Leveling Your Yard to Get Ready for Your Shed
When you order a shed to be built or moved to your property you will want to ensure the sight is level enough to place the shed so that it is safe and functional the way you want and expect it to be. But, how do you go about making sure the spot on your property is ready to receive your shed?
Let’s go over how to choose the best sight on your property to place a shed and your options for making sure it is level.
First: Choosing the Right Location
Choosing where to put a quality made shed is more than just about where it would look good in the yard. There are several things to consider about the spot you put your shed in. First, ask yourself what the sheds main expected functions are. Do you want to be able to back a vehicle or trailer up to it to unload? Which way do you want the shed to face so it does not look like an eyesore in the yard? Speaking of eyesore, does your neighborhood have HOA rules about sheds? Are there specific zoning laws about sheds in your neighborhood from the city? Will the shed be a hotbox because it is in direct sun all day? Does this area have good drainage or will the shed be subject to too much moisture and eventually molding and rotting?
Next: Gather the Right Tools
Now that you know where the shed is going to go, you will want to make sure you have the right tools on hand to get it ready to be built. Handy tools for leveling a shed site include:
- A four foot long level
- An eight foot 2×4 plank
- A shovel
- A metal rake
- A hand tamper
- A tape measure
- Spray Paint (bright colors are best)
- Wooden grade stakes
- A mallet
- Plenty of string for a line
Step 1: Staking and Squaring
The size of your shed pad or foundation will be dependent on the type of foundation you choose. Our sheds come with a block foundation, but you can choose to install your own gravel or concrete foundation you may install this after leveling your site so it is ready to go for the shed install. If you are choosing a gravel pad to place the shed on you will want to make it 1 to 2 feet larger than the shed itself for a buffer. Other foundation types do not require a larger size than your shed.
Begin the staking and squaring process deciding where the first corner is going to go and placing a stake there to mark it. To ensure all measurements are straight from the beginning it is crucial this beginning stake is pounded into the ground exactly straight. To determine if the stake is straight grab the level and place it along the vertical side of the stake as well as horizontally along the top. Next place a second stake four feet down a straight line as you work toward the second corner of the foundation, making sure the stake is level after placing it in the ground. Move down the line to the second corner and prepare for corner three. Corner three is the stake that will require the most careful attention. It is the most critical in making sure the leveling site is square. You want to be sure you are creating a 90 degree angle.
When all four corner stakes have been placed and are perfectly level, wrap the string tightly around all four stakes. This will serve as an outline to spray paint and mark the foot print of your shed foundation. Once the paint is on the ground you can remove the stakes.
Step 2: Choosing a Leveling Method
Method 1- Excavation
This is the method you will want to choose if you are planning on putting in a gravel or concrete pad foundation. Begin by digging out the top soil and grabbing the level to check the underlying soil and see where more digging needs to be done to make the area level. Use the 2×4 plank and set the level on top and check several different spots. Finish up my tamping the soil to pack it tight and bring the level out again to tamp down any high spots.
Method 2- Dig to Prepare for Blocks
If your site is within 12 inches of being level, Aurora Quality Buildings will do the leveling work for a concrete block foundation for you. We can help with additional site prep for a previously agreed upon extra fee.
If your site is more than a foot out of level you will need to prepare for cement blocks. Dig out the top soil at the corners and every 4 feet along the longer walls where the blocks will be stacked. Compact the underlying soil with the tamper and make sure each hole is level. Fill the area with pea gravel to keep it level and promote good drainage. Now you are ready to place the solid cement blocks making sure to place more where the ground is lower. To make sure all blocks are at the same height and level place the plank across two sets of blocks and put the level on top.
For more tips and information about custom sheds please visit our website, come and visit us in Marysville, or contact us any time.
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- 20 Design Tips for Making a House a Home
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