Whether your looking to lay a concrete shed base yourself or have a professional landscape gardener come and do the work for you, it’s a good idea to get a rough idea on what you should expect to pay and have something to compare quotes to.

Essentially there are 2 basic ways to lay a concrete shed base which will affect the price. The most common way is to raise the shed base by a minimum of 5 inches from the ground  which will be done by building a wooden frame to pour the concrete into. 5 inches may sound like a lot, but this will allow for a minimum of 3 inches of concrete and 2 inches of crushed type 1 MOT (similar to hardcore).

The other way to build a concrete shed base is by digging the ground by a minimum of 5 inches, meaning that the shed and base will sit at ground level. There are 2 downfalls to building a concrete shed base this way. The first is that the lower to the ground the shed is, the more likely it will be to develop damp and rot. The second is that there are more costs involved due to the removal of earth and the extra labour required to dig the earth out, should you be paying a professional to do the work for you.

For the sake of this article, I will be writing this price guide based on raising the concrete shed base, since this is the cheaper and most common method.

How much does it cost in materials to lay a concrete shed base?

There are only 4 materials needed to build a shed base, which include type 1 MOT, sand, cement and some timber, although something as simple and cheap as edging boards will do the job just fine. For the sake of our working out, we will use a common shed size of 6 x 8 feet. At the end of this article, I will then use this to give an example of a range of shed base sizes.

How much does it cost to build a frame for my concrete shed base?

We always get our edging boards from Wickes as they seem to be the best value for money at just £25-£30 for a pack of 5 8 foot edging boards. This gives us a total of 40 feet! If we add all of the sides together on a 6 x 8 foot shed then this gives us a total of 28 feet which means we should have at least 10 feet left over.

However, dont forget pegs to secure the edging boards into place. We often just find some small strips of batton such as 2 x 1. You can get packs of these from Wickes from just £15.

All together, you should pay no more than £45 on timber when building the wooden frame for your concrete shed base.

Do I need type 1 MOT or hardcore for building my concrete foundation?

I am going to be honest here, it is 100% recommended to use type 1 MOT (not so much hardcore) as this will compact the ground once tampered, which in turn will reduce the chances of the ground moving and cracking your concrete foundation in the future. That being said, I have removed many concrete bases when taking down old sheds and almost all of them haven’t had any type 1 MOT used, and all have been fine. So depending on your budget, I would recommend using it, but it’s at your own discretion.

You should use 2 inches of type 1, equivalent to 50mm. 1 bulk bag of type 1 MOT should give you a coverage of 8 squared meters at a depth of 50mm, meaning that 1 bulk bag will be more than enough and may be worth looking at smaller bags. Although more expensive compared to buying in bulk, it will save you time and money disposing of any left over hardcore.

At approximately £50 per bulk bag, I would compare the smaller bag prices to see which works better for you. Remember not to have the type 1 at the edges of the border, as once the concrete has set and the boards removed, you will want to see a solid concrete foundation and not type 1 MOT coming out of the sides!

How much should I spend on sand and cement when building my shed base?

The best sand to use when building a concrete shed base is called ballast. This sand has stones within it, making for a harder wearing concrete foundation once set. The most cost effective way of buying this sand is in bulk bags, also known as ton bags.

A bulk bag of ballast typically covers an area of approximately 4 squared meters with a depth of 100mm. A 6 (1.8m) by 8 (2.4m) shed gives us a total area of just over 4 squared meters. An ideal depth to the concrete foundation for the shed base will be 75 – 100mm, meaning that you should get away with just the one bulk bag of ballast.

I would recommend purchasing 4-5 bags of cement for each bulk bag purchased, so in this case lets assume that we are purchasing 5 bags of cement, along with 1 bulk bag of ballast to build the concrete shed base for our 6 x 8 feet shed. We are getting there!

You shouldn’t expect to pay more than £50 for a bag of ballast and no more than £5.00 for a bag of cement (£25 for 5 bags of cement). This gives us a grand total of £75 for the sand and cement.

The total cost of building your very own concrete shed base

Given the above information, using a 6×8 feet shed as an example, you should pay no more than £170 in materials. Below is a table to put everything into perspective.

MATERIALS FOR A 6X8FT SHEDCOST
Wooden frame£45.00
Type 1 MOT£50.00
Ballast£50.00
Cement£25.00
TOTAL£170.00

What should I expect to pay a professional to build a concrete foundation?

Depending on your location, landscape gardeners can vary with prices quite drastically. Although I would expect 2 men to complete all work in a day. At an hourly rate of £20 per person (this can vary of course), you should expect to pay around the £360 mark. This will give a total estimate for labour and materials of £530.00.

Concrete bases are easy enough to build to a hands on person, so I would recmommend getting prices from landscape companies, gardening companies as well as handy men. Although always check for reviews!