• We just finished a major forum upgrade. Please check out the "Whats New and Help" Thread at https://aawforum.org/community/index.php?threads/forum-upgrade-whats-new-and-help-march-2021.17436/ If you are having problems using the forums, please clear your browser cache and that should clear up any issues. Otherwise post in the Help Thread or email us at forum_moderator@aawforum.org. Hope you enjoy the refreshed site!
  • 3/30/21 - We finished what was hopefully the last part of the forum upgrade we started earlier this month, the rebuilding of all of the permissions. In our testing everything seems to be working correctly but if you have any problems please post in the "Forum Technical Support" forum and we will take a look at it. You will also see a few changes with the main forum index. We have moved the AAW Member Forums to their own group and the Marketplace Forums to their own group. This simplified the permissions configuration for the forums and hopefully it will make the forums a little easier to naviagate. Thanks!
  • Gallery Images: Title and Description Required

    Please read the new sticky announcement HERE for full details.

  • Welcome new registering member. Your username must be your real First and Last name (for example: John Doe). "Screen names" and "handles" are not allowed and your registration will be deleted if you don't use your real name. Also, do not use all caps nor all lower case.

Storage Shed Landscaping Questions ??

Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
384
Likes
7
This may seem off topic, but it IS related to turning (sort of). I am finally in a position to acquire a storage shed into which I will store lumber accumulated for the past 30+ years. I'll also store my lawnmower, now residing in my small shop. The storage shed will free up space in my shop (more room for turning equipment) and basement.

The place where I intend to put the shed is where I had a tree cut down earlier this year. I had the stump ground away, but there is now sawdust in that spot. On Monday I will have topsoil delivered, the sawdust removed, and the soil put into the area.

To what extend do I need the new soil tamped down before the shed is installed?

Should I have the shed sitting on cinder blocks? Treated lumber?

Do I need to go to the extent of putting down a cement base for the shed to sit on?

Other landscaping concerns? I'm planning on having that area slightly elevated so that water doesn't collect.

Any tips or warnings on sheds and installing them would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Betty Scarpino, editor, AW
 
Joined
May 13, 2007
Messages
201
Likes
2
Betty,

If there is a spot other than on top of the spot the stump was removed, it would be best to place the shed there. Assuming you already know that, and the logistics of landscape etc. chooses the spot for you, then remove as much of the stump grindings as possible, and compact the fill as well as possible. My guess is that there will be settling of the ground in the stump area for several years as the roots decay.

Some sheds are built on a pair of runners and the runners hold the shed off the ground a few inches. If so, then I would set the runners on top of patio stones or solid 3" blocks at four or five locations in the length of the runners.

If the shed is one that has a perimeter of timbers, then I would set the perimeter timbers on concrete pieces at the corners of the shed and several locations along each wall.

I don't believe a concrete pad is a good idea, as when the ground settles, the conrete will likely crack.

You will love the storage, although it will of course be to small within a week or so.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
3,269
Likes
992
Location
Eugene, OR
A concrete pad should not be on any type of fill. You should remove sod, and other organic material as it will rot. If the tree stump is in the middle, that shouldn't hurt as the slab, especially if it has some wire mesh or rebar in it will span that no problem. One problem you could run into is building permits as buildings that are on concrete pads may fall into 'permanent structure' status, and require a permit, but again, that can depend as much on square footage as it does on foundation. The concrete slab will help keep humidity levels up, unless there is a vapor barrier under it, like heavy plastic. This could help in storing log sections, but, depending on local weather, not so good for dimentional lumber.

Setting some cinder blocks on tamped gravel, and leveling them would be sufficient for getting it off the ground as you don't want wood lying on the ground, even if it is treated. If the building is up in the air a bit, it does leave ideal hiding holes for varmints like coons. It would depend on how the shed is built for spanning distances.

robo hippy
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
231
Likes
1
Location
Apopka, FL
Website
www.docwks.com
Betty,
Not sure of soil and tree type, but in Florida I've had Pine's removed and in a few years I get a depression where the tree was. Since we have very sandy soil putting top soil down is a waste as it disappears in a few months. Sand or chirt work better. I think chirt would be better than top soil to raise the area and pack it down, then a bit of top soil for grass or shurbs. How big a shed? Blocks are ok, but again I would put footings under the blocks, you can get the card board forms at any big box home center. The slab is the best but I'm not sure the expense is necessary. I poured a slab with rebar for my shed and did it all myself. When we poured the back porch and sunroom I paid to have it done.
 

john lucas

AAW Forum Expert
Joined
Apr 26, 2004
Messages
7,609
Likes
2,207
Location
Cookeville TN USA
Betty I've been looking at the same thing since I'm out or room in my shop. The people I'm talking to said I didn't need to do anything. Sitting it on the ground is just fine. They are Menonites and have a really good reputation for their buildings. Can't answer the question about the soil however.
I as going to build onto my garage but since I might be retiring before very long and will probably move I wanted the option of either leaving the shed or moving depending on where I end up.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Messages
179
Likes
0
Location
Ephrata, Pa
Hi Betty,
I put a shed, 10' x 12', in about 5 years ago. It is considered to be a nonpermanent structure. It was suggested to me, to dig out about 4 to 6 inches of soil and then fill the hole with stone, and have it leveled.
I got an excavator to do this.
I then got some 1/4" hardware cloth and secured it to the bottom of the shed,
going down into the stone about 2".
It is sitting pretty, and no creatures can get underneath.
The only problems thus far, it's too small, and I don't like where I put it.
Good luck with the shed.
Jim
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
384
Likes
7
Thank you everyone! Your comments really help.

My yard is postage-stamp size, so the only option for placement is where the tree used to be, which I had to have cut down because it was growing into the electric wires, and no, after repeated calls to the power company, they would not remove it ... but I would have had it removed anyway, just to make room for the shed.

There are opossums and coons, brown rats, too, in the neighborhood, I didn't think about the possibility of additional shelter for the darn things. Patio stones seem like a good solution.

Too small already--I haven't even ordered it yet. Yikes! Maybe I'll measure again and see if the 8 x 12 will fit rather than settling for the 8 x 10.


Betty Scarpino, editor, AW
 
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
3,540
Likes
12
Hippy is right on. First find out whether there is a local limit on dimensions, then find out what your local ordinances determine is "permanent" and taxable in the way of a foundation. Nicest would be to get footings, gravel to drain, and treated base for timbers for termites and ants. The footings make it "permanent" here, so I have the tamped soil, a vapor barrier and pea gravel for drainage. Treated stuff for the perimeter and floor a good idea anywhere, even up north. Carpenter ants, you know.

Nice to have guttered eaves, too. Keeps the place dry, and fills up barrels for watering the garden!
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
78
Likes
8
Location
westlake, LA.
Betty

Check with local contractor(s) that you trust and see what they recommend, price and time to do it in. Along with termit and pest control.

Gary:cool2:
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2009
Messages
217
Likes
0
Location
Denver, Colorado
Shed

Betty=A simple shed can quickly get out of hand so be careful. Carefully look at all the building codes in your area. If you are looking at storage for the life of the shed all of the recommendations seem reasonable. If you are ever going to use it for turning then the footing and base are of utmost importance. I had somewhat the same situation here in Denver, a concrete floor would have thrown me in a "permanent" situation. I opted for sinking four inch diameter posts below frost line and ended up with a decent foundation for turning equipment, not as good as concrete but acceptable for me.

Warning= foundation work can quickly add up.

May all your other problems be small ones.
 

john lucas

AAW Forum Expert
Joined
Apr 26, 2004
Messages
7,609
Likes
2,207
Location
Cookeville TN USA
I don't think people worry about this but my insurance company is charging extra money because my garage (shop) is located too close to the house so my rates are higher. It has to be 160 feet away. However if it's attached that's OK. Does that make sense? I asked if I could simply cover the walkway and call it attached and they said no. Just saying that if it's too close to your house your insurance agent may get a bonus when he raises your rates.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
1,049
Likes
35
Location
Tallahassee FL
What kind of shed? Wood or sheet metal?

If wood, I'd recommend corner blocks supporting a wood frame and floor.

For a metal shed, I recently placed a reinforced concrete perimeter footing, with the base frame anchored to it. Patio blocks within to provide the floor. (Actually placed the patio blocks first). All of this on tamped sand. For the roof edge, ignore the instructions, and attach the edge trim BELOW the roof panels with pop rivets in the valleys instead of on TOP with screws at the hills; this allows leaves and pine needles to fall off instead of piling up.

In either case, place tiedowns (BIG helical screw anchors) at each corner to resist hurricane or tornado. Anchor those to the footing or the corner blocks.

Nothing is "permanent" to a jackhammer.;)
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
180
Likes
0
Except for removing a tree, I momentarily thought you were describing my own shed installation (approx 7' x 10' base), currently under way. Like you I'm only planning to use it for storage of stuff to clear space in my shop.

Since you indicated you haven't yet obtained the shed and we don't know its construction materials, some advice may be more applicable than others, but I'd like to suggest you obtain the installation instructions from the manufacturer and follow their recommendations, in particular the requirements to properly support the shed's floor.

As an example, page 11 of my shed's instructions shows dimensions and materials needed for either a concrete pad or wood 2x6 framing. If you choose wood, pressure treated wood from your local big box home center is unlikely rated for ground contact (see tags on the ends). Local lumber yards will have what you need. I'm installing mine atop a pad of bricks recovered from walkways and other uses around the yard, but am still using wood rated for ground contact.

I'm also "beefing up" the manufacturer's design by using connectors and screws (compatible w/ treated wood) to join the joists and sides (avoiding toe-nailing and nailing into end grain). The hardware added to the corners should add strength and prevent any tendency for a joist to twist, a function I suspect the 12 2x6 "plates" in the drawing are intended to serve. As a result, I'm going to move those "plates" toward the center, dividing the area between sides into thirds. Additional hardware at those points is almost certainly overkill, so I'll probably stagger the plates on either side of the joist and end or toe-nail those.
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
384
Likes
7
I'll be ordering a wooden shed, not metal. And I'm having it installed ... installation is way beyond my pay grade.

On the other hand, I've been considering organizing a "barn raising" party. What would it take to gather a group of qualified individuals to assemble a shed? (Assuming of course everyone could agree on the foundation required to place the shed properly)?

Betty Scarpino, editor, AW
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
153
Likes
0
Hi Betty! I had exactly your problem - having to get all of my lumber and logs out of the shop (garage) so that I could use the equipment. I purchased an
8' x 12' barn which is 12' high and has a loft for excess storage too. The manufacturer was Tuff Shed and it all went up in one day. It has a steel frame with beams on 24" centers running both directions, which rest on leveled cinder blocks and shims. The corners are anchored with the screws for hurricane or tornados. The barn has a window and several vents including roof ventilation. All of this went up in 1 day. I purchased this at a time when they were having $500 off price for approximately $3500. It was well worth having them install and do eveything that needed to be done.

I have since added lumber racks and lumber and purchased additional steel frame racks for storing logs and turning blanks. My chainsaws are up in the loft now, out of the way to turn and everything so far is great. If you have not talked to Tuff Shed, you might want to if you can. I will recomend their products. BTW, my shop is L shaped and I placed the barn in the remaining area left by the L, with a walkway to the side door of the shop and gravel fill between the shop and shed walls. Had to put the entrance to the shed on the outside long wall of the barn, which allows me to use ramps to get wheeled equipment in too.

Good Luck Betty on yours. It sounds as though all of us woodturners run into a storage problem for our art supplies.
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
180
Likes
0
I'll second Bill's recommendation of a Tuff Shed if they've got what you need. Just be aware that the ones resold by those big box home centers may have the Tuff Shed name on 'em, but they're not built to the same standards (materials specs) as the ones Tuff Shed sells direct. I found that out when I visited one of their manufacturing plants near me.
 

AlanZ

Resident Techno Geek
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
528
Likes
157
Location
Oradell, NJ
Betty,

You mentioned a postage stamp yard.

I have a side yard where I store wood. It's only 10 feet wide.

I wanted to put in an 8x8 shed, but realized that my town requires a 5 foot setback for sheds.

So make sure that you consider any setback restrictions when you size your shed.

Yes, I know that it's often easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, but in my town, folk have to take down non-conforming structures.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
148
Likes
0
Location
Kona, Hawaii
Betty,
You might want to dig some "post holes" at each corner. Build a little form around the top so when filled with concrete, you will be a few inches off the ground. You can then span the pour with some adequate 4x timber and that will probably eliminate any possible settling and will also provide some airspace to avoid rot.
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
153
Likes
0
I'll second Bill's recommendation of a Tuff Shed if they've got what you need. Just be aware that the ones resold by those big box home centers may have the Tuff Shed name on 'em, but they're not built to the same standards (materials specs) as the ones Tuff Shed sells direct. I found that out when I visited one of their manufacturing plants near me.

Yes, Betty, Rick is absolutely correct. I did visit several (few) places who carry the Tuff Shed's and then visited their shop nearby to look. There was a difference and too, you can get the design done just how you want it by using their web site for ordering and then communicating with them directly. I have never been happier with a shed in my life and I now have that one and a small fiberglass one which is merely c***.

I talked to Gary Rock this morning and he said he would be very glad to come up and help you out with a little incentive. Gary is very driven though to put some rope around all of the corners and some sort of fancy artwork at the crown of the barn. So, be advised.;)
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
384
Likes
7
Gary and Bill, you realize it's COLD here?! And the work is outdoors! Crazy wanting/needing this shed in the winter, but that's timing for you.

I think personalizing the shed is a great idea. I could name it after the Texas group if you drive up and install it ... Texas Tuff Stuff ... I make a mean pizza, but you'd have to sleep in the shed ....

I will be ordering a real Tuff Shed. I think I found a place in Indiana that sells them (Best Barns of Indiana), but I will be asking that essential question, "Is it a real Tuff shed?" This was the sort of question I didn't even know to ask, so thank everyone for the recommendation/head's up!

Also, thank everyone for the landscaping suggestions. My sons will be home for Christmas and the shovel and wheelbarrow are ready to be put to use for preparing the topsoil that will be delivered Monday. They will have to work for their pizza and beer this holiday ....


Betty Scarpino, editor, AW
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
164
Likes
1
Location
Niles, IL
Shed

Having worked in landscaping and tree removal, the issue of tree roots rotting over time and leaving a low spot is a valid issue of concern. If the shed footprint is larger than the root ball and centered over it then no need for concern provided you make use of some cornerstones as previously described.

In central Illinois (Peoria county) the only require to make it "non-permanent" was that it had to have wheels on it. So I know one guy with a shed with two wheels on one end of his shed thereby making it a non-permanent and non taxable enclosure. (The standard doesn't designate that they be functional or that the shed can actually be moved by the wheels.)
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
153
Likes
0
Having worked in landscaping and tree removal, the issue of tree roots rotting over time and leaving a low spot is a valid issue of concern. If the shed footprint is larger than the root ball and centered over it then no need for concern provided you make use of some cornerstones as previously described.

In central Illinois (Peoria county) the only require to make it "non-permanent" was that it had to have wheels on it. So I know one guy with a shed with two wheels on one end of his shed thereby making it a non-permanent and non taxable enclosure. (The standard doesn't designate that they be functional or that the shed can actually be moved by the wheels.)

Thomas, I hope he also installed wheelbarrow handles on the other end. I would love to have seen that picture in this post. I have been laughing over this for about 15 minutes in relation to my own shed. Thanks for the humour.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
183
Likes
0
Assuming that you have already checked with your local ordinances, you should know your setback requirements from both your house and property lines. This should give you some pretty good ideas as to where your shed will sit.

When I built mine, I went 12x8 even though it is smaller than 10x10 by 4sf. The main reason was the flooring. I would have needed to buy a lot more lumber to cover it. Instead, by going to the 8' foorprint, 3 sheets of plywood were dropped on the frame and nailed down in a few minutes. No cutting.

I would also HIGHLY recommend that you consider putting it on runners, in case you ever need to move it. Mine sits on cinder blocks because I put it in a low, wet area. I have considered moving it, but it is not on runners so it would be nearly impossible.

A prebuilt shed costs the same within about 10%. My neighbor helped me with building mine, and then had one pushed off of a truck onto his gravel bed. I paid $100 less than he did, and it took 2 weekends of hard labor to build it. My next shed will be pushed off of a truck.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2011
Messages
28
Likes
0
Location
Littleton, NC
Assuming that you have already checked with your local ordinances, you should know your setback requirements from both your house and property lines. This should give you some pretty good ideas as to where your shed will sit.

When I built mine, I went 12x8 even though it is smaller than 10x10 by 4sf. The main reason was the flooring. I would have needed to buy a lot more lumber to cover it. Instead, by going to the 8' foorprint, 3 sheets of plywood were dropped on the frame and nailed down in a few minutes. No cutting.

I would also HIGHLY recommend that you consider putting it on runners, in case you ever need to move it. Mine sits on cinder blocks because I put it in a low, wet area. I have considered moving it, but it is not on runners so it would be nearly impossible.

A prebuilt shed costs the same within about 10%. My neighbor helped me with building mine, and then had one pushed off of a truck onto his gravel bed. I paid $100 less than he did, and it took 2 weekends of hard labor to build it. My next shed will be pushed off of a truck.

I have the best of both worlds. My shed is on runners but the runners sit on cement blocks so I can always jack it up and move it if needed. Not easy but doable. Make sure ALL your underside wood is pressure treated or you are just making a feeding station for termites.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
112
Likes
0
Location
Dundee, MI
Website
www.digitalwinners.com
A lot of good advice so far. Here's something else to consider. A "shed", in most jurisdictions, is NOT a permanent structure. And supposedly can be moved to a new location without much trouble. Assuming it isn't some sort of skyscraper, you should be able to do anything you want without getting a permit. Placing gravel underneath, on which the shed runners or supports sit, is a good idea. Besides providing good drainage during wet weather, it will also not swell during freeze/thaw periods. The recommendation for wire mesh in the gaps is also excellent to keep critters out. Placing concrete blocks on a gravel bed, and then sitting the shed on the blocks is still temporary and will get the floor up above the ground by several inches.

If you install any sort of foundation, or pour concrete, then it will likely be considered permanent and will require a permit and all the rules about property line setback, etc will apply.
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
384
Likes
7
Don't think I would say in most places you don't need a permit for a shed. It is always good policy to check with the city. Set back from property lines could be an issue. I had to clear mine with the city here in SE Virginia.

Best regards,

Matt

From what I can tell, because my shed will be under 120 square feet, I will need a storm water drainage permit and a zoning review and have the shed located no closer than 5 feet from the back property line. I do not need an Improvement Location Permit, which only applies to sheds and structures that are more than 120 square feet. There are other restrictions that apply to sheds in general: The shed cannot be taller than the home they are associated with, for instance. No worry there.

I think I'm armed with enough information to proceed and to keep me law-abiding. At least for this venture ..... thanks everyone! Let me know, though, if I've missed anything else.


Betty Scarpino, editor, AW
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2011
Messages
82
Likes
0
Location
Fort Collins, CO
Betty,
If you do any digging when putting your shed be sure to have all of the utilities located and marked. It can get very interesting if you dig into a water line and even more so with a power line.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
79
Likes
0
Location
Milford, PA
Storage shed prep

Betty, I am a landscape architect and have experience with garden sheds.

Many options depending on how "permanent" the structure will be. Most prefab sheds come on pressure treated timbers - typically 4x4 rails. In northern climates with deep frost, I use 8-12" of compacted quarry process gravel. Have the top above the surrounding grade for drainage. You can level and set the shed right on top. Do not need to use blocks unless you want it raised. If you raise it up, remember that critters will love living under it.

Good luck.

Ed
 
Top