Introduction: Scrapwood Shed Base
This instructable will show you how to make a strong base for a small 7' x 7' plastic shed. You may be able to scale this up or down to fit your needs.
This is the list contains scrap materials I used to build the platform. With a pile of scrap you will, no doubt, have to substitute or make modifications to produce something that works for you
- x2 - 7' long sections of 2"x8"
- x5 - 8' long sections of 2"x8"
- x14 - 19 1/8" long sections of 2"x8" (I ripped these in half to make x28 2"x4" sections)
- Concrete supports
- Outdoor paint oops
Other Materials Used
- x2 - 3/8" thick 4'x8' sheet of pressure treated plywood (32$)
- 1 Gallon Paint (9$)
- Tine Rake
- Spade Shovel
- Circular Saw
- Screw Gun
- 1/8" Drill Bit
- Chalk Line
- Paint brush
- Paint Can Opener
- Claw Hammer
- Adjustable Pry Bar and Nail Puller
- Saw Horses
- 3 in. Crimped Wire Wheel Brush
- Speed Square
- Tape measure
Step 1: Reclaiming Scrap
The house my family moved into recently had a few areas that needed improvement. A 7'x 7' prefab plastic shed was built on a slope directly on the clay soil and some raised garden beds were constructed and placed in the middle of the yard.
The layout for the raised beds may have worked well for the the previous owner but I found them to be difficult to care for. We used the beds the first year we moved in for a small garden but due to their close placement and having many protruding nails and metal fasteners that could injure my kids. I decided to dismantle them and place the scrap behind an old chicken coop until I could come up with a use for them. Many of the nails and screws I removed and put in an old can
The shed I found useful for storing various tools and yard items but was limited to what could be stored inside without damage. I could never close the doors due to it being built on an uneven surface and in a low area. Despite me trying to trench around the base water would invade during rainstorms anyway.
Step 2: Making a Plan
I measured the shed and found it to be 7'x7'. Next I went through the scrap pile and pulled out all the long pieces I could find that were over 7 feet long. I found 5 boards longer than 8' and 2 a little over 7'. I figured a design that would make two 7' sections for the face pieces and five 7' 9" sections as the cross pieces would make a good base with a little porch. This size will use all by a foot of 2 plywood 4' x 8' pressure treated plywood sheets I want to place on top for a floor. Depending on how stable the general design is I may want to add cross bracing to make it even more stable.
Step 3: Prepping the Scrap
I put the boards one at a time on my saw horses and examined them for screws and nails. I pulled and removed any I found. I then used my speed square to trim the boards on each side to get them down to the size. This helped get rid of the end damage like splits and the holes from when the wood was dismantled. I swept the boards off with a broom and then put a wire wheel brush in my screw gun and used it to remove any excess dirt and debris.
Step 4: Building the Frame
I set out the two 7' face board sections parallel to each other and then placed the two straightest 7' 9" cross sections between then at each end. I drilled two pilot holes in the face at each corner and started a reclaimed screw in each to tack them in place. Once I had a square frame I then used some old nails to secure it as well. This gives me the best of both fasteners since Nails will handle a load better and be less likely to sheer and screws hold boards better without slipping.
I next took my tape measure and measured across the middle from corner to corner to make sure the frame was square. Then I measured from each end of the face boards to their center 3' 6" and drilled pilot holes so I could nail in the center cross section. I repeated the process to put in the last two cross pieces. These two were badly warped so after I drilled the pilot holes and nailed one side straight I then used a clamp to lever the other end to the proper position before nailing it in.
Now that I had the frame together I decided to add cross bracing between the sections. I had a bunch of old scrap sections of 2" x 8" that I ripped down the center and cut down to fit in between. I offset each row from the one next to it so that I could nail them in.
TIP: When reusing old screws be sure the head is not stripped out or you may not be able to drive the screw in all the way. Also screws are brittle so if one is bent it is better to discard it as they are prone to break when bent back into shape or torque is applied. For reuse of old nails you can bend them back into proper shape by grabbing the head and placing the bend over a piece of wood like a sawhorse and hammering it until it straightens back to a straight position.
Step 5: Prepping the Foundation
In addition to building a base for the shed I also wanted to move it to a higher area of the yard. After I picked where I wanted to place it I raked up the leaves, pine straw, debris and loose soil. I then placed 5 bricks down in a 7' x 8' square with one in the center. Using a straight piece of lumber as and a level on the top I bridged the gap between each brick to determine if I needed to remove soil to make it level. A few areas needed soil removed so I used my spade shovel and hoe to remove an area the size of my support blocks under the bricks. I removed soil and rechecked the level until the bubble was centered every way. Finally I placed the support blocks on place of the small bricks.
Step 6: Test Fitting
I placed the frame on top of my support blocks and checked one more time with the level. Amazingly all was still level! I lifted the corners up and placed a brick under so that I could easily finish the frame without having to move it again.
Step 7: Painting the Framework
With bricks under each corner I cold reach all the areas to paint. Since I am using old scrap wood for my project I believe adding some outdoor paint or stain will help it last longer as well as look better. Some of the local hardware stores in my area sell paint that the colors were mixed improperly or paint returned by the customer for a steep discount. I try to check when I am there for colors I like to use in future projects. This time I found a gallon of brown exterior Valspar paint marked down from $45 all the way to $9. I painted the frame and had enough left over to also paint the face of the 4' x 8' pressure treated plywood I purchased to complete act as a floor.
Step 8: Fitting the Subfloor
I placed my 4' x 8' pressure treated plywood on top of the frame and put screws in the front edge working my way to the back. The plywood is a foot wider on one side and I put a chalk line across the overhanging section to mark it for trimming with my circular saw. Once I finished trimming the edge I touched up the edges and and any damaged or scuffed areas with my paint.
Step 9: Moving the Shed Onto the Base
The shed move was easier than I thought. 24 screws attach the walls to the roof. My wife and I were able to lift it straight off and walk to the new site with it over our heads. The walls all slide into slots on the edges of the plastic floor base. The plastic floor base had sunk into the dirt far enough I had to dig it out and spray off clay clods in the slots. While I was spraying the slots I gave the rest of it a through cleaning as well.
I placed the plastic floor on my wooden base and all the parts slid into it easier than they came apart. We set the roof back on top and reattached it. The doors were able to close and lock for the first time since we have been moved in. To keep it from sliding on the wooden base I screwed the plastic floor to the wooden one in each corner and in the middle.
Participated in the
Scraps Speed Challenge