How to Dig a Gravel Pit for a Shed Base

What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Wooden stakes
Plastic underlay tarpaulin

Any kind of building needs to have a solid, adequate foundation to ensure its long term survival and building a gravel pit for a shed base is one such example. No matter what the type or size or purpose a building has, the foundations do need to be paid close attention to. Building a foundation for a garden shed is not particularly complicated or technologically advanced but it is a labor-intensive job and will take some time.

The foundation will help to make the structure far more durable by supporting the shed and helping to prevent moisture rising from the ground and causing the wooden walls of the shed to rot. Without adequate foundations, moderately harsh weather conditions can easily destroy the shed within a matter of weeks. It can even damage the contents of the shed, making it an expensive disaster. One of the most ideal and convenient ways to build a foundation for a garden shed is a gravel pit and with everyday gardening tools, gravel and a few other items at your disposal, you can easily do the job yourself.

Step 1 – Prepare the Foundation

You will only need to concern yourself with building the foundation once you are familiar with the measurements of the shed that you want to build or purchase. Measure out these dimensions and apply them to the ground that you will be placing the shed upon. Mark the location of the shed using wooden stakes or pegs of some sort. Connect these markers using string to accurately outline the measured area where your shed will be. Be sure that the string connecting each marker is taut for increased accuracy.

Step 2 – Dig out a Pit for the Gravel

The area which you have marked off will then need to be excavated. The depth of the foundations partly depends on the weight and size of the garden shed, but generally, about five inches should be more than enough. Excavate the entire area to this depth and make sure that the surface is fairly level. Use a rake to level out the soil.

Remove all the loose soil in wheelbarrows. Before filling the excavated area with gravel, you may want to cover the entire area with a plastic underlay. This will help to prevent any weeds from growing through the gravel and damaging the foundation. It will also further help to prevent moisture from reaching the bottom of the shed.

Step 3 – Fill the Gravel Pit

Fill the excavated area with the gravel. Spread the gravel out so that it is even and level. You may want to use a level to be more accurate. Be sure that the entire layer of gravel is level with the edge of the pit. Once you have done this, your gravel pit base is ready for installing the shed onto.