Shed Base: Concrete Slab or Gravel?

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Concrete shed base or gravel shed base? Which is best? It all depends. Both foundations have their pros and cons of course. Which foundation works best depends on your situation, land, and needs, not necessarily on the foundation itself.

Things to Consider

Is this a permanent or temporary location? If you're planning on moving the shed or using it as storage until another structure is built, consider using a gravel foundation. The gravel is easier to remove and move than tearing up a concrete slab.

What do local zoning and building ordinances say? Some locales consider any building, no matter how small or large, to be a permanent structure if it is erected on a concrete slab. This may or may not matter to you, but if you don't want to declare your shed permanent, consider a gravel base.

How much do I want to spend? Consider the cost, both of labor and materials, of creating a concrete slab versus a gravel foundation.

How large is my shed? Most backyard sheds only need a gravel base. Larger sheds, particularly those used to hold heavy equipment, may do better with a concrete base.

Pros of Concrete Bases

  • Permanent
  • Stable and non-shifting
  • Consistently level when properly installed
  • Provide more than adequate foundation for any size shed or structure

Cons of Concrete Bases

  • Permanent
  • Expensive
  • May crack if not installed properly
  • Most backyard storage sheds aren't large enough to require concrete slabs

Pros of Gravel Bases

  • Temporary
  • Inexpensive
  • Easily moved when necessary
  • Allowed in areas where zoning may restrict shed construction otherwise

Cons of Gravel Bases

  • Temporary
  • Tend to erode with time
  • Not as stable as concrete
  • Time, weather and shifts in soil affect level