wooden garden shed - gravel or timber foundation

mattkalmanOctober 3, 2013

i plan on building my own 12'x12' wooden shed in my backyard for tools and lawn chairs etc.. I am pretty proficient at carpentry and woodwork, but i have never made a freestanding structure before, so i know nothing about foundations.

for the foundation, i don't want to use concrete (too expensive and a bit overkill), but i want to make sure the shed is sturdy. i want to use 4x4 or 6x6 pressure treated timbers for a skid and then put the shed (with a pressure treated plywood floor and 2x4 joists) on top of the skids.

the main question i have is...do i need a gravel base under the pressure treated timbers even though they will be also treated for ground contact?

I have read so many opinions about this, my head is starting to spin. which is why i am turning to the reliable, cool heads on gardenweb.

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pima74

Somewhat depends on your soil conditions. If sandy and well draining, you could put the timbers on the ground. If the soil has lots of clay and doesn't drain well, the gravel would be in order.

I build a 8x12 shed with a regular floor system (rim joists and floor joists) on top of 3 rows of railroad ties. I did put in a couple of inches of sand underneath the ties for drainage even though ties are heavily treated. Also made leveling much easier.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 6:45PM
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jcalhoun

Even the best pressure treated will not last more than 20 or so years in contact with the ground. Rot, ants, fungus and termites will be an issue.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 12:19AM
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jcalhoun

Even the best pressure treated will not last more than 20 or so years in contact with the ground. Rot, ants, fungus and termites will be an issue.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 12:20AM
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