Tips For Preparing A Site For A New Storage Shed

Do you have that new shed feeling? Part warm fuzzy, part excited, part already planning all that you’ll do with your great new space.  It’s one of the best moments of your shed buying experience. Don’t let worries about prepping your shed site get in the way of your excitement. Follow our five easy prep steps and you’ll be ready to welcome your new shed with open arms.

  1. Order
  2. Measure
  3. Deliver
  4. Rake
  5. Level

Order Gravel For The Sheds Pad

Gravel pad for outdoor shedWhile you can place your shed (with or without a floor) on bare dirt, we highly recommend first laying down a gravel pad. The gravel will add a layer of moisture protection between your new structure and the ground so that water from rain and snow won’t turn your shed site into a muddy mess.

A 6-inch deep bed of ¾ in gravel base (also called ¾ in road base) will give you just the right amount of protection you and your shed need.

Contact your local quarry or landscaping company to order the stone. You’ll need enough to extend one foot past the structure on each side, so a 10×12 shed would need a 12×14 pad. The quarry or company will be able to calculate how much you need, but you can also just this formula to make a rough estimate:

Multiply the length (in feet) by the width (in feet), by the height (in feet), and divide by 27, then round up to the nearest whole number.

(L’xW’xH’) / 27 = cubic yards of crushed stone needed

(If you’d rather lay a concrete pad, we suggest an 18 inch deep monolithic slab that’s 8 inches wide with 4 inches of concrete in the middle, but you’ll need to also contact your local building department to get information on their codes.)

Measure The Sheds Pad Layout

Once you’ve ordered your gravel, you can measure out your site—remember to add that extra foot to each side of the pad.

Starting at least 2 feet away from a fence, measure the length and width of the pad, then measure diagonally to make sure your measurements are square. Use stakes or rocks to mark the corners.

For example, a 10×12 shed pad would be 14 feet long and 12 feet wide with a diagonal measurement of 18.5’.

If you’d like your pad clearly marked, consider using garden edging to make a clean, sharp border.

Delivery Of The New Shed Pad Gravel

Depending on your property, the gravel could get delivered directly onto your measured-out site, or onto your driveway or side yard. Wherever it ends up, you get to enjoy some exercise getting the gravel from the delivery site to the shed site.

Rake The Gravel For The Shed Pad

Once your gravel is on the site, do an initial leveling using your rake. Push out the gravel to reach all the corners and edges of the pad and smooth the top as level as you can. (This is when garden edging would really come in handy.)

It’s essential that your pad is level, even if your yard is not. If the ground is off-level significantly, we suggest extending your gravel more than one foot out from the shed on the lower side. This will help reduce washout after rain or snowstorms.

Level The Gravel Pad

Once you’ve extended and flattened out your gravel, it’s time to pull out your level. (We really mean business about this leveling stuff!) Level every corner and every side of the pad, adjusting the gravel as you need to. 

A great way to do this is with a 2×4 that’s a similar length as the sides. Place your level on top of the longer piece of wood and you’ll get a better picture of how level the side is as a whole.

If your site isn’t completely level when we arrive, we can level at your request, but it will incur an additional charge.


Now sit back and enjoy that new shed feeling while you wait for your Shed Yard structure to be delivered! 

Visual learner? Check out our youtube video on How To Prep Your Site For Shed Delivery where we demonstrate these five steps.

The Shed Yard is a premier shed company that provides sheds, garages, barns, animal shelters, and chicken coops.