The grading on our property had a ditch at the north side. Unfortunately it was in the area where a planned shed was going to go. We could not alter our grading because of the municipal engineering for water drainage. So a base was required (with footings) to lift the shed above the grade.

Before starting any project like this, you need a plan – like this []. Please feel free to download, use, and modify for your own application – you will need Adobe Illustrator CS5 or above.

It took a full week to do this – working by myself. If I had a helper, it would have gone faster. Unfortunately I’m also a perfectionist, …so that slows down the process considerably.


In the “coles notes” version, this is how it’s done (with 48 pictures below):

  1. I marked the area with spray paint;
  2. Sod was removed;
  3. I used a 8×4 piece of plywood as a jig to markup and measure the footings;
  4. 2ft rebar was used to mark the holes for drilling;
  5. The rebar is hammered in to the ground to mark the footings;
  6. With a single man auger, the footing holes were drilled down 4ft;
  7. Sono-tubes are put in place, leveled out, and concrete is poured;
  8. Landscape fabric was put down to control the weeds, and 3/4 inch gravel was put on top for beautification and drainage;
  9. Simpson strong ties 4×4 adjustable saddles were my choice for the footings;
  10. I used the same 8×4 plywood as a jig (again) to construct the upper part of the base;
  11. Any cuts are resealed with the PT paint;
  12. The upper base was assemble separately and then laid on top of the footings via three 4x4s;
  13. Everything was stained before assembly to maximize protection against water damage and rot;
  14. Simpson strong ties were used again to secure the upper base to the lower 4x4s;
  15. Waterproof membrane strips were put in between the planks and the 4x4s – this helps with water drainage (the material acts like a candle wick and pulls out water);
  16. 2x4s were used for the deck planks because they were easy to work with in smaller applications (such as this);
  17. Everything was then stained with two coats; and
  18. Shed was installed on the new base.