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Lifetime365 is a blog by LIFETIME PRODUCTS, written by experts in backyard and home products: folding tables and chairs, basketball hoops, outdoor sheds, playsets, trailers, and many other products that you likely use every day. We’ll share with you breaking company news, preview durable new products, provide fun facts and ideas, and even offer you exclusive deals and giveaways! Go ahead and take a look around, leave us a comment... or two. We love to hear from our favorite customers- YOU!


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Building Our Lifetime Shed - Step 1

Darrin: Posted at 11/24/2008 10:11:00 AM

Okey-dokey. So, our Lifetime shed arrived and we read through the assembling directions.  Now that we had the general idea of what we were about to undertake,  we were ready to start building our shed!   Well, sort of.  Before we could actually start assembling our Lifetime shed, we had to prepare the shed site.

As you may recall, we plan to put our 8’x5’ Lifetime shed right up against our back fence.  But, our yard has a pretty significant slope and we can only dig about 6” before we hit solid rock…practically boulders in some spots!  And, lucky us, we also had a tree stump and roots we had to take into consideration.  Fun times.  So, our first step was to level the ground to be flush with the tree stump by removing weeds, rocks, mulch, adding dirt, etc.  Ground ready?  Check.

The Lifetime shed directions recommend building the shed on a concrete slab.  However, if that is not an option, they recommend building the shed on a wood platform covered with plywood or on a wood frame filled with pea gravel.  Great, more work.  Arrgh.  However, in reality, that would be the case for any type of shed (whether it was metal, wood, or plastic), especially with our sloped yard.  BUT, here’s the best part…Lifetime actually provides step-by-step directions on how to build the wood platform or wood frame!  They show awesome pictures, list the exact materials you will need, and provide the precise dimensions including where to place all of the support beams.  They’ve seriously done all of the work for you except the manual labor!  Even someone who isn’t very good at woodworking can figure out how to build the shed platform with the directions Lifetime provides. 

One piece of advice the instructions didn’t mention that might be handy…if you’re building the wood platform or frame, if possible, build it on a flat surface (like a driveway or in your garage) first and then carry it to your final destination to make it easier to ensure you have it level and squared.  That’s exactly what we did.  My husband and I constructed the wood frame on our concrete driveway…it only took about 30 minutes.  Super simple.

Then, thanks to my massive muscles (ha!), we carried the wood frame back to the future shed site. We placed it on the ground to see how much more leveling of the ground we would need to do.  We had to ensure the platform would be above the tree stump and roots that we couldn’t remove.  (Plus, Lifetime also reminds you that any platform or similar structure should be built above ground in order to avoid water pooling inside the shed. ) So, we placed our platform on cinder blocks - three under each of the four shed sides.  I’m going to be honest with you…this part took forever!!  If you’ve ever tried to lay pavers, flagstone, etc., you know what I mean.  Leveling a cinder block foundation is tiring and tedious work.  Add a little dirt, add a little sand, too much sand, need to pack it down more, oops packed too much etc.  Ugh.  Finally (about 4 hours later) it was level and we were able to place the wood frame on top of the cinder blocks and quickly nail the plywood on top.  Ta-da!

Building the wood platform was a piece of cake.  Unfortunately, preparing our yard was not.  But, we knew it was going to be challenging before we even started thanks to our rocks, tree stumps, and slope.  If you already have a concrete slab ready to go (or at least a flat yard), lucky you!  We spent almost an entire day preparing our site.  Geez, I bet you hope building the actual shed was a lot easier, huh?  Stay tuned to find out!

Oh...one other great piece of preparation advice that Lifetime reminds you of several times in the directions...be sure to check all of your city and county building codes to learn if you need a building permit.  Fortunately, for us, we did not need one.  Since a Lifetime shed does not have real shingles, our city does not consider it a permanent structure and, therefore, a permit is not required.

 

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Comments

  • Lifetime Products Storage Shed said:
    11/26/2008 5:36:26 AM

    Pingback from Lifetime Products Storage Shed

  • Moriea Encomium said:
    5/3/2010 10:26:14 AM

    One thing that ought to be mentioned:

    Before digging, contact the "One-Call" or "Call before you dig" to avoid hitting utilities.

  • Joe said:
    3/12/2011 9:06:32 AM

    My wife and I are just now starting to build the foundation for our Lifetime shed. Your pictures should be helpful as heck.
    • Jan replied:
      3/16/2011 8:18:02 AM

      Oh, so glad we good help.  I hope it goes well!

  • Chris said:
    7/9/2011 1:41:38 PM

    Could you use solid concrete blocks for the foundation?
    • Jan replied:
      7/12/2011 10:54:18 AM

      Chris,

      It's not our first recommendation, but yes, you could use just a solid layer of concrete cinder blocks for a foundation if they are on a flat surface. In addition, you need to ensure the entire shed floor will be supported by a solid flat surface underneath.  So, you would need to fill in the gaps in the concrete blocks with gravel and level it off.

  • Nathan Johnson said:
    8/11/2011 11:24:35 AM

    I think it's awesome that you are building your own shed. I built my own metal shed and it is so rewarding seeing something that I made in my yard everyday. Best of luck to you.
  • Rod said:
    4/12/2013 5:39:12 PM

    I have a concrete driveway that extends past my house and I would like to put an 8 x 10 shed on it. All good except it has settled slightly in some parts and has a minor slope to it for drainage. As an outside estimate, I would guess the slope is two inches over the 8' run and three inches over the 10' run. The pad is flat, but it is not perfectly level and reading some of the posts indicates this could cause a lot of grief. Should I be OK to construct on this surface? It is my preference because the location and material (concrete) is perfect. I would rather not build a wooden base to go on top of a concrete base. Seems like a lot of work for an inferior end product.
    • Darrin replied:
      4/18/2013 11:59:42 AM

      Hi. Thanks for your message. I spoke with our Customer Service department on this. They are specialists in each of the products we sell. Here is what they told me, "Our sheds require the surface be flat & level so there could be installation issues if the customer proceeds. We do have shims that come with the shed kits but for the purpose of door alignment only."

      So it sounds like the short answer is no, the base of the shed needs to be flat and level.

      I hope this information is helpful.

       

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