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 building. You initially need to clear the area of any vegetation and grass where it has 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 building 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 building or cabin and this is important. Many people (so-called experts) will tell you to make the base 6 inches larger than your proposed building. This is bad advice as this will allow rain to fall onto the concrete and possibly run under it making the floor joists wet. By making the concrete base the same size as the summer building 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 from your supplier as an 8×6 building 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 room 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 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 type of 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 rainfall off your building properly and not build up in an area which will cause long-term damage to your timber of it.
If you would like to build a paving slab base, put timber bearers down or consider other options then there is some advice on this page or you could call 1st Choice for free advice. Another highly recommended option is to have a timber subframe base. This would consist of fully pressure treated timber made into a frame the size of the building. 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 building and also allows plenty of air to get underneath the shed keeping it nice and dry.
Wherever possible we recommend that our base construction team construct the timber subframe base for you as they do this day in and day out however we recognise that there are occasions when this is impractical due to distance or where the customer wishes to construct the base themselves. In this instance drawings or recommended spacing can be provided so please consult these base dimensions carefully and double check if you have any queries.
Once constructed it’s a good idea to forward a photo of the completed base along with dimensions to ensure that there are no misunderstandings prior to the day of delivery. If the base is not correctly constructed (too small/incorrectly placed supports/uneven/too close to fences, etc.) then a recall charge will be levied. If the base is built for you not only will it save you a lot of hard work it will come with peace of mind. And you can’t put a price on that, can you?