Building down to increase height of shed

by Colleen K. Peltomaa
(Toronto, Canada)

Because we cannot build up too high above the current fence in our townhouse development I thought I could get around that by digging at least a foot or so deep and laying the foundation deeper and adding a couple of steps that go down onto the floor of the shed.

This would give us standing up room in the shed without receiving notices from the condo management that our roofline is too high. I also designed the shed so that the roofline has a slope that is lower at the fence line and slightly higher away from the fenceline. I've already marked out the underground utility lines so no problems there.

Has anyone built into the ground?

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May 01, 2009
Watch out for Flooding
by: John Admin

Hi Colleen,

Great creative thinking! Just a couple of points to consider:

i) You will effectively be building your shed in the bottom of a hole. You need to be very sure of the drainage and where the water will go when it rains. If you don't provide a drain that discharges to a point lower than the bottom of the hole or provide a pump and sump to collect discharge the water you will end up with your shed in the middle of a small lake. Building into the ground can be quite good when the shed is on a slope as one wall of the shed can be a small retaining wall and the water can escape from the lower side.

ii) Think where about you will dispose of all the earth that you dig out of the hole. You may be able to dispose of it within the garden but you will be surprised at the quantity of earth that comes out of any hole even 1 foot deep. You may need to hire a skip

I don't mean to be a wet blanket but if I was you I would think very carefully before building in the bottom of a hole.


John - Admin

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