Sheds are an integral part of your home and are used for various purposes. It is tedious building a shed every time you build a new house or if you want to move its location within your compound.
Skids are pressure-treated lumber that comes in sizes like 4×4, 4×6, and 8×8 that are placed in between the ground base and the shed and are used to either skid the shed or lift the shed to a different location. And helps keep the air circulated under the shed to get rid of any unwanted moisture.
Don’t fret; skid foundations will ease this frustration, and I will tell you everything you need to know about skids in your shed.
Do You Need a Skid Foundation for Your Shed?
Are you scratching your head, wondering if you really need a skid foundation for your shed? The answer, my friend, is not a simple one. It depends on a multitude of factors that can leave you feeling dizzy with confusion. Will your shed be used for heavy equipment or just storage? What’s the climate like where you live? How level is your ground?
The questions keep coming, and the answers are as elusive as a butterfly in a hurricane. It’s enough to make your head spin. But fear not. With some research and expert advice, you can determine whether a skid foundation is necessary for your shed or if you can get by with a simpler solution.
Will your shed be used for heavy equipment or just storage?
The purpose of your shed is an important consideration when deciding whether you need a skid foundation. If you’re planning to store heavy equipment like lawnmowers or ATVs, you may need a more robust foundation to support the weight. A skid foundation provides a sturdy base that can handle heavy loads and is also easy to install. However, if you’re just using your shed for storage, you may be able to get away with a simpler foundation like gravel or a concrete pad.
What’s the climate like where you live?
The climate in your area can also impact whether you need a skid foundation for your shed. If you live in an area with a lot of moisture, like a coastal region or a place with frequent rain or snow, a skid foundation may be necessary to prevent moisture damage. The skids elevate the shed off the ground, which can help prevent water from seeping in and causing rot. However, if you live in a dry climate with little rain, a simpler foundation may suffice.
How level is your ground?
The level of your ground is another important consideration when deciding whether you need a skid foundation. If your ground is sloped or uneven, a skid foundation can be a good option because it can help level out the shed and prevent it from settling. Additionally, skids can provide stability on soft ground like soil or sand. However, if your ground is already fairly level, a simpler foundation may be sufficient.
Limitations of Skids on Your Shed
Are you feeling a bit frustrated about the limitations of skids on your shed? Well, you’re not alone. While skid foundations are a popular choice for many shed owners, they do come with some potential drawbacks that can leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed. For one, skids are not as permanent as other types of foundations, which means they may shift or settle over time. This can lead to uneven floors or gaps between the skids and the ground, which can allow moisture or critters to enter your shed
Skids are typically not as strong as other types of foundations, which means they may not support as much weight. If you plan on storing heavy equipment or using your shed as a workspace, a skid foundation may not be the best choice.
These factors can leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. But don’t worry, with some careful consideration and expert advice, you can determine whether skids are the right choice for your shed or if you should explore other options.
Below is a list of things to check regularly.
- Regularly check the level of your shed and make any necessary adjustments to the skids to prevent settling or shifting.
- Use a moisture barrier like plastic sheeting or a gravel base beneath the skids to prevent moisture from seeping in.
- Seal any gaps between the skids and the ground with caulk or other sealants to prevent critters from entering your shed.
- Consider reinforcing your skids with additional supports or using larger skids to increase their strength and weight capacity.
- Evaluate whether a skid foundation is the best choice for your shed based on factors like intended use, climate, and ground conditions.
- Consult with an expert, such as a shed builder or contractor, to determine the best type of foundation for your specific needs and circumstances.
- Regularly maintain your shed and its foundation to prevent any potential issues from becoming more serious problems over time.
What Is The Best Type of Wood For Skids?
With choosing the best type of wood for skids on your shed, there are several factors to consider. One important consideration is the wood’s strength and durability, as skids need to support the weight of your shed and resist damage from the elements.
Some popular choices for skids include pressure-treated lumber, cedar, and redwood, as these woods are known for their resistance to rot and decay. Another consideration is the availability and cost of the wood, as some types may be more affordable or readily available in your area than others.
It’s enough to make you overwhelmed with all the options and variables to consider. But with some careful research and expert advice, you can determine the best type of wood for your skids based on your specific needs and circumstances. Whether you’re looking for a high-end, long-lasting option or a budget-friendly choice, there’s a wood out there that can meet your needs
How to Build Your Shed on Skids
After careful consideration of where you want to place your shed and skids, it is time to build the foundation.
Plan Your Skids and Their Dimensions
The size of your shed and its floor joist plan is crucial in determining the dimensions of your skids. A lightweight 6 x 8 shed will require a different set of skids compared to a sturdier 10 x 12 shed. Skids typically run the length of the shed, enabling the narrow frontage to be pulled with ease during movement. This maneuverability allows for better gate and passageway fit, adding an extra layer of complexity to the skid-sizing saga.
There’s more. The purpose of your shed is also a determining factor in skid dimensions. If you plan to store heavy items, your skids must be up to the task. In fact, the weight of your stored items directly correlates with the sturdiness of your skids. It’s recommended to opt for pressure-treated lumber or cedar skids, ensuring they can withstand the weight of your hefty possessions.
But before you break out the power tools, take heed. While sheds are often considered temporary structures, adding skids could warrant a building permit, inspection, or a need to follow specific codes. It’s essential to consult with your local authorities before building to ensure compliance with any regulations. This is especially critical if you plan on converting your shed into a living area, as some areas prohibit temporary living structures. Don’t take chances with the law; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Prepare Your Building Site
Firstly, you’ll need to ensure that the location for your skids and shed is on solid, flat ground. This means clearing out any pesky rocks, stumps, or obstructions that might impede your shed’s movement. But that’s not all. For proper drainage, the area surrounding your shed should be between 12 to 24 inches wide to allow for efficient runoff during rainy seasons.
However, beware! It’s ill-advised to choose a site that’s muddy or marshy as the proximity to water can cause your skids to deteriorate and rot over time. This means you’ll have to replace them sooner than anticipated, which can be a costly burden on your budget.
If your site happens to have a slight slope, don’t panic. You can adjust the skids to level up on both sides, providing suitable drainage and runoff. But before you start celebrating, make sure to flatten out any rough spots within the slope for easy leveling and movement.
Prepare Your Base
Once you’ve cleared the site of all rocks and obstacles, it’s time to get rid of any pesky weeds and remove the sod. But that’s not all. You’ll need to cover the area with landscape fabric, followed by a hefty layer of pit-run or pea gravel, or one inch of crusher-run gravel.
But wait, there’s more. You’ll need a whopping three cubic yards of gravel to ensure a six-inch thick and compact base, ideal for your skids. If you’re not satisfied with the manual outcome, you can opt to use a power compactor to get the job done.
But why all this effort, you ask? The compacted gravel will provide an excellent base with efficient drainage for your skids, ensuring a sturdy foundation for your shed. However, don’t get too excited just yet. It’s essential to use a plank to check if the ground is level before moving forward.
Prepare and Lay the Skids
To prepare and lay the skids, it is important to choose the appropriate dimensions and pressure-treated lumber to ensure the stability and durability of the building or structure. Additionally, it is crucial to apply wood preservatives to the skids to prevent rot and termite damage.
Once the skids are ready, they should be cut at both ends to a 45-degree angle to facilitate movement. To make it easier to pull the skids, it is recommended to drill a one-inch hole on both ends, approximately four inches from the end, and attach a pull chain.
Finally, to reduce lateral stress during pulling, 4 x 4 cross braces of pressure-treated lumber should be attached between the skids. Proper preparation and installation of the skids are essential for building a solid foundation for any structure.
The 4 x 4 lumber also connects the skids together.
To ensure proper installation, it is recommended that the skids run the entire length of the shed and are the same length as the shed’s floor. The angled ends and holes on both sides of the skids allow the shed to be pulled from either direction, providing unrestricted movement.
The skids should be positioned approximately 12 to 16 inches from the edge of the shed’s floor, with a distance of 6 feet between them if using a 2 x 6-floor joist. If the distance is greater than 6 feet, additional skids should be added between the outer two skids with equal spacing.
For example, a 10 x 12 shed would require three 12-foot long skids, while an 8 x 12 shed would need two skids of the same length. By following these guidelines, the skids can provide a solid foundation for the shed or any structure, ensuring long-lasting durability and stability.
Level the Skids
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to place and secure skids for a shed and have it level:
- Start by placing the skids on the gravel, parallel to each other, and lining up their ends. If the site is sloped, begin with a skid on the lower end of the slope.
- Add or remove gravel as needed to level the skid along its length. Check the level of the skids using a spirit level.
- Level the subsequent skid by placing a plank perpendicular from the level skid to the non-leveled one. Make sure that the skids are level lengthwise and are of the same size.
- Aim to use only a few skids for your shed, as they are easier to level than when using many skids.
- Once the skids are level and in place, take planks and lay them across both ends of the skids and in the middle to secure them. Ensure that the planks are flush with the top of the skids.
- Take 4 x 4 pressure-treated cross braces and fit them between the skids in the middle and both ends.
- Use a coach screw to secure 4 x 4s between the skids. These cross braces will prevent the skids from pulling inward when you pull the shed, and they also securely connect the skids to each other so they won’t come apart.
By following these steps, you can place and secure skids for your shed or structure effectively. Properly installed skids provide a stable and durable foundation, ensuring that your shed or structure lasts for many years.
Anchor the Skids
When building a shed on skids, it is important to remember that it needs to be secured properly to prevent it from moving during extreme weather. Unlike regular sheds that are anchored down, sheds on skids require different anchoring solutions.
If your shed is not properly tied down, strong winds or other external forces could easily move around it. This could lead to potential damage to your shed and surrounding property. To prevent this from happening, you can anchor your shed with an anchor kit that hammers into the ground with heavy cables threaded through the skid’s holes, securing the skid to the ground.
You can also drill through the skid’s ends and hammer rebar through them, anchoring the skids and the shed to the ground. Chaining your shed to trees is another option, but it is not always a reliable solution.
It is important to choose the right anchoring method based on the size and weight of your shed, as well as the weather in your area, to ensure your shed is secure and protected from damage.
Skid foundations provide a simple and effective way to support a shed while allowing for easy relocation. However, the decision to use skids depends on various factors such as the intended use of the shed, climate, and ground conditions.
Skids come with some limitations, such as potential shifting or settling over time, which can lead to uneven floors or gaps between the skids and the ground. Regular maintenance, such as checking the level of the shed and sealing gaps, can help prevent these issues.
When selecting the best type of wood for skids, it is important to consider strength and durability, as well as cost and availability. With careful consideration and expert advice, you can determine whether skids are the best choice for your shed and select the appropriate wood for your skids