Gravel Trench for Shed

Started by Bretzel.logic, May 30, 2023, 08:11:49 AM

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Thinking about doing a gravel trench for a 10x16 shed in NE Minnesota.  Something like this, two trenches of crushed rock to place blocks (to get it up off the ground a bit) and then the beams sit on the blocks.  Building would be modified 10x14 Little House plans from this site.

I wouldn't be going below the frostline, just down to solid ground, and drained to daylight.  Would line with filter fabric to keep sediment out. Also thinking about putting in a perforated pipe to drain water more easily.

This is sort of a hybrid of different shed base ideas I've seen: the gravel trench described in the Little House plans kit, the commonly used gravel pad shed base (typically bordered with treated timbers) and the rubble trench (typically full perimeter trench with concrete grade beam).

We actually already have a base of class 5 on the build site, and some folks said we could just put blocks on top of that.  Which I've considered, but the shed spot is sloped about 12" from high to low corners and I didn't like the idea of a stack of 4-5 blocks on the low side. So the trenches would be dug down about 10-12" on the high side, and the low side we'd be building up mounds of class 5 to hold in the crushed rock and grade away from the building.

Is this a dumb idea and/or is there a better way to create a shed base on a slope like this?  We'd like to be able to shim and adjust as needed, so piers or posts don't seem like they would work.   Oh and we have sticky red clay, as far down as we've been able to dig.  Our neighbor said his well driller told him he's got 145ft of clay.

Thanks in advance for any advice!


You may want to include "gabions" in your foundation planning.  I have no direct experience, but see them employed often.