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trace 07-18-2011 8:58 AM

Building on a low slab
We just moved into a new place, and there is a slab in the back yard that I want to build a shed on if possible. It was poured for a basketball court, so it is low - just an inch or two above grade. I may need to put a french drain along one side (if it ever rains here again, that is), but otherwise the drainage looks fine. I'm mainly concerned with the siding being within an inch or so of the dirt.

Can anyone tell me what the "right" solution is for this?

I'm considering forming and pouring a 2-3" tall "footing" around the perimeter to build the walls on, or laying treated 4x4's first and building on top of them (sorta like a "double bottom plate"). I think I prefer the treated 4x4's approach, if it will work. It seems like less work, and would probably actually look better, too. Laying a good bead of caulk before I anchor them would probably be just as good as concrete.

Any ideas??

flattirenotube 07-18-2011 9:07 AM

If it was me, I would probably go with a small concrete starter wall, but bigger than you are thinking. I would go somewhere between 6-12". This would give you much better and long term solution. While the PT wood will last a long time, the concrete would be forever. You could also embed some anchors in the stem wall about every 18"-24" and easily bolt your bottom plate to the starter wall. How big of a shed are you talking about? I guess my solution is more for something along the lines of garage size, but if it is like a tough shed, then your solution would probably be fine.

trace 07-18-2011 9:27 AM

More like a Tuff-Shed. I built one at my last place that I was happy with. It was 12x16, on skids with a framed up wood floor, and designed to have minimal scrap. Posting a couple pics of it below.

This slab is about 18x13. I've even considered building the 12x16 shed kinda "inside" this slab, but I'm concerned about splash off of the perimeter of concrete.


trace 09-19-2011 12:50 PM

Update... I took the "treated footing" approach.

Got my permit from the city a few weeks ago and have been gathering up materials, but had to wait for the Central TX weather to cool off a bit before starting the actual work. I've got about 20-25 hrs in it so far (I love framing nail guns) over the past 2 weekends and a couple evenings last week.

I posted the old POS metal shed on CL free stuff (dismantle and it's yours) last Friday night, and got about 70 emails on it before it was gone about 18 hrs later.

Here are some progress pics. It's not obvious from the pics, but I built the side walls in the flat with the siding in place, tilted them up, and stick built the rest. It also has radiant barrier roof decking. All I have left to do now is finish the garage door and siding, shingles, trim, and paint.









wakeboardin 09-20-2011 1:28 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Looks good not sure what kind of rain you get but over the years the treated lumber can rot when subjected to moisture. I built one for my pops and he had the slab there so I just used some block and epoxied rebar into the slab and then filled it with concrete and added j-hooks for the base board. I also wrapped it and added z bar to flash the bottom siding.
I like the large door you put in I should have done this for him the man door is difficult to get his mower into it looks great your on the home stretch. If you dont mind me asking what did the materials run you on my dads I believe it was roughly 1600.00 in materials and he could not buy a tough shed for that price they wanted 2-4K for the size.

trace 09-21-2011 10:06 AM

Thanks, nice work yourself. I didn't think of using cinderblocks, but that's a nice solution. We are in a bad drought right now, but typically we get around 30" of rain per year. I don't foresee any standing water, but I will keep a close eye on it for the first few rains. I did caulk underneath the PT base when I anchored it to the slab, and all around the outside top joint (to the siding) and bottom (to the slab).

I will end up with about the same cost in materials as you did. I looked at Tuffsheds before I built the last one at my old house, and in this size (12x16) they were $5500+.

norcalrider 09-23-2011 2:15 PM

Did you use a sill gasket or any barrier between the concrete and wood?

trace 09-25-2011 7:24 PM

No vapor barrier, but certainly wouldn't have hurt to do something like that. Where were you guys a couple months ago?! :-)

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