Without that, even the most expensive garden shed will struggle and you will have problems over the years. This is the most important part in the purchase of a garden building or summerhouse and you will find that decent shed companies such as 1st Choice Leisure Buildings will talk through the options and the merits of each type of base.
Building a base is a relatively easy task for an average DIY'er, the most important thing is to plan what type of base you are going to put down and to allow sufficient time to do this before your new pride and joy is delivered.
There are several options for a base for a garden shed and this ranges from a concrete base, a paving slab base, ProBases, timber bearers or a timber sub frame base. Each have their own merits but the end result needs to be a level and well supported base for your new garden shed, maybe from 1st Choice.
If you choose concrete then this can be hard work, however provided you do the job properly will have a long lasting base for your new shed. You initially need to clear the area of any vegetation and grass where the shed is to go. You will need some shuttering, essentially some timber planks about 6" x 1" in size. You then need to fix these into place around the perimeter of the shed by digging into the ground slightly and anchoring the boards into place with timber wedges.
You will need to know the size of your new garden shed and this is important. Many people (so called experts) will tell you to make the base 6 inches larger than your proposed shed. This is bad advice as this will allow rain to fall onto the concrete and possibly run under the shed making the floor joists wet. By making the concrete base the same size as the shed this will stop this from happening. Also the top of the concrete should be 1-2" above the surrounding ground level and this will also help to keep the floor dry, even if you get standing water in your garden.
With the shuttering in place (always ask the size of the garden shed from your supplier as a 8x6 shed might not be 8ft x 6ft but 7ft 10in x 6ft 1in) and with the top of the shuttering about 1-2 inches above ground level you will be able to pour concrete into the enclosed area. A concrete base works best when you are able to lay a compacted hardcore base of around 3 inches and then another 3 inches of concrete above that, keeping the surface as perfectly level as possible.
If it is a small garden shed you could hire a concrete mixer and mix the concrete by hand, or you can have the concrete delivered by companies such as Mix-A-Mate who will mix the exact amount of concrete on site so you have no waste to worry about
Building the right base for your garden shed or summerhouse is a task that the average DIY person will be able to complete alone, but for safety and speed two people will complete the task much quicker.
Whichever shed base you finally decide upon, it must be level so that your new structure will sit properly without placing excess stress on any parts of that structure. This will also help rain fall off your shed properly and not build up in an area which will cause long-term damage to your timber shed.
If you would like to build a paving slab base or to put timber bearers down there is some advice on this page or you could call 1st Choice for free advice. Another option is to have a timber sub frame base. This would consist of fully pressure treated timber made into a frame the size of the shed. Cross supports would be inserted between this outer frame. The construction would then be placed into position and levelling posts inserted into place. This provides a solid base for your new shed and also allows plenty of air to get underneath the shed keeping it nice and dry.