You picked out the perfect garden shed, the cherry on top of your landscaping sundae. But even installing a prefabricated shed comes with challenges. Before scheduling delivery, it’s worth taking the time to consider the impact heavy construction equipment will have on your yard.
Self-Installation vs. Professionals
Start by thinking through when you will be available to supervise construction. Once you block off your schedule for that time, determine what type of equipment will be required to move your shed or the component pieces.
Unless you plan to place your shed directly beside the road, you will need to move it into its new home. If you aren’t a trained professional or confident operating heavy machinery like a forklift, it’s probably a good idea to opt for professional installation. Despite the extra expense, make safety a priority.
Protecting Your Yard
Self-installation can save you time and money, but you’ll need to consider how skid-steering and weight impact your existing landscaping. Even with professional installation, you will need to require that they provide yard protection.
More than any other consideration, you don’t want to tear up your newly laid sod or brickwork, or even burst any pipes running beneath your yard. Construction crane mats are a great way to protect your lawn and any pipelines underneath. Also called access matting, these portable platforms create a temporary roadway. A crane mat effectively distributes the machinery’s weight while protecting the surface of your yard.
Your contractor either should own or be able to rent these premade composite mats. There are also mats made of other materials, but composite is easier to set up and it protects your lawn better because the mats join together.
Choosing Heavy Machinery
Ask yourself if you’ll need to rent your own forklift. If you choose professional installation, instead, determine what type of equipment will be crossing your yard. Either way, the odds are good that you will need to set up your space to accommodate these machines.
Keep in mind that local bylaws might require you to park your rented equipment on your property rather than the road. Make sure you have a spot cleared in advance and check your city ordinances before starting installation.
Preparing the Area
Before you can place or build your shed, you need a firm and level foundation. The simplest way to prepare the ground for a shed is to use pegs and string to measure the space. Then, you’ll need to dig down at least 6 inches and roughly level the bottom of your hole.
A simple wooden framework inside this hole will support the concrete for the base. First, however, fill the space approximately half full of stone or similar material, like hardcore. Now, the area is ready for your cement.
Ensure you understand when and how to mix your chosen cement and use a spreader to level the surface once it’s poured. When your cement is cured, you can bring in the shed.
Cleanup is an often overlooked aspect of residential construction projects. In certain areas, muddy runoff into storm drains will earn you significant fines. You’ll also need to dispose of packaging or other materials, like the pallets used to support the shed during relocation.
The less time construction mats cover your sod, the better it will recover. Plan to spend an entire day post-installation dedicated to matting breakdown and removal. If you don’t own a truck, it may be worth renting or borrowing one.
Once your yard is clear, you’re finally ready to fill your new shed with all those garden essentials.
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