How to Build a Summer House or Summer Garden Building Base
How To A Base For A Summer House
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?
Let Us Build Your Shed, Workshop, Summerhouse or Log Cabin Bases
It is always nice to get a new timber shed, garden workshop, playhouse, solar potting shed or summer building in your garden but you do need a solid base for them to sit on to ensure you get the best life out of the building. The normal options are concrete, paving slabs, timber decking, timber joists or ProBases Whichever one you use you need to make the best job you can do because your new building will rely on your base. If it’s not correct it may affect the life of your new garden building and, in the worst-case scenario, it might not be possible to build your new building causing inconvenience and extra expense.
You may decide that you will get someone in to do this for you and if so, we can help. We can recommend Viking Services to supply, build and level pressure treated and fully tanalised base for you. If you decide on this type of base Viking will bring all the required materials along, they will construct the base and then ensure that the base is 100% solid and level to take your new building. They will make this base using pressure treated timbers and your building will sit on top of this base ensuring that your new building is well protected from any dampness coming up from the ground. This will help to ensure that your floor and garden building will last a very LONG time. All you need is a reasonably level piece of ground. However, it is possible to build even on uneven ground but you would need a special quote for this.
We at 1st Choice specialise in offering an extensive collection of quality buildings in timber, concrete, plastic and metal so you can be assured that you will find your ideal building with a minimum of fuss. There are occasions, however, when other specialists are required in order to complete your project and our years of experience in this field mean that we have built up a number of valuable connections with reliable tradespeople who we put forward here for your consideration. Whilst the individual tradespeople are independent of us (thus keeping the pricing as low as possible) we are happy to liaise with them to make arrangements on your behalf and we, therefore, take a deposit which is passed along to them with your order. They will collect the balance outstanding upon completion of works and leave you with an invoice for your records. Prices quoted presume a suitable, accessible work site within 50 miles of our display area near Woking. If your site is further afield or access is poor then the standard prices quoted may be subject to an additional charge.
Standard Timber Subframe Base
This is the ideal solution for garden sheds, workshops and garden rooms when the intended site is relatively level or when a base is needed to sit atop and level an existing concrete base; also very popular when access to the property is restricted or when people wish to avoid the disruption of concrete base construction.
A sturdy frame is constructed using 100mm x 47mm structurally-graded C24 spruce which is subjected to an enhanced pressure treatment process to enhance it’s life.
There are cross members at centres between 35cm and 42cm (14” and 16 1/2”) and noggins when the width of the base is greater than 1.5m (5’) to increase rigidity. The frame is levelled and supported on indestructible recycled plastic ground posts which are manually driven into the ground.
When the timber subframe is sat atop a concrete base these plastic posts are not required and chunky timber feet are used in lieu when levelling is required. The price is just £5 per square foot (£56 per square metre).
Heavy Duty Timber Subframe Base
Whilst our standard timber subframe bases are ideal for most situations, there are occasions when something a little more robust is called upon. This may be because the building is particularly large or heavy, the plan is to store a large amount of weight within the building or simply that the ground on which the base is to be situated has more than a minor slope.
Whatever the reason, our installation team will upgrade the standard specification listed to the left by upgrading the fixings to coach screws, digging out each post and concreting these into the ground and, where necessary, fitting diagonal braces to add rigidity to the joint between the ground post and the rame (when the base is elevated out of the ground).
A wise upgrade when ordering a log cabin or other larger building; please ask our sales advisors for guidance if you are unsure. The price is £7.50 per square foot (£84 per square metre).
Concrete Base Construction
A quality base is essential for any building and subject to certain limitations – on access restrictions, a maximum fall of 150mm (6”) across the area of the of the slab and availability of services – our suggested concrete base contractor can offer a set price per square foot. They will prepare the ground to enable them to create a base of 100mm – 150mm (4”- 6”) depth
poured over compacted hardcore.
A damp proof membrane is standard and, when the base is over 100 square feet (9 square metres),
a reinforcing mesh is integrated into the slab for added strength. Generally the concrete will be delivered to site by volumetric mixer – although the contractor may mix on site on smaller jobs – and the cost will be £10 per square foot (£111 per square metre) subject to a minimum charge of £400 presuming the work is within the scope of their usual criteria.
They will generally endeavour to undertake a site survey to advise of any potential extra costs that may result from site or access difficulties