to – i.e. don’t pile up firewood or rubbish against external walls. Unless you want to attract pests don’t use the shed for storing rubbish bins.
- Fit guttering. Installing a gutter and collecting rainwater in a water butt to capture run-off from your shed roof not only helps keep your garden in good condition but is an environmentally friendly way of looking after it.