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How to Anchor A Shed To Any Foundation type

Taking the time to properly anchor your shed is one of the most overlooked steps in planning a shed install, so be sure to take the time to do it right before you start. Whether you are a knowledgeable DIY homeowner, or a Backyard Workspace newbie, you might be surprised to learn that there are several different methods for properly attaching your shed to the landscape around it. 

After all, anchoring your shed increases its stability, makes it safer for occupants, and prevents your shed from being damaged by the weather. It may even prevent it from ending up in your neighbor’s yard after a windstorm!  

Perhaps most importantly, properly anchoring your shed to the ground may also be required by your local building codes. 

Whether anchoring your shed to a concrete slab, directly into the soil, or onto a gravel foundation, be sure to use an approved method for your situation. Most experts agree that securing your shed to a gravel foundation with concrete pillars is the most practical and inexpensive way to anchor a shed. 

Be sure to check your local regulations before building or placing a shed onto your property. Once you know what is required, use the information in this article to determine the best method for anchoring your shed to the ground. 

How To Anchor A Shed to a Concrete Slab

Pouring a concrete slab is by far the safest, most stable platform for any structure. 

Having concrete installed is expensive, however. It is also permanent, so if you aren’t certain that you want your shed in one location forever, concrete might not be the best idea.   

If you already have a concrete slab in place, your local regulations require it, or you have room in your budget, select one of the following methods to securely fasten your shed to concrete. 

Expansion bolts with L brackets 

Some prefabricated sheds will already have L-shaped brackets installed on the lower rim of their interior. It’s always best to use the manufacturer’s attachment points, if possible. 

If your shed doesn’t already have mounting brackets installed, select enough L-shaped brackets of the appropriate size to properly tie down your shed. 

anchor shed to concrete
Anchor shed to Concrete

How to install expansion bolts 

Step #1. Attach to the frame

Use carriage bolts or lag screws to install the brackets onto the bottom frame of the shed every 4 to 6 feet apart. 

Step #2. Drill into the concrete slab

Use a hammer drill and the correct-sized masonry bit to drill holes through the bottom slots of the L brackets into the concrete slab. Make sure you hold the drill as vertically as possible, and take your time. Double check that your holes are the correct depth. 

Step #3. Fasten the bolts 

Place the expansion bolts into the holes, and tighten with a crescent wrench or a ratchet with the correct-sized socket to expand the bolts in their holes. 

Step #4 (Optional). Trim the bolts

Use a hacksaw or angle grinder to trim off the exposed threads from the tops of the expansion bolts. 

Masonry screws and T straps 

An option for smaller sheds is to simply attach T-shaped metal brackets, called “straps”, to the outer “skids”, or supports of the shed, and the outer perimeter of the concrete slab. 

How to install T straps

Step #1. Attach to the frame

Attach the straps to the shed with drywall screws. Install them in an upright “T” shape, with two points of contact secured to the wooden frame of the shed. 

Step #2. Drill into the concrete slab

Use a hammer drill and the correct-sized masonry bit to drill a hole into the concrete where it comes into contact with the lower slot of the T strap. 

Step #3. Fasten the screws

Use an impact driver to fasten the masonry screws through the T strap and into the concrete.

Expert Tip: Buy an extra masonry bit before you start drilling into concrete, especially if you plan on anchoring in several places. Masonry bits dull easily, and thinner ones are prone to breakage. 

How to Anchor Shed to Ground

Anchoring a Shed to Soil 

If you are on a tight budget, choosing to secure your shed directly into the soil of your backyard is the most inexpensive option.  

You will need to be extra cautious of exposure to the elements and pests if you go this route, however. To protect your investment, be sure to install a plastic moisture barrier between the ground and the bottom of the shed. 

Take the time to look over your local building code, as well. While most prefab plastic sheds will be fine to install directly onto your lawn, many municipalities prohibit wooden-framed structures from coming into contact with the soil. 

Ground augers 

Regardless of whether the manufacturer of your shed suggests it or not, it’s always a good idea to fasten your new purchase to the earth with a set of ground augers

Although there are several brands of ground augers on the market, their basic principle is the same. They consist of a length of metal rod with a corkscrew-shaped attachment that is inserted into the ground on the bottom end, and a loop or attachment point for a length of cable at the top end. 

How to install ground augers 

Step #1. Screw into the ground 

Depending on the type of auger you purchase, you will either need to connect a power drill to the top of the auger, or pass a length of rod through a loop at the top to screw the auger into the ground. Be careful to avoid drilling into rocky areas. 

Step #2. Cut and crimp cables 

Determine where you will attach your steel cables to the shed. Cut the cables with enough extra length to create a wire crimp on both ends. 

Step #3. Attach the cables

Loop the crimped end of one cable through the top of the ground auger. Extend the cable to its attachment point on the shed, and pull tight. Mark the length and install a wire crimp on the cable. Attach to the shed. 

Step #4. Repeat Step #3 for each cable and auger  

Expert Tip: One of the most secure ways to tie a shed down to the earth is to pass the length of steel cable over or through the top of the shed and connect it to a ground auger on the opposite side. 

Mobile home tie downs

Another good method for anchoring a shed directly to the soil is to use mobile home tie downs. Since these heavy-duty straps are considered safe for residential use, they are certainly strong enough to hold a backyard shed! 

There are a variety of mobile home tie downs that can be connected to just about any type of ground auger or concrete anchor. 

The ground auger attachment system and mobile home tie downs can also be useful when installing lighter sheds onto a gravel foundation.

Expert Tip: Avoid anchoring your shed to pavers! Pavers may be fine for a lightweight, temporary structure in an area that gets very little wind. As a rule, however, if you can lift it, the wind can too! 

Anchoring a Shed to Gravel 

Anchoring a shed to a gravel foundation is often accepted as the least expensive and most practical method for most homeowners. 

After all, gravel is cheap, and when properly installed it can provide an extremely sturdy base for a lightweight structure. It also allows for excellent drainage (even better than concrete!). 

Perhaps the most appealing characteristic of a gravel foundation is the ease of installation— Any homeowner with intermediate construction skills can build one, and it only requires common hand tools to complete the project. 

Expert Tip: Whichever anchoring system you choose, be sure to have your project inspected by your local permit office BEFORE you lay down gravel on top of it! 

Ground augers 

As described above, ground augers may be perfectly suitable for securing your shed into the soil below your gravel foundation. 

Concrete piers or pillars

The most suitable method for anchoring a shed to a gravel foundation is taking the time to properly install concrete piers, or pillars, and connecting the frame of the shed directly to them. You might also hear these structures referred to as footings, pilings, or bollards. 

How to anchor shed to gravel
How to anchor shed to gravel

How to install concrete piers 

Step #1. Determine how many piers you will need 

Installing one pier under each corner is fine for smaller sheds. For more support, you will need piers along the length of larger structures as well. Your shed’s manufacturer and your local permitting office will help you determine how many piers are required. 

Step #2. Dig the holes for concrete piers 

Use a post-hole digger or rent a two-man earth auger to dig or drill the holes below the frost line. This is generally 3-4 feet below the level of your lawn. Passing below the frost line will help to prevent your concrete piers from moving. 

Step #3. Insert sonotubes 

Insert appropriate-sized sonotubes into the holes, and add 6 inches of gravel to the bottom of the holes. Make sure the tops of the sonotubes are all the same height, since this is where your shed will be anchored. 

Step #4. Fill with concrete

Mix enough Quikrete or other fast-setting concrete mix to fill each sonotube to the top. Insert anchor bolts or brackets before the concrete hardens. Be sure to align your bolts or brackets to the proper orientation for the shed layout. 

Step #5. Install the gravel and attach the shed

Once the concrete is fully cured, you can install the gravel over it, making certain to leave space around the anchor bolts or brackets. Move the shed onto the anchors and fasten it to the concrete piers. Fill in and level any empty spaces with extra gravel. 

For a visual guide on how to prepare and install a gravel shed foundation, check out this informative YouTube video: 

Check out more detailed instructions on how to build a sturdy gravel foundation for your shed.

Regardless of which type of foundation you have, or which method you use to anchor your shed to the ground, if you take the time to do it properly you can rest assured that your structure has a safe, stable footing that will last for many years!