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hello, this is my first post so please be kind!
i have an area of the garden where we want to put a shed(only 6x4 probably) then next to that a space for our new gas bbq. the garden is grass currently but sloping and uneven, so....
what is best to do? do i need to dig the top soil up and play some kind of paving or gravel to put both on? it need leveling no matter what, the slope is not too bad in the area the shed is going so hoping not too much work to be done. really want to get the project going as the bbq is in our way lol any help very very welcome, thank you.
I am not 100% clear what it is you are asking but the the shed is best placed on a level, firm surface-gravel will sink over time so paving or a concrete base is your best option.
Like all these things- it is all in the preparation
I also wouldn't use gravel in the area for the BBQ, any food that is dropped would encourage pests and be very difficult to clean. It also needs to be level (fire on an uneven surface is never a good idea), if the area is very uneven, could you perhaps have some sort of terrace arrangement? Personally, I'd use stone or concrete paving slabs for the area directly around the BBQ, and if you're not that keen on stone slabs, decking, or something that's smooth and easily hosed down.
If you put gravel or something else down, you'll still need to put some sort of terrace in to retain it, otherwise you'll end up with mud at the top and a big pile of gravel at the bottom!
You don't need to dig up the grass (unless it's really nice turf you'd like to use elsewhere in your garden). If you don't want to keep the turf, I'd put weedkiller down, try and level the area as best you can, put weed supressing membrane down, and lay the patio on top of that (I'd do the weedkiller and some of the levelling and point my husband at the rest!!).
I wouldn't use gravel or loose stones or bark chippings in an area where food is going to be eaten (even though I have a dog that can catch food the little ones drop before it hits the floor). Just my opinion though.
A 6ft x 4ft shed is no good to man nor beast. A couple of bicycles and it'll be full up. Both my sheds were given to me freely and needed some new timber let in to make them usable. New roofing felt and glass made them fine and are still used every day over the last ten years. The smaller of the two sheds is on brick base with concrete foundations. The jumbo shed, because the ground slopes, is on a hefty timber base of 8" x 2" timber framework concreted into the ground. There's no easy way to mount sheds as the base must be firm, solid and flat. If you cut corners now, you'll only have the problem of doing it again properly in the future.
And as for GAS barbecues.......
oh good to know i dont have to dig it all up! just the levelling which is what i was thinking of doing before ithought i had better ask a few questions. i have been put off decking(was going to put some elsewhere in the garden) by hearing rats like damp wood?
think i will be looking at some paving going down then, will try and atleast and get it levelled and the membrade down at the weekend then take it from there.
as for the size of shed, well we cant fit one much bigger in the space we have, at most we can fit 5' wide in and thats pushing it a bit.
ian barwick wrote (see)
oh good to know i dont have to dig it all up! just the levelling which is what i was thinking of doing before ithought i had better ask a few questions. i have been put off decking(was going to put some elsewhere in the garden) by hearing rats like damp wood? think i will be looking at some paving going down then, will try and atleast and get it levelled and the membrade down at the weekend then take it from there. as for the size of shed, well we cant fit one much bigger in the space we have, at most we can fit 5' wide in and thats pushing it a bit.
mmm-not sure about rats liking damp wood-I have never heard that one before-and there a lot of gardens with decking.
Who told you this?
it was someone at work, cant remember who she had heard it off, but put me off! i had thought about decking for a seating area in other part o the garden.
If you consider the number of wooden structures in the garden-including your proposed shed then that is- at sometime- a lot of damp wood .
There may-big may- be a problem with decking in the garden if there were if food was drooped underneath it -brings as back to the gravel situation up thread-thus creating a nice snack for a rat-but in a normal situation this is not something I would regard as against decking
A bit of mis-information I feel
So what firm base do you intend to put under the shed? Levelled earth won't do, will it? The wood must be off the ground otherwise the wooden base will rot.
There are a couple of sheds in my Father-in-law's garden that just sit on paving slabs, and have been fine. I am in the same situation as Ian, I need a shed to put my tools in (There is no room in the garage for gardening stuff, it's full of old Ford Escorts and replacement panels for them), and the only space I have is under a tree, and guess what, I can only fit a 6' by 4' shed in there. It will only be used for my garden tools, we do have bikes but as they're fairly expensive mtb's (from before I was ill), they're locked in the coal house (under-stairs cupboard accessible from outside), and other stuff that we don't want nicked, like the pressure washer live there.
So Ian, I have sympathy there, I'd love a bigger shed (after all, most great inventions the british have come up with were dreamt up in a shed), but I have a very small garden and space is at a premium. A bigger shed and I'd have less garden to put plants in!!
I've also been looking for a shed, if you want a new one then the cheapest one that looks like it will stand up to a bad winter is at shedsworld (on the website), prices there include everything (so wooden floor as well as delivery).
If you're bargain basement gardening like me, I've got an eye on ebay for local sheds (ones that you have to take down yourself), and will start looking september ish for some ex-display models at the DIY superstores and garden centres. If you're oop north, JTF have a shed that's just over £100, but it does look as though it would fall down if someone trumped on it!
it is said that you are never more than 6ft from some kind of rodent ,so under decking and sheds would be there prefered run.
I reckon that the idea of timber decking was more or less force-fed to us a few years back via one of those TV "make-over" programmes. Having seen quite a number of gardens where this has been installed, I've come to the conclusion that - on the whole - it's not a good thing to have.
It might work better in countries where the weather's better/drier, but here in the NW it can get so slippery in wintertime/wet weather as to be positively dangerous! If it's not installed properly (i.e. with gaps to allow for expansion) it tends to move a bit, and if you do have the necessary gaps, these allow for all sorts of stuff to fall through them - "lost" jewellery was one example I heard about. I'm sure it needs far more maintenance than you'd think - and I wonder whether it'd last long anyway. It does provide shelter for some of the unwanted garden visitors too - and although here in the UK we'd not get a possum living underneath (as was the case in my D's garden - she lives in the USA) I bet the rats love it. So - not for me, under any circumstances!
I think decking has it's place. For gardens that have a steep slope, it can be great, as it's a quick, easy and relatively cheap alternative to putting in terraces. However, I agree wih hyper that it has rather been force fed to us and is now the thing to have. My SIL has it, and I do think it looks a little bit daft, the garden having a very gentle slope. On the good side, when it's a nice, sunny day, it's warm on bare feet, unlike any other 'patio' surface. I don't have it in my garden, I'm lucky enough to have a flat garden, had I got a sloping garden, I'd consider it (but only as a stop-gap to putting a more permanent terrace arrangement in). Each to their own, but I do wonder how many of these deck areas will still be around (and looking good) in 20 years? I remember my parents putting a patio area in (I won't say how many years ago, but I was just a kid then, and I've children of my own now), and that's still there (or was before they moved out to Spain. So personally I'd be saving and putting a sandstone or slate patio down!
ian, if you are going to put down slabs I would give some serious thought to preparing a proper base unless you are willing to relay them every few years. to do this use DTp1 sub-base (often called type 1 scalpings) from a builders merchants (roughly £25/tonne). A tonne covers 6-8 square metres. You need to lay this about 3 inches deep and compact to around 2 inches with a wacker plate (which you'll need to hire). You then lay your slabs on cement on top. You can use the compacted scalpings as a base for your shed without the slabs if desired.
This probably involves more cost and work than you want, at least initially, but over the years I have come to the conclusion that laying slabs without a firm base is a total waste of time.
I agree with Paul's comment on a 6 x 4 shed. Get the biggest one you can afford, but at least 8 x 6. For a quick base use a couple of pallets if you can get them!