How to make a slab base for a garden shed

Written by penny porter | 13/05/2017
How to make a slab base for a garden shed
Discover a concrete base alternative for your garden shed. (colonial garden shed image by Kristina Cilia from

Before you can set your new garden shed into place or start building a custom shed, you must provide a sturdy and level surface on which to place it. Several methods exist for building this surface, also referred to as a base. A simple way to build a base for your garden shed involves building a slab base. Slab bases require minimal tools and take less time to construct than other base methods. Without complicated building instructions and drying times, you can start building or set your garden shed into place on a slab base immediately after you finish setting the slabs into place.

Mark off an area 10 cm (4 inches) wider and longer than the intended dimensions of the shed, using 1 m (1 yard) stakes. Tie string between the stakes to outline the shed shape.

Excavate the area inside the strings to remove the sod and a total depth of 6 cm (2 1/2 inches) of topsoil, using a spade. Place the soil in a wheelbarrow to cart it away for disposal.

Run a level across the shed site. Remove additional soil in high points.

Pound the soil tamper against the exposed dirt inside the site to compact the ground. This prevents the slabs from settling unevenly.

Apply a 4 cm (1 1/2-inch) layer of masonry sand to the dugout area and smooth the sand down with the back of the spade or the soil tamper.

Set the first paving slab into one corner of the shed site. Place the level on top of the slab and tap the slab with the rubber mallet until the slab sits completely level.

Work outward diagonally, vertically and horizontally from the first paving slab. Use the same level method as you apply each paving slab with tiny or no gaps between each slab.

Things you need

  • 1 m (1 yard) stakes
  • String
  • Spade
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Level
  • Soil tamper
  • Masonry sand
  • Paving slabs
  • Rubber mallet

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