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How to Level and Prepare Space for a New Shed or Carport

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Wed, Oct 23, 2013

carport on level concrete slab

Carport on a Concrete Slab

Figuring out where to put a shed or a carport is one of the most exciting aspects of getting a new storage structure. I've found that there are some people who know exactly where they're going to put the new shed while others debate between two or three spots on their property. Well, whether you buy a shed or a carport, the area needs to be properly prepared for the arrival of the storage structure. I thought I would spend this week's blog explaining how to level your yard and prepare it for a carport or shed.

Foundation for a Garden Shed

When it comes to choosing a foundation for a garden shed, there are some people who immediately picture a concrete base. Other people may envision a gravel base for a backyard garden shed. The type of foundation you choose depends a lot on the environment. For instance, if you get a lot of rain, a concrete foundation is probably not the best idea for your shed. Water has a tendency to collect on the surface of concrete and may even pool in some places. The idea is to keep the water away from your shed. A gravel base allows water to drain into the ground. Furthermore, gravel is less expensive to use than concrete. Concrete is a durable type of material, but not necessary when creating a base for a garden shed.

Specifics of Putting Down a Gravel Foundation

I recommend that you put down four to six inches of gravel for the base. You can even frame the base with wooden rails so the gravel will stay in the area around your shed. Look at the specific dimensions of the shed you want to buy and make the gravel base two feet longer and two feet wider than the structure. This way you'll have a little room to walk around the structure and the extra space will help to keep the walls free of mud, dirt and other debris. You may want to choose gravel in the form of 3/4" blue stone. You are looking for gravel that will provide the most effective drainage. Once you dump the gravel and spread it with a rake, you can use a bubble string level to make sure it is evenly distributed. This is one of the most important parts of the process because if the gravel base is not level, you could have trouble opening and shutting the door of your shed. You certainly want to avoid scratching the bottom edge of the door on your new shed!

Foundation for a Carport

When thinking about how to level your yard for a carport, you may want to consider putting down a concrete slab. There are benefits that come with having a concrete slab. For one, you won't have to park in standing water. Tires can suffer wear and tear if they are forced to sit in water for long periods of time. By putting down a slab, your tires will be on top of the concrete and under the protection of the carport.

A Concrete Slab Base

The size of a concrete slab for a carport depends on the dimensions of the carport you choose. The dimensions of the concrete slab should be one foot wider and longer than the base dimension of the carport itself. An example would be if you decided on a carport measuring 12x31, you would need a concrete slab measuring 13x31.  

If you are confident about your DIY skills, you can create the concrete slab yourself. Of course, it's more costly to hire professionals due to the labor and equipment, but if you are unsure about handling the job the cost may be worth it.

Finally, I'd like to mention that we anchor our Alan's Outlet carports to the ground whether they are on a concrete or gravel base. Thanks for reading!-Alan

Topics: how to level shed, how to level carport

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