How To Prepare Your Garden For A Shed

Before bringing a shed into your garden, it is crucial to adequately prepare the ground space on which you plan to position it. Failure to do so can result in instability and potentially ruin the area for future use. In this guide, we will provide you with a step-by-step process for preparing a concrete base for your shed.

Step 1- Choosing The Right Spot

Evaluate the ground: Select a level area of ground or an area that can be easily levelled out. Slopes and rocky terrain can pose challenges when trying to create a stable base.

Accessibility: Ensure that the chosen position allows easy access to the shed. Make sure there are no obstructions, such as pre-existing features that are difficult to move. Consider all sides of the shed, as you may need to repair or maintain it in the future. Take into account walls, fences, trees, bushes, and boggy ground.

Utility connections: If your shed requires water and/or electricity, ensure that the chosen spot can accommodate these needs conveniently.

Step 2- Clearing The Area

Trim trees and shrubs: Cut back and prune any trees or shrubs that surround the designated area. This will prevent them from obstructing the shed during installation.

Weed removal: Carefully remove any weeds from the area. While most weeds are harmless, some may have strong and persistent roots that can damage the shed's base over time.

Level the ground: Make the area as level as possible. If you cannot achieve a completely flat surface, it can be addressed during the ground preparation phase.


Step 3- Creating The Base

There are three popular methods for preparing the ground for a shed, including the use of concrete, paving slabs and an instant shed base. Here, we will focus on the concrete base option.

Constructing a concrete base for a shed:

  1. Planning: Determine the size of the shed and calculate the dimensions of the required base. The base should extend slightly beyond the shed's footprint to provide stability.

  2. Marking the area: Use stakes and string to mark the perimeter of the shed's base on the ground. This will serve as a guide during the excavation process.

  3. Excavation: Dig out the marked area to a depth of approximately 10-15 cm. Remove any vegetation, rocks, or debris from the excavated area.

  4. Creating shuttering: Construct shuttering around the excavated area using wooden boards or metal edging. This will contain the concrete during pouring and ensure a neat and even base.

  5. Adding a sub-base: Fill the excavated area with a layer of hardcore, MOT Type 1 or crushed stone to create a stable sub-base. Compact the sub-base using a tamper or plate compactor to ensure it is firm and level.

  6. Installing reinforcement (optional): For added strength, you may choose to install a steel mesh or rebar grid within the sub-base before pouring the concrete. This will help prevent cracking and improve the overall durability of the base.

  7. Mixing and pouring the concrete: Use 5 parts ballast to 1 part cemnt and mix in water to create a wet mix. Pour the concrete into the shuttering, ensuring it is evenly spread and fills the entire area. Use a straightedge or float to level the surface of the concrete.

  8. Curing and drying: Allow the concrete base to cure and dry for the recommended time - allow at least 48 hours as a general guide. Ensure the base is protected from rain, direct sunlight, and extreme temperatures during this period.

  9. Removing shuttering: Once the concrete has fully cured and dried, carefully remove the shuttering. Start by removing any screws or nails holding the shuttering in place. Gently pry or tap the boards or edging to loosen them from the concrete. Take care not to damage the edges of the base during this process.

  10. Finishing touches: Inspect the concrete base for any rough edges or imperfections. Use a trowel or float to smooth out any uneven areas or fill in small gaps. This will ensure a clean and professional-looking finish. You are now ready to install your shed. 

A concrete shed base creates a sturdy long time solution however it's the most costly and time consuming to install. 

Using paving slabs as a shed base:

Paving slabs provide a relatively quick and versatile solution for a shed base. Here's how you can use them:

  1. Clear the area: Prepare the ground by clearing any vegetation, rocks, or debris. Ensure the area is level and compacted.

  2. Mark the area: Use stakes and string to mark the perimeter of the shed base on the ground.

  3. Excavate the area: Dig out to around 150mm deep. 

  4. Add sub-base: Apply a layer of MOT Type 1 and compact to a depth of around 100mm

  5. Add mortar: Mix up 6 parts sharp sand to 1 part cement and make a wet mortar that forms a ball in your hand. Add this to create a full bed under each paving slab. 

  6. Lay the paving slabs: Start at one corner and lay the slabs in a grid pattern. Use a rubber mallet to tap them gently into place and a spirit level to check for a level surface.

  7. Leave to dry: Allow to dry for around 24-48 hours before pointing between the slabs

  8. Fill the gaps: Fill the gaps between the slabs with sand and cement mortar or a specialist jointing compound. 

Paving slabs provide a solid and removable base for your shed, allowing for easy relocation if needed.

Using Probase Quickbase as a shed base:

Probase Quickbase is a prefabricated plastic grid system designed specifically for shed bases. Here's how it can be used:

  1. Clear the area: Prepare the ground by clearing vegetation, rocks, and debris. Ensure the area is level and compacted.

  2. Lay a weed-proof membrane: To prevent weeds from growing through the Quickbase system, lay the weed-proof membrane that comes with the product over the cleared area.

  3. Place the Quickbase grids: Lay the Probase Quickbase grids on the membrane, interlocking them to form a stable and level surface.

  4. Fill the grids: Fill the grids with a suitable aggregate, such as pea gravel or crushed stone, to provide stability and drainage.

  5. Read to go: You're now ready to install your shed!

Probase Quickbase offers a lightweight, quick to install, cost effective, durable, and low-maintenance option for a shed base, allowing for proper ventilation and drainage. It's also easily removable so you can move your shed to a new location quickly and easily. 


In conclusion, a concrete base provides excellent stability and durability, ensuring a long-lasting foundation for your shed. It is a permanent solution that can withstand heavy loads and offers minimal maintenance. However, it requires more time and effort to prepare, is more costly, and may be less flexible if you need to relocate the shed in the future.

Paving slab bases offer a versatile and relatively quick option. They provide a solid and removable base, allowing for easy relocation if needed. Paving slabs also offer aesthetic appeal and can be easily replaced if damaged. However, they may not be as sturdy as a concrete base, and if not properly installed, the slabs can shift or sink over time.

Probase Quickbase provides a lightweight and easy-to-install solution. The prefabricated plastic grids create a stable and level surface, offering good ventilation and drainage for the shed. Probase Quickbase is also removable and can be reused if you decide to relocate your shed. It's designed to support evenly distributed weight so is suitable for most applications.

Consider your specific needs and preferences, including the shed size, expected load, desired flexibility, and the level of effort and maintenance you are willing to undertake. This will help you determine which shed base system, whether it's a concrete base, paving slab base, or Probase Quickbase, best suits your requirements.

Do you have any advice for preparing a garden for a shed? Share your ideas in the comments section below!