Top tips for laying a shed baseApril 19, 2017
Whether you are looking to build a standard shed or an outdoor man cave, readymix concrete is ideal for laying a simple concrete foundation. Readymix concrete is used in the construction of footings and foundations for houses, so it is equally suited for smaller outdoor buildings. For easy pouring and quick results, there is nothing better.
We recommend employing a dedicated handyman for any jobs requiring exertion and an understanding of forming concrete. However, if you feel comfortable with making a concrete base for your outdoor building, here are some tips for laying the base.
Why build a base for a small outdoor building?
When you build a base for any structure, you are investing in its longevity, which means your concrete shed base will go a long way to keeping your shed in great condition for many years.
After completion, the concrete base and the ground around the shed will be level, and the water drainage will be greatly improved. In the process you will have minimised the chances of wood rot (if your shed is made of timber) and structural weakness, because a level base will ensure the weight of the shed is evenly distributed.
You will also be ensuring that any manufacturer’s guarantees are honoured in the event that the shed’s materials are defective in any way.
Where to build your shed base
You need to carefully choose where you lay your concrete base, and consider where your shed will eventually stand.
- Do not place the base too close to walls, fences or existing garden buildings. It is likely that your shed will have an overhang on the roof, which must be factored into the location of the shed.
- Do not place the shed next to large trees or bushes. Overhanging branches cause problems to the roof of the shed, especially if they are thick and established. However, over time the greatest threat from trees and bushes comes from their roots, which after many years will do damage to your concrete base and destabilize your shed.
- When placing your shed, it is best to have access to all sides of it. This will allow you to apply wood preservative treatments to the shed in the coming years, which can make your shed last indefinitely.
When the concrete is poured
There are extensive guides available for confident DIYers to make their own concrete base. But here are some added tips that are sometimes missed off those online guides.
- When the concrete has been poured and is still wet, push the blade of a shovel in and out of the concrete, particularly near the edges. This will force any air pockets to the surface.
- Spread the concrete with a garden rake for an even spread.
- To compact and level the concrete, use a tamping board. This is a wooden plank that is longer than your formwork is wide. With a worker at each end of the plank, use it to ‘tamp’ down the concrete, moving half an inch at a time.
- Once complete, slide the tamping board across the surface so that you begin to smooth the concrete. A sawing motion will smooth and remove any excess concrete from the surface. You can use excess concrete to carefully fill any indentations that form on the surface.
- The roughly tamped surface can be smoothed over with a steel trowel, or can be left as required. However, smoothing at least the edges of the base will prevent the edges from chipping.
- As a final tip, use plastic sheeting to cover the concrete to ensure the concrete cures at the correct rate. This slow drying process will give the concrete its desired strength and durability. Use timber or any item taller than the concrete base to raise the sheet away from the wet concrete.
EKA Concrete provide readymix concrete to customers in the counties of Surrey, Sussex and Kent. With over 20 years of experience and an expert team, we offer all kinds of concrete to suit a range of construction projects. We cater for big and small pours of concrete and offer quick and convenient service for commercial and domestic clients alike. Need same day or next day delivery? No problem. Contact our team today and they will be happy to meet your readymix concrete needs.This entry was posted in concrete tips. Bookmark the permalink. ← When should you use reinforced concrete? Causes, Identification and Prevention of Alkali-Silica Reaction →