Reinstating shed foundation

by Edwin
(Waldorf, Maryland)

I have removed the foundation and floor of a 25 yr old 12' x 20' shed that was built with 4x4 skids set on the ground and 2x4 used as floor, end and rim joists.

All materials were totally rotted from moisture. The ground was still wet and muddy. The original builder did not prepare the ground for this eventuality.

My question is this; What can be done at this stage to prevent this same thing from happening again? The basic framework is in good condition. It was discovered that the shed had sunk into the ground 4".

I have raised the framework to its original height and it is now being supported on all corners with rafter supports. Recently we had a couple of weeks of rain and the ground beneath the shed was completely covered with water.

Any recommendations? Is this a lost cause ?

I want to use treated 4x4's for the foundation of a 12'x20' Shed. Do I place them directly on the ground or spread sand, gravel or crushed rock on the ground first before laying the 4x4's down?

Best regards


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Aug 06, 2014
Sounds like you have the right approach
by: John

Hi Ed,

Thank you for your question.

The superstructure of your shed has done pretty well to last 25 years and so it sounds well worth your while to spend a bit of time on the foundations to get another 25 years of life out of the shed.

It sounds like your approach of excavating in the location of the 4x4 skids and installing 9 inches or so of crushed rock is the right sort of solution. This would perform two functions; Improving drainage in this area and also giving some load spread to the skids. As it sounds as though the previous skids had settled over the life of the shed into the soft ground.

I take it that you are also lifting the shed back into its original position so that the underside of the 4x4 skids are level with the existing ground?

Anything you can do to improve drainage around the shed would help to keep water away from the foundation and history from repeating itself.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.


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