Photo Credits: Esh’s Utility Buildings
If you’re preparing to have your shed installed, you’re probably wondering whether you need a foundation for a shed and, if so, what kind of foundation is best for your shed. We’ve already outlined our preferred shed foundation in this article and given an overview of all shed foundation options here. Now we’ll look at a shed foundation type that we don’t recommend: shed foundation blocks.
Installing and leveling your shed on cinder blocks might seem like the easiest solution for shed site preparation. After all, there’s little preparation required if your site is already fairly level. All you need to do is make sure the installer has access to a stack of inexpensive cinder blocks. (Note: leveling the ground for a shed is a better solution)
The problem with using cinder blocks is that it can create problems with your storage building down the road. This is especially true for larger sheds. We’ll now look at the potential problems and reasons not to use shed foundation blocks.
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A Shed on Blocks Might Settle Over Time
Installing a shed on blocks might seem like an easy solution but it can cause problems down the road.
One problem is that your shed might begin to settle over time. This is especially true if the ground is soft and unstable.
In the north, the freeze and thaw cycle can be another cause for slight movements that can cause a shed on blocks to settle over time.
Photo Credits: Esh’s Utility Buildings
The Doors Might Not Open and Close Properly
A shed that’s not level doesn’t look good and it doesn’t feel good when you step inside. Another potential problem caused by a block foundation is doors that don’t open and close properly.
When a shed settles, it can cause the doors to come out of alignment. This can result in either the doors rubbing the top when your open and close them or not latching properly. You can usually correct this by lifting one corner of the shed until the doors line up again, but that’s not something you want to mess with very often. The best solution is to do it right from the start and place your shed on a solid gravel or concrete foundation.
The Center of the Floor May Not Be Supported
If you choose to install your shed on blocks, there’s a good chance your installer will not take the time to place blocks under the center. That’s because it’s a difficult and time consuming task.
Not having the center of the floor adequately supported can result in a “bouncy” floor that sags over time. This is especially true if you’re getting a larger shed such as a garage that will be storing heavy equipment and vehicles.
The best antidote to a sagging floor is to have your shed installed on a level gravel pad which will have continuous support under the entire floor. You’ll never need to worry about a weak floor with a proper foundation.
Foundation Blocks Do Not Block Grass and Weeds
Grass and weeds growing against the sides of your shed can be a problem because it does not allow the bottom of your shed to dry out after rain. This can cause premature rot and supports the growth of mold and mildew.
It also increases the chances that your shed will become scuffed and bruised when you mow and weed whack around your shed.
Photo Credits: POPULAR MECHANICS
Foundation Blocks Do Not Keep Your Shed Clean
If your shed is surrounded by dirt there’s a good chance that the dirt will splash up against the sides of your shed when it rains. The best way to prevent this is with a gravel pad that’s wider than your shed. Learn more about the benefits of a gravel pad that’s 12″ wider than your shed all the way around.
Photo Credits: Consumer Reports
Foundation Blocks Allow Critters to Move In
If you choose to install your shed on blocks there’s a good chance that you’ll be dealing with unwanted critters at some point down the road. Foundation blocks provide no protection against these types of annoyances.
Although a gravel foundation does not guarantee that you won’t need to deal with this, it will certainly discourage critters from taking up residence under your shed.
Many Builders Discourage the Use of Blocks
Especially in the Northeastern part of the United States, many shed builders discourage their customers from using blocks for several reasons. Installing a shed on blocks often takes more time and it might result in more damage to the shed as discussed in the previous points. Installing a shed on blocks may void the manufacturers warranty. If you’re not sure, check with your builder to find out what foundation they recommend.
The fact is, using blocks under your shed is just one of a number of mistakes to avoid when doing ground preparation for your shed. Check out the rest of our articles for more site prep tips and how-to advice.
What is the Best Shed Foundation?
A Gravel Shed Pad
In most cases, a gravel shed pad is the ideal foundation for a storage shed (also an ideal base for an above-ground pool). It eliminates or reduces the severity of all of the problems discussed above and can increase the life of your shed. It also reduces maintenance issues that might come up in the long run. A gravel shed pad is great for sheds of any size, from a tiny garden tool shed to a gigantic two car garage. Gravel shed foundations are also the easiest kind to install; if you have building experience, you could potentially calculate how much gravel you need and build it yourself. The only requirement is that the shed you’re getting have a wood floor. If you decide to build it yourself, check out our complete guide on how to install a gravel shed pad.
Other Shed Foundations
Depending on your situation, you might benefit from a concrete foundation or a foundation that utilizes concrete shed piers. A concrete foundation is a good option if your shed doesn’t come with a wooden floor. You can read a full overview of shed footings here. Or, if you’re interested in DIY’ing a shed foundation, feel free to read our article on how to build a shed base on uneven ground.
If you’re unsure about which foundation is best for you, you can always call one of our site preparation experts to find a solution for your particular situation. You can reach us at (717) 799-7311.