How To Build A Shed Foundation

The first step in the How To Build A Shed series

Shed foundations on Wood Rails, Concrete Blocks and Concrete Slabs

This tutorial shows you the steps to building a wood rail foundation, from cutting the rails and installing them on the ground to making them square and level.

step 1 CUT THE SHED FOUNDATION RAILS

How to build a shed foundation cutting the foundation rails
The first step is to cut the foundation rails to the length shown on the plans and then locate them on the ground where they will be permanently installed.

Locating them on the ground is done by setting the rails in their approximate location and checking them for square.

To check that the rails are square in relation to each other you will first make sure that they are the proper distance apart from each other and then measure diagonally from corner to corner.
Your goal is get both of the diagonal measurements to be the same length. So move the rails parallel to each other until the measurements are the same.

The locations of the rails only need to be within a few inches of perfect as you will be moving them to prepare the ground underneath.

step 2 LEVEL AND PREPARE THE RAIL BEDS

How to build a shed foundation digging the rail beds

The second step is to prepare the rail beds. This is done by making them level with each other and themselves.

How to build a shed foundation level the foundation

To check that the rails are sitting at the same height in relation to each other you will use a straight board and a level. Set the board so that one end is on one rail and the other end is on the other rail. Put the level on top of the board to check which rail needs to move up or down.

You will need to repeat this process several times as you adjust the rail bed levels until the rails are the same height as each other and the rails are level in their own beds.

On slightly sloping ground you may need to dig holes or build up the lower areas with gravel to allow the rails to sit level. This shed required that the higher rail be dug down to the height of the lower rail that was sitting on top of the ground.

step 3 CHECK THE RAILS FOR SQUARE

How to square a shed foundation
The third step is to get the foundation rails parallel and square with each other. This is done exactly the same way you located the rails the first time by using a tape measure to check the locations of the rails.

It is usually easiest to get one of the rails sitting where you want it, and then adjust the second rail so it is parallel and the correct distance from the first rail.

You will need to repeat the measurement checks and adjust the rail locations until they are correct.

Although it is not shown in this tutorial because this shed will be moved to another location, each rail should have a few inches of gravel under it. This gives good drainage under the rails and makes it easier to level the rail beds.

Once the rails are square and level you are ready to set the floor joist on them.

related articles

 

 

More Shed Plan Information
Shed Plans Examples shed plans example
How Tall Is My Shed? shed height graphic

Shed Plan Questions?

Get Answers Now!

find out more information

Free "How To Build A Shed" eBook. With Shed Plans.

icreatables.com how to build a shed ebook

What Customers Say

"I'm declaring victory over the shed project. Thanks for the great plans and for answering my various e-mails along the way." John

You guys are awesome! Thank you very much!" Denise

More Kudos:

"Thank you,  The plans are Awesome!" Bob

"Thanks for the designs!  They were especially useful since I didn't have any construction experience prior to this. Obviously, I made some modifications with the finishing, but I am quite happy with the size and structure of the shed." Matt

"Thank you Chris for the super service. The plans look great and I can't wait to get started." Frank

"I think these shed plans are great. I am very handy, but it is nice to have plans with measurements that are easy to follow. Most plans are to detailed, and confusing. I will prefab shed in garage, then in early spring put together. Thank you very much." Paul

"Hi. So I bought your plans and built the shed. Worked great, I would say 10/10...
Very easy to read the plans, very easy to make by following the steps in the "how to build a shed book" that comes with the plans. Overall, a very satisfied customer." Martin

"I just purchased your shed plans for the 6x8 Lean To Shed.  The quality of the plans is top-notch...  Thanks for the quick reply!  The quality to price ratio of your shed plan products is incredible.  Not to mention your awesome support.  I will most certainly be recommending icreatables shed plans to anyone I know who is interested in having a shed! Thanks again,"
Sean

"Thanks, Christopher. These plans and material lists are very complete, clear and easy to follow. Very nice work." Van

"AWESOME CUSTOMER SUPPORT…" John

"I promised to send a photo of my completed shed.  My wife and I are very happy with the way it turned out.  The plans were exactly what I needed to get going...  It was a lot of work, but I learned a lot and it was fun.  Thanks for your help." Mike

"Your plans were very helpful. It was well worth the small price I paid for the extra help. Thanks." Robert

"Hi Guys, I built this shed as a well house and it is terrific, even though I have never been anything close to a carpenter. I have arthritis so I used screws everywhere but the roof, and I believe it will be stronger for it.

"Our shed looks great, thanks to your plans." Donald
 
"I had already paid out twelve dollars and change to another do it yourself website and was totally unhappy with the plans I got. Luckly I found your website and paid less for somthing ten times better. Thanks." Allen

"I have received (the plans), and they look wonderful!  Can't wait to get started (next week for sure!)  Thank you so much!" Phil

"BTW - so far after reviewing I'm thoroughly impressed with what you've done here in the attachments. For someone like me who isn't "handy" you've made it very easy for me to tackle." Fran

"Yes I did (receive the plans) ...freakin awesome! Thanks again!!" Jessi

"I finally finished my 8x12 shed! The plans worked out great. I deviated from the plans slightly on roof edge and the door.  I plan to put gutters and down spouts on it and we wanted a little more of a country barn door look. I really appreciated the templates for cutting the notches for the rafters.  Detailing which nails I needed for each phase of the build was also very helpful. Thanks again," Dale

"I really like the instructions, they are much more than I expected." Randy

"Thank you for your input.  I just purchased the 4x4GN-generator-shed-plans.  Wow. The plans look fantastic. And the parts list is very nice!  I plan to modify it with 2 or 3 side doors for extra ventilation as needed. Thanks again for your time." Vern

"I like the idea of constructing the unit from scratch, what I call stick building it piece by piece - we've seen the lightweight think plastic walled units from (a home store), ok I guess but the heavier wooden unit with permanent roofing will last longer and give better service.   It was a good plan and easy to build from, I don't think  the contractor had any difficulties with it." Gary

"I purchased your plans for a 12 x 12 shed w/garage door. Your plans were great and I'm very pleased with the results.
I also used your free "how to build a ramp" plans which were very helpful." Regards, Donald

"Hello!  Our Shed project went swimmingly well this weekend! The only thing you’ll notice we did different was to order the doors from a lumberyard rather than building them…. Which worked out pretty well.  Thanks for your help!" Maureen

"Got them. I'm very pleased with plans."
Thanks. Timothy

"Great shed plans, the material list helped a lot as well!"
Sincerely, Jeff

"Thanks very much!  Great service and good prices.  I'll be buying more plans from you in the future!" Cheers, Darren

"Attached are photos of woodshed I built from your plans....the plans made it very easy....Thanks" Mike

"It to me a year of intermittent sweat swearing and blood, but I finished it, and I'm proud of it. Thanks for the awesome shed plans!" Jessica

"I recently helped a family member build an 8x12 shed using plans he bought from your site and found the plans and materials list to be very helpful.  I'm about to start a project building my own storage building, a 12x20, and thought I'd buy plans from you as well since his went so smoothly." David

"I was sceptical about buying shed plans online but your extremely customer service and willingness to provide extra help to a "newbie" have won me over. Thank you.
Be well,"
Jonah

"Excellent!...
Thanks again for your helpful information! Pictures to come!"
Colin