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post #1 of 10 Old 04-21-2015, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Storage shed - potential shop sinking?

Not sure if this is the right place to post this, so move as necessary....


Thereís been quite a bit of rain here lately.


I have a 16íx20í storage shed Iíve been considering making the shop, and I think itís sinking on one side due to soft/wet ground.


It is not on a cement foundation, it rests on concrete blocks with a 4◊4 base.


If I look at the base, the main 4◊4 (20í length) seems to be tilting towards the sink and if I look at the direction of the sink, the base blocks seem to have sunk a bit.


Is there an easy way or any way to re-shore/level the shed without tearing it down?


Iím kinda at a loss and donít want to lose the shed Ė would a construction contractor be able to do this kind of work?



Itís beyond my abilities Iím sure even though I built the thing.


Thanks as always in advance.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-21-2015, 08:41 AM
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you may be able to stop it

There are 2 ways to prevent the settling or sinking. Make the footprint larger, and make the ground more stable by adding stone or a footer. You will probably need both. Concrete blocks don't have a large enough footprint in soft soil. Having the water drain away from the building will help also.

Determine if the floor is level using a 48" contractor level if you have one. If not a 24" level will work.
You will need bottle jacks, scissors jacks or a "high lift jack" to lift the shed and blocks to shore it it up.
You'll need coarse sharp stone, 1" to 2" to place in the hole you dig after removing the soft soil, round stone won't work well. More concrete blocks on top of the stone to make a larger footprint will work also.

My sheds sit on 6" X 8" landscape timbers and are on well drained soil. If this seems like too much, then a contractor or someone with building experience will probably be your best solution.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-21-2015, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Great ideas - thanks woodnthings

guess i need to go buy some bottle jacks

coarse sharp stone - would broken up concrete blocks work?
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-21-2015, 10:57 AM
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do you need bottle jacks....

You can get fairly cheap ...Harbor Freight, Home Depot, O'Reilly's but you have to get them under the structure, preferably resting on a block to and bottom. This makes them a bit tippy however. My preference would be a high lift jack which you can just slip under a joist or plate, and not be under the shed with your hands. Scissors jacks fold down pretty flat, like from a pickup truck...more weight capacity. ... borrow some?

Crushed concrete will work fine then cover it with smaller stone. Then level out your concrete blocks. You may need a shim or two of Pressure Treated 2" X material. place the block so the holes are vertical, not horizontal OR use solid block.

Depending on how the floor structure is built this may work OR not.... no details on the construction have been mentioned yet.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-21-2015, 12:00 PM
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A 16 X 20 building can make a nice shop.
Leveling the building should not be too hard.
You can rent jacks or anything else you may need. Depending on what you have inside, you may be able to lift at all points with a long bar as as you fulcrum.
As previously posted, start with a good level lying flat on the floor and raise the low spots until your building is level. Use more of the same type blocks you currently have plus some shim material of thinner dimensions.
This will actually be a quick project, but if your ground retains water or continues to be soft, you may have to readjust the leveling as time goes on.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-21-2015, 12:48 PM
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You probably will have to wait until it quits raining to do anything. All you would have to do is stick a automotive floor jack under the building and raise it up and add some shimming on top of the blocks. If the building is real low to the ground you might have to dig a spot to stick the jack.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-21-2015, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all - agreed - I need to wait until the rain is done - and wouldn't you know we're coming into hurricane season in nw florida LOL

At the very least I need to let the ground dry up a bit - I'm going to take some pics and post them - I have a contractor coming by today, hopefully to give me an inexpensive price to shore it up.

I don't own any jacks, but I see HF is going to have a sale on the 28th for a nice floor jack (3 ton - $89.99 - 20%) and a bottle jack (20 ton hydraulic $119.99 - 20%) - depending on the price I get from the contractor (if he even shows up - which would be the norm for around here) I will either buy these or have him do the work.

Pretty sure a 3 ton (6k lbs approx) jack should do the job with the shed emptied (that alone could be an all day task LOL).

Somewhere I have the original plans for the shed, if I find them I post.

As always, you've all been very helpful and it is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by new2woodwrk; 04-21-2015 at 03:08 PM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-21-2015, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, found the instructions - my bad it's 15.9 x 12 - guess I'm a fisherman at heart LOL - it looks a lot bigger than 15.9...

Anyway, here is a pic. I built it exactly as this says with 4x4 treated runners - however the runners rest on cement flats - one side has 1 flat under each support, the sinking side has 2 flats because the ground slopes away toward a creek (flats are cement bricks no holes just flat cement)


And here is a pic of shed (I only have 1 window):

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post #9 of 10 Old 04-21-2015, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Probably better if I take pics of the actual shed:











As you can see in pic 2 - the 4x4 is leaning off the cement flat.

Pic 3 and 4 show all the 4x4 have the cement flat

and pic 5 shows the cement flat brick starting to sink :(

Hope that helps

you guys rock btw - very glad I found this website and forum
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-21-2015, 03:58 PM
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Since you have a sinking problem perhaps you should do them one at a time and pour a footing about 3'x3' below grade and sit the blocks on top. That way you could have the same appearance and not have the blocks settling on a angle.

The 3 ton jack should be more than enough. I can almost lift my house in spots with a 2 ton jack. I had a similar problem and used a 2 ton jack and a farm jack to lift my house.
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