A skid foundation is one of the simplest and very oldest types of shed foundations. It consists of hefty timbers, called skids, that are laid on the ground. The floor frame is then built atop the skids. This type of foundation is quick and easy to build and even makes it possible to move the shed by attaching chains to the skids and dragging it with a truck or tractor.
Step 1: Plan Your Design
Check the floor-frame details on your building plans to determine the correct dimensions and placement of the skids. The skids generally run the entire width of the shed, perpendicular to the floor joists. Be sure to make the skids from pressure-treated lumber, such as 4x4s, 6x6s or 8x8s. You could also make skids by nailing together three 2x6s or 2x8s and then set them on edge.
Step 2: Prepare the Site
Remove any rocks, trees, stumps, or anything else that is in your way. Put stakes in the corners and use string to outline the foundation. Allow for a 12 to 24 inch wider area than the overall size of the shed.
Step 3: Add Gravel
Remove the sod from the area and cover the bare ground with landscape fabric to combat weeds. Next, spread about 4 inches of gravel over the landscape fabric and then compact it with a hand tamper or gas-powered plate compactor. When done, check to ensure the area is level. If necessary, scrape down any high spots and fill in low areas.
Step 4: Lay Out the Skids
The number of skids and the spacing between them is determined by the size of the shed. Generally speaking, larger sheds require larger and more skids. Trim both ends of the skids at 45 degrees, and then drill a 1½-inch-diameter hole through the ends of the skids. These holes will allow you to attach a chain and move the shed to a new location. Coat the skids, especially the cut ends, with a wood preservative.
Step 5: Level the Skids
Use a 4-ft. level to level each skid along its length. Then, lay a long, straight board across from one skid to the next, and set the level on top to ensure they’re level with each other. If necessary, add or remove gravel to level up the skids.
Step 6: Anchor the Skids
Ground anchors prevent sheds from shifting out of position or being blown over by the wind. Now, you can buy anchor kits that consist of steel cables and long metal spikes that you twist or a hammer into the ground.
A skid foundation is a quick, easy and inexpensive foundation to build. Now that you have the steps to build a skid foundation, click here for information on building the floor frame.
Joseph Truini is a host on the Today’s Homeowner TV show and co-hosts the weekly Today’s Homeowner Radio Show. He has written three best-selling shed-building books and lives in Roxbury, Connecticut.