keep your garden building standing trouble-free for the future
So you’ve decided on a building to complement your garden. How exciting! But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s start at the bottom.
The most important aspect of your building that you may not have considered is the FOUNDATIONS.
But where do we begin? What’s right for my building?
Don’t worry – we’ve created this simple guide to make it as straightforward as possible
What options are available for my garden building foundation?
In recent years a plethora of recycled plastic and eco-friendly options have hit the market, making big claims about sustainability – we will discuss these in a moment. But keep in mind that your building will only be as good as the foundation it stands on, so for longevity and for your enjoyment of your building, we have just one recommendation in 99% of cases:
A solid concrete pad.
Smaller and lower-spec buildings such as the Heavy Duty sheds have the option to be installed on flat and level paving; and there are many slab alternatives for greenhouses, depending on its intended usage. But for anything else, especially with PVC or aluminium doors and windows, a solid concrete foundation is just what your building needs to keep it straight, level and free of issues in the future!
Can I use an Eco alternative to a concrete foundation?
There are all number of cheaper shed bases available, such as recycled plastic alternatives that you fill with gravel, but are they really as ecological or economical as they claim? When compared to a solid concrete foundation, they don’t quite stack up.
Our buildings are designed to last – not just a few years, but as long as you (and your foundation) care to look after them, and a concrete foundation is going to last even longer, meaning that it will support and sustain the building for its entire lifecycle, prolonging your enjoyment of it, and it will still be of use well beyond that!
A plastic foundation simply won’t last or support the building anywhere near as long. Whilst the cheap price range may be attractive to some, it will cost far more to replace it, as well as the building, in the future!
We pride ourselves on our superior products, so we chose not to install on a foundation that we think we be a detriment to the building in the short or long term.
Why should I have a solid concrete foundation for my garden building?
Firstly, our buildings are sturdy, and that means heavy. With the exception of Heavy Duty sheds, a substantial ex 75x50mm framework is standard, and some models sport an ex 100x50mm framework. That kind of structure will need serious strength underneath the building to support it during its life.
Secondly, a solid concrete foundation of 100mm thickness will stand the test of time and the elements, and will happily see the building through its final days in many, many years to come. Correctly laid (on a suitable substrate, if required), a concrete foundation won’t move, preventing the force the building to shift or twist atop it. This will stop any unnecessary issues from arising, such as door alignment or undue pressure on parts of the building where the support might not be present from a lesser foundation.
What size and finish should the concrete foundation for my garden building have?
This depends on a few factors, but as a general rule of thumb: the foundation should be exactly the dimensions of the building you are purchasing; be 100% flat, smooth and level; and perfectly square.
For example, a 3.0 x 2.4m summerhouse should have a 3.0 x 2.4m concrete foundation; a minimum of 50mm proud of the surrounding ground at the lowest point, preventing any falling or running water from getting under the building and to the joists.
If your building does NOT have a timber floor (such as a garage or workshop), we will generally recommend that the concrete foundation is 10mm smaller on both axes than the size of the building. This allows the building to slot directly over the concrete with a small margin for error. It is then bolted directly onto the concrete, or brickwork. For example, a 3.0 x 6.0m garage should have a foundation of 2990mm x 5990mm.
WITH a timber floor:
WITHOUT a timber floor:
Make sure it’s on the level!
We require a 100% flat and level surface to install our buildings onto, with only a very fine tolerance for error (we’re talking mm)! If that foundation not completely flat and level, doors and opening windows will soon cause you problems as the building settles into the dips of the uneven surface. This is why we simply do not install on unsuitable foundations – it’s in our ethos not to fit a building that won’t perform up to our Superior standards.
Landscaping around your garden building
Whether a shed, summerhouse or deluxe office, a 50mm face of concrete might not be the final finish you want to see in your garden. But after installation of the building, all manner of landscaping can be applied to blend this in with the surroundings.
A simple option is to cover the revealed faces of the foundation with a black concrete paint, which can apply a chic, modern minimalism to your garden and not draw focus from the building itself.
A French drain can add character and help to soak away any runoff water, preventing it from splashing up the building and giving you more cleaning work to do!
From here you can go wild, investigating options to landscape up to the building with slate or flagstones – making sure that there is a fall on these away from the building will prevent water from finding its way under the building, keeping the floor joists dry and free of rot. The options are endless!