Do I need shed tie downs?

by Mark

Hi John, I'm going to buy a 12x14 shed from our lumber yard here in town. I don't need a concrete pad foundation because it already has a floor. So would I secure it down using Sona-tube?

Basically, how do I secure it so it won't blow away?



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Shed tie downs
by: John

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your question. You don’t give me your location so I can’t give you specific advice as to the hold-down requirements for your shed.

Anyway the regulations relating to shed tie downs vary a lot from county to county so it might not be a great deal of help anyway.

To give you a bit of background local wind conditions vary significantly from area to area depending upon the likelihood of high winds causing damage to small lightweight structures such as sheds. Essentially you will need to find out what wind zone you are in Zone 1 or Zone 2. Zone 1 tends to be coastal areas where structures are subject to higher winds coming in off the ocean. And also to speak to your local building inspector to determine what type of tie is used most commonly in your area.

You mention potentially using a Sona-tube. This a cardboard tube which is sunk into the ground and filled with concrete a steel wire with an anchor is cast into the tube and then fixed around the timbers forming the shed floor. The concrete filled Sona-tube forms a sort of Deadmans anchor.

Other types of shed tie down include augers, driven steel rods or even anchors cast into concrete base. The anchor is generally fixed to the shed base with a steel cable that has a tensioning system to ensure the cable is tight. The cable must also have a guaranteed maximum capacity with a 50% factor of safety.

In terms of the number of tie downs required this will depend upon the size of the shed. For sheds in Zone 1 it was 1 per side for sheds up to 100 sq. ft. last time I looked and 2 per side for sheds up to 200 sq. ft.

In summary then, shed tie downs are a building code requirement. They aren’t highly technical and a quick call to your local building inspector should clarify what you need to keep the authorities happy. ;-)

Hope this helps and let me know how you get on.

All the best


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