If you are lucky enough to have some form of outside space at your house, then you may also be fortunate to own one of the world’s most underrated structures: the garden shed!
For some, it is a tool storage facility; for others, it is a respite from the world; to others, it is just a plain old dumping ground. No matter what you use your humble garden shed for, it should be treated with the respect it is due.
Therefore, if it is slightly wonky or crooked, give it a new base to stand on, or if you are going to buy a new one, then rest it onto a base that is not only secure but sustainable and eco-friendly at the same time.
How I hear you say? That is easy, as a recycled plastic interlocking grid system is the newest and most sustainable way to lay a shed base. Easy to install, guaranteed to drain and a great way to say goodbye to concrete.
Why Fix It If It Ain’t Broke?
For years the garden shed has been either balanced on some old paving or sat upon a solid concrete base, and that has worked, so why change a winning formula?
Simple, really, concrete is not the most environmentally material we can use. As it has no drainage or ventilation, the base of the garden shed can rot or perish in the harsh wet conditions we experience here in the UK.
I know that you may have an argument about plastic and how damaging that is for the environment in waste and production processes, but with the new wave of interlocking shed base kits available to buy on the market, you can set your fears aside as we only recommend that you purchase these from companies that use recycled plastic in the manufacturing process.
How Can We Tell If It Is Recycled Plastic
Most manufacturers and suppliers of the interlocking shed base systems will only use or work with recycled materials, and they will all have to display the symbols relevant to their individual products.
That said, companies like Ecodeck and Wickes will only use recycled plastic in their shed bases.
Why Choose Them?
So if you add the sustainability and green credentials to the fact they are UV stable and easier to install than the concrete equivalent, then you are part way there to realising why they are a better choice for your beloved garden shed, greenhouses, log cabins or any outdoor building for that matter.
Due to the fact that they have holes in them and are not impenetrable structures, any rainwater or moisture that falls can drain through and keep your shed from rotting from the bottom up, which is the plight of so many of our dear sheds.
Add to that the fact that if you need to move the shed, greenhouse or garden structure elsewhere in your outdoor space, you pick them up and reuse them. Nothing says sustainability more than reusing something!
Are They Expensive
They can be in comparison to the concrete alternative, with an average 6×4 garden shed base kits are coming in at anywhere between £95 and £300, but that has to be weighed up with labour costs and also the extra cost of hiring a cement mixer if you are planning to do-it-yourself.
The extra cost with the bases is the weed-proof membrane and, of course, the stones or shingle you fill the holes with.
In all, you are looking at an average of £150 for everything you need for this wonderful and eco-friendly way to give your beautiful garden shed, greenhouse or outdoor building the love it deserves.
How To Install
This is definitely the most significant plus point for this method of shed bases. The only preparation you need is to ensure the ground they are sitting in is level, and then you can lay the base down on a sheet of weed-proof or landscaping membrane, fill it with stones and shingle and away you go.
However, for a completely solid and drainable base, you may need to add some extra to ensure drainage and width, therefore, adding to the shed’s, greenhouses, log cabins or any building’s longevity.
If you want the building base to drain fully without the risk of sinking, then removing the top layer of soil or paving would seriously benefit the process.
Dig out the area required and place some shingle or, even better, some MOT type 1 stone down as a barrier between the soil and plastic interlocking base. This will ensure complete drainage, allow you to create a level area, and become the base for the landscaping membrane.
The membrane is an essential part of the whole process as this is a porous sheet that reduces the growth of weeds whilst allowing water to drain through and should not be overlooked.
Once you have that, it is just a matter of laying the interlocking pieces down and joining them together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. The system really is that simple.
Once you are happy with that stage, you only need to choose the infill. Most use a 10mm shingle or stone as it fills the gaps fully and creates fantastic drainage, but that is entirely your choice as you can select a myriad of styles and colours for this; the world is now your oyster as the time you have saved from mixing up endless concrete can be spent wisely by choosing your stone or gravel.
Top Tip: Buy more plastic shed base grids than you need, as the structure will need a border to ensure full drainage.
As we venture into a new era of sustainability and environmental protection, we need to ensure that what we buy and what we use has minimal impact on our planet, and any chance to use recycled goods in exchange for potentially eco-damaging ones should be taken to make sure future generations have a safe place to live.
With all of that in mind, this system allows the novice and the do-it-yourself enthusiast to undertake an easy to install project with ease and the confidence you would only get from a professional tradesperson.