In this guide we’ll take a look at the best shed bases on the market.
I’ve compared build quality, ease of construction and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What is the Best Shed Base?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
This Eco Deck Garden Shed Base comes with a well-designed grid, made from recycled materials, and a membrane sheet. It measures 2.5 x 1.85 m (other sizes are also available). Your shed will be kept elevated and unaffected by damp, and this base can also be used to create accessible pathways.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Shed Base Reviews
Eco Deck Garden Shed Base Grid 8 x 6 Feet Review
This Eco Deck Garden Shed Base consists of a sturdy black plastic grid and a membrane sheet.
It comes with all you need to construct a base for a shed of 2.5 x 1.85 m, and additional sizes are available. The grid can also be used to make paths that are suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs, mobility scooters and even cars.
This plastic shed base is made in the UK from recycled materials, making it a more environmentally conscious choice than concrete.
I found this plastic shed base easy to install. Of course, the area must first be made level first, but after that you simply put down the membrane and connect the plastic grids.
Connectors for the grids come supplied, but I found these a little flimsy and fiddly. So, instead of using them I used heavy-duty cable ties to connect the grids and it worked a treat.
The grids can also be filled in with sand or pea gravel for extra stability, but the kit provides a good sturdy base, with plenty of drainage and ventilation even without infilling.
This kit makes it easy to construct a sturdy base for your shed, without the need for major excavation or concrete pouring.
It has a great design, perfect for keeping your shed elevated and stopping it coming into contact with damp.
This plastic shed base will also be longer lasting than a wooden one, and it’s definitely easier to construct. Plus, it has the added benefit of being made in the UK from recycled materials, so you feel like you’re doing your bit for the planet too!
CrazyGadget Garden Shed Base Grid 5 Square Meter Review
This CrazyGadget Garden Shed Base 20 plastic grids that connect together to make a secure base of 5 m². The grids can be infilled with pea shingle to provide extra stability in windy or exposed conditions.
When filled in with pea shingle, this base is also suitable for creating paths and driveways.
This particular base does not come with a weed membrane, so it is advisable to buy one separately to prevent weeds from growing up through the grid.
The grids are very sturdy and strong, designed for use in heavy-duty situations like car parks. They are easy to connect together and create a base in very little time without much effort.
Each grid section measures 0.5 m, so you can piece together as many as you require to create a strong, stable base for your shed.
Hawklok Garden Shed Base with Membrane 6 x 4 Feet Review
This Hawklok Garden Shed Base comes with 6 grids, creating enough platform for a 1.8 x 1.2 m shed.
As well as the grids, a weed membrane comes included. This prevents weeds and grass growing through the base and ensures the area stays well ventilated and dry.
The grids are made from 100% recycled plastic making this an eco-friendly option for your garden.
All in all, it’s an extremely easy shed base to install, taking less than half an hour to lay out the membrane and click the grid pieces together. Of course, you do have to level the area first.
With this base, Hawklok provides a simple, eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to laying a concrete or wooden base.
This is one of the best shed bases for keeping your shed level and free of damp.
Things to Know Before Buying a Shed Base
A firm, level base is the essential starting point for any shed or garden building.
A good shed base will make it easier to construct the shed itself, ensures that all doors line up and open smoothly, and keeps damp away from the structure.
When it comes to shed bases, there are different styles and different materials that can be used, so I’ve put together the following information to help you find the best shed base for your garden:
Why use a shed base in the first place? Let’s have a look at the main reasons:
- Using a shed base can extend the life of your shed by protecting it from damp and subsidence. Having invested several hundred pounds in a new shed, you will want it to last as long as possible so don’t skimp on a base.
- Without a base, water can cause damage. Wooden structures soon begin to rot when in constant contact with damp earth and metal structures will likely succumb to rust very quickly.
- Even if you have levelled out the ground, if you don’t use a base you may find that the soil moves and your shed does not stay level. This will cause the building to warp, and doors and windows will become distorted, failing to open and close properly.
- Some sheds do not come with a floor so a shed base can be used to anchor the shed and also stop excess moisture affecting the structure.
Traditionally, sheds have been constructed on a base made of concrete poured over a sub-base. Alternative options are to lay a paved area, use plastic grids, or build a wooden frame. So, which option makes the best shed base?
Concrete has often been a popular choice for shed bases because it creates a very solid, flat surface and keeps insects out. It can take a lot of weight if installed correctly.
However, it’s not as waterproof as you might initially think – concrete is porous and this means that water can absorb into it. This can lead to wooden sheds rotting over time, or increase the likelihood of damp. Concrete will also be prone to crack if the absorbed water freezes and expands.
The permanent nature of concrete is both a blessing and a curse – it won’t require a lot of maintenance, but if you want to move your shed, you’ll be stuck with a concrete plinth in the garden.
You’ll likely want to get a professional in to do the job, if you go for a concrete base. This will give you the best chance of laying the concrete in a way that ensures it won’t crack and is as strong as possible.
Concrete can also be quite expensive, even without professional installation, so it definitely isn’t the most budget-friendly shed base material.
Finally, many people have been put off concrete in recent years because it creates a lot of CO2. In fact, around 5% of the world’s total CO2 emissions come from the making of concrete. So, it’s becoming something that a lot of people are looking to cut back on.
Using paving slabs as a shed base can create a level and structurally-sound foundation. However, the process of laying slabs can be tricky, especially if you’re not familiar with how to do it.
You will first need to dig an area to place the slabs in, making sure it is completely level, and the process will still require you to use cement. To create a really water-tight finish, you’ll need to point the slabs (fill in the gaps with mortar and cement), so again this isn’t the most eco-friendly shed base.
Simply placing slabs on the ground and then putting your shed on top will spell disaster in terms of damp. If you want to use paving slabs as a base, it’s better to go to the effort of doing it properly – otherwise it’ll only end up costing you more in the long run.
A plastic shed base is an effective, low-cost, easy-to-install option. Some people don’t like plastic because of how it looks, but it can be quite well disguised by filling it in with gravel.
Using plastic grids might not sound environmentally friendly, but it’s actually one of the more planet-conscious options – a lot of manufacturers make their grids from recycled materials. If you make sure that this applies to the plastic base that you buy, it can really cut down on your shed base’s carbon footprint.
In terms of installation, a plastic shed base can be assembled easily, taking just minutes to put in place (as long as the ground underneath has been levelled first!). They can be laid on grass, sand, or pea shingle, eliminating the need for expensive excavation, concrete pouring, or constructing a wooden base. Plastic bases come in the form of interlocking grids which simply clip together.
Some people choose to strengthen the connections of the base further by using cable ties, so you can really create a very sturdy and stable platform with a plastic base.
The nature of the grids means that they work well to provide drainage and ventilation around the shed, keeping it elevated off the ground. You can use gravel to improve drainage, and you won’t need as much gravel as you would if you made the base out of a wooden frame filled with gravel.
To create a wooden frame as a shed base, you will need to construct a wooden boundary, and then fill it with gravel.
A wooden frame offers good drainage and is relatively environmentally friendly (just make sure the wood is responsibly sourced and FSC approved). Whilst not as easy to put together as a plastic base, wooden frames can still be assembled by most people with basic DIY skills.
Seeing as the shed will sit on top of gravel, any water will easily drain away from the structure. Therefore, a wooden base is pretty good at stopping damp or rot becoming an issue in your shed.
Compared to using a plastic base filled with gravel, with a wooden frame you will need to purchase a lot more gravel to ensure there is enough to create a really firm base. This is also where wooden bases can have problems; if insufficient gravel is used, it can shift and won’t offer a stable support for your shed.
Wood needs to be treated to protect it from insects and rot; therefore, there is some maintenance involved in having a wooden base. You will need to treat the wood before laying it, and continue to do so every year.
Damp-proof membrane should be placed between the ground and the shed base.
This adds another effective layer that will protect your shed against damp.
The more distance you can put between your shed and the ground, the better. Damp-proof membrane creates an effective barrier between the damp of the ground and the base of your shed.
If weeds and grass grow under the shed this makes the area damp which can ultimately cause rotting or rusting of your shed.
Check the measurements of your shed and allow for a little extra when choosing the base, this will help ensure proper drainage and ventilation.
If your chosen shed base option does not provide a membrane, you will need to buy this separately. No matter what type of base you go for, you’ll want to lay a membrane to improve the way your shed base protects your shed from damp.
Again, you should buy slightly more membrane than the size of the space. You’ll want it to cover any edges so as not to leave any gaps. It’s always better to buy more membrane and trim it than not have enough. You may even use a double layer.
Shed Base FAQs
In addition to the plastic base of your choice, and a damp-proof membrane, you will need some basic digging tools for levelling the area. You will also need a tape measure, pegs and string to mark out the area and a long spirit level to check you have created a level area to install your base.
You may also want to buy some pea shingle to fill in the grids; this isn’t entirely necessary, but it can improve the appearance of the base and help with drainage.
- Begin by measuring the site and making sure it is square.
- Hammer pegs into each corner. Attach string to the pegs to mark out the whole area.
- If you need to remove turf do this with a spade or turf cutter.
- Once you have marked out the site, check that it is level and dig out any bumps until you have created a square, level site for your shed base.
- Lay the plastic membrane smoothly across the area.
- Install the plastic base – this is usually simply a matter of clicking it together with connecting pins. You can also use heavy-duty cable ties if you prefer.
- Once the base is finished, trim away any excess membrane.
- For extra stability, infill the plastic grids with builder’s sand or pea shingle.
You can dig out an area before installing the plastic base, so the grids will be hidden underground. If the base is slightly larger than the shed – as ideally it should be – simply fill it in and cover the visible grids with pea shingle.
Alternatively, you can cover the edges of the grids with some wooden trim and then infill the grids with pea shingle.