Backyard Shed DIY – Part 1 (Foundation)

Stephen’s latest DIY adventure has been building a backyard shed. He has been working on this for about a month and a half, in between work and kids’ sporting events. It’s now DONE, minus the painting (guess whose job that is??). This was a big job, and I wanted to share it with you all… but I’m going to do it over a few blogs so it won’t be so overwhelming.

Also, I have to admit… I was not the best photographer along the way. So I’ll explain the steps and use the best pics I have!

The very cool thing is that Stephen did a lot of research on how to build sheds, but ultimately made his own plans.

Step 1: Stephen started off by finding the exact area in our yard where he wanted the shed to go. He put stakes at the corners and used strings to lay out the area the shed would take up, and made adjustments as needed. He decided to do an 8 foot x 8 foot square shed. He made a list of all the material and made one giant Home Depot run.

Putting the kids to work! We couldn’t park in our garage for a while.

Step 2: The area where the shed was going to go was on a slight slope. To keep the shed even and in place, Stephen had to dig footers and fill them with concrete. First, though, he had to figure out what the approximate concrete height needed to be for each hole in order to keep the shed even. (This didn’t have to be exact… will tell you why in a minute). He used a post-hole digger to dig the holes, and then bought bagged concrete, added water, and poured it into the holes. To make the concrete keep its shape above ground, he used concrete tube forms. This tube went all the way into the ground, and you fill it up with concrete to the above-ground height you want. He put in l-shaped anchor bolts sticking out of the tops of the concrete piers and let them dry. Stephen gave the concrete a good 24 hours to dry.

This is an example of the concrete tube form he used. He cut them down to be the height each concrete footer needed to be.
An example of the l-shaped bolt. Pic from williamsform.com

Step 3: Next, Stephen cut 6×6 posts and put them on top of the concrete piers to make the shed foundation level. Each 6×6 was a slightly different height because of the uneven ground. He used a long level and stretched it from pier to pier to find out the height needed for each pier. He used a demo saw to chop off the 6×6 at the correct height. He secured u-shaped metal support brackets into l-shaped anchor bolt using a nut. (This held the metal brackets onto the concrete piers). He then screwed the u-shaped brackets into the the 6×6 sides- these hold the 6×6 down onto the pier. Now the backyard shed isn’t going anywhere! 😉

Step 4: Stephen added 2x6s and formed a square, screwing them into each other at the corners. This formed the foundation sides. He then cut 2x6s to the length to stretch from one side to the other, and he screwed them in at the ends.

To add strength on the corners, Stephen used a lag bolt. You need an impact drill to secure the lag bolt.
He placed these supports about every 15 inches.

Step 5: After all the supports were in place, Stephen screwed in 3/4 inch plywood as the flooring. He screwed the plywood down into the 2×6 supports underneath.

That’s it for today’s blog… building the foundation of the backyard shed. Here is a sneak peak of the next blog- framing!

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