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How to Install a Plastic Pro Base
So, you've purchased a plastic pro base for your new garden building and you are wondering how to install it before your garden building is delivered. We've put together this helpful guide to help you through the process.
How to Install a Plastic Pro Base
Even though you won’t really see your shed base, it has a very important role to fulfil. It will ensure your shed is level and safe, and won’t move or rot (assuming you have a wooden shed). Even if you’re getting a plastic or metal shed, you still need a good-quality base to put it on.
The plastic pro base is fast becoming the preferred shed base to install. It’s made from recycled plastic, it’s light to carry and put in place, and it’s surprisingly strong too. Let’s see how easy it is to install.
Prepare the ground
Even this bit is easier with a plastic pro base than it might be if you went for a concrete slab or any other method. This is because you can lay it directly over an existing lawn if you like, or over soil or gravel. Measure out a suitable area, which should be a bit bigger than the total size of the base you’re going to lay. You might find it useful to peg out some string to mark out the area, especially if you’re not 100% decided on where your shed will go.
The most important thing to remember is that the ground must be level. A spirit level will help you check this in all directions. If the area you are putting your shed on is already level, that’s fine. Otherwise, you may need to rake over any soil in the area to level it off. If you have a sloping lawn, you’ll need to determine how uneven it is. In severe cases, you may need to dig out a level section.
Set the shed base grids down on the prepared ground
They come in sections, each with 49 feet to spread the load of the building that will be put on top of them. Lay them on your prepared base (don’t forget the weed membrane first) and connect each grid to the one (or ones) next to it. The fixing pins come with each grid and can easily be positioned in place.
Once you’re done, the finished grid should be positioned over the top of the weed membrane. You can trim any excess membrane off at this stage if you wish.
Fill the grids with pea gravel
This isn’t always necessary. If you are only erecting a basic shed, you won’t need the pea gravel. However, larger buildings will be heavier and will therefore benefit from having pea gravel measuring 10mm in diameter poured into all the grids. You’ll need around 10kg per grid, so you can work out how much you need quite easily indeed.
The other situation that may require you to add pea gravel throughout the base is where your ground is of poor quality. The pea gravel will help with drainage and helps establish an even more solid and reliable base.
Even if you don’t need to fill the whole base, it’s a good idea to get enough gravel to fill only those outer sections that will still be visible once the shed or garden building is installed. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, it looks good and provides a neat finish, rather than leaving the squares empty. Secondly, the drainage properties of the pea gravel mean any rainwater will simply drain through it into the soil beneath. It’s far better than filling the holes with soil, as this will splash back onto your shed and make it look dirty. It may also cause premature rotting at the lower levels. Pea gravel can help prevent this.
Build your shed or garden building on top of the plastic base
This is the final stage. Once the base is installed, you’re ready to begin building your shed. Incidentally, if you only intend to fill the outer sections of the pro base with pea gravel, you can wait to do this until your shed is erected if you like.
As you can see, there is really very little hard work involved in terms of laying the plastic pro base to receive your shed. The hardest part is making sure the ground is level. You may be lucky in already having a level plot to work with, but taking your time in levelling things off is going to pay dividends later.
Some people are sceptical of a plastic shed base, believing it may not be stable enough to hold the weight of a shed. This is clearly not the case though. In reality, it’s much easier to use this base, especially if you are laying it on your own and you don’t have anyone to help you. It’s also faster than virtually any other solution you can think of.