Choosing Site

Come up with the best site that is level and easily accessible. You need to take into consideration how it wil drain from both the land and the building. Dump all the water far from the shed. Excess moisture will eventually cause damage and decay, which will shorten the life of the building.

Site Preparation

The preparation is different from site to site. The goals in getting your site ready are to be sure that your site is completely flat and will handle the water in the best manner. A building that is not level will make your doors function incorrectly and the ramp will not fit right. If the slope you are dealing with is more than 6 inches, it is highly advised to have the site leveled prior to your construction. To make sure the surface is as flat as possible, discard any mud, loose dirt, or plants. The area needs to be sold which will help minimize the risk of the building being unlevel. If you are not able to get transit, you can also use a 8’ level. The dug-out area may then be finished off with a 3-4 inch bed of solid gravel. Digging and leveling the area to add your gravel to will leave you with a a good space that is level and flush with the landscape. This way you won’t deal with the appearance of a mound above the landscape. When you are dealing with leveling, it is also necessary to take your shed entrance and ramp into consideration. The site must be level for about 5’ before the door you will be entering so that the ground is flat with your building structure. An unlevel area will make your ramp not fit properly or be too steep to use. If you have a gravel bed imported, we recommend compact gravel instead of loose. We say this to lower the possible risk of the building having possible shifts and sinking. Every seasons change makes the ground heave and push the shed out of its position. If this happens the building can be re-leveled by altering the site or using wood shims. A bad drainage system can be improved by laying a gravel bed despite the foundation condition. A 3 to 4 inch gravel bed is always the most recommended. Proper site preparation is so very important. When you have a professional excavator come to the site before the building arrives, it will help the cottage from being settled.

Foundation Options

Several choices are available when choosing a foundation. We suggest building a foundation with cement blocks. You can have the option to pour a concrete slab or pier, which will also give a safe and solid foundation, but is also slightly more costly.

Cement blocks

It is money efficient and durable to have the small building sit on heavy skids and have cement blocks support. This is the way most of our buildings are built.

Poured slab

Another option is to pour a slab of concrete, brick, or patio stone and build your walls off of it; this eliminates the need for a wood floor. A 12″ thick compacted gravel pad should be set before you ever pour the slab. The slab should be a minimum of 4″ thick in the middle, backed up with wire mesh, and at least 6″ thick
on the edges where it will hold the most weight. Our average buildings weigh between 3,000 and 6,000 lbs and are made with 6×6 pressure-treated sill plates. This means these buildings will not move unless you are hit with extremely dangerous winds. If you need to strap your building to your slab we recommend using metal strapping. When your slab is poured you will have metal strapping that can be moved to fasten the building to the concrete slab. Concrete piers

Cement piers that extend under the frost line are best for the foundation of your new shed. This choice requires practice with concrete and the ability to square the tubes. A deck that is not square will cause the whole structure to be off. When you are customizing your order, ask for the dimensions for the concrete piers that will fit your size building.

The Proper Care and Maintenance

To protect your building you need to properly preserve the building. Paint or stain options can match your satisfaction. For a deep natural look, we recommend a clear coat which will help it last. Linseed oil that will brighten the rustic charm of the product. This will give you with a fully protected building from water, decay, and pest contamination. We recommend the cottage be left to set for a season before you treat it. It will need to be maintained with a coat about every five years. The materials we use are rot-resistant, but wood is a natural substance that will eventually ruin by the weather if not taken care of.

It is important to keep up with any trees, saplings, and shrubs do not overcrowd your shed. You want your new cottage to have as much airflow as possible, which will help ventilation. Also, if your building will be in a heavy snow area, you should consider the pine trees around it. If your shed is under pine trees, the sap is going to fall on the roof. This may cause serious damage to your shed if the snow and sap gets too heavy and is not cleared.

You should never stack wood, or something that will block airflow, on your shed. Make sure to never leave the doors open in the rain. Also, do not let debris like mulch, grass junk, to gather up in or on your building. Everything that will hold water should be far away from your building.

The cottage is purposely set off the ground to stop moisture build-up and proper air venting. Many clients have decided to use lattice to block the foundation spots. On the contrary, we recommend a stone foundation laid under the edge walls. This will add to the aesthetics and give an impression of a much stronger look. The false dry-laid base fits in with the “look” and the building materials. Please visit our page on our website or contact us today for more information.


Termite protection and Pest control

We suggest an aluminum termite shield for termite-prone locations. We install shields between the cement blocks and the skids and it extends 2” out from the cement block on every side and at a 45 angle, extending another 2”. This makes a metal wall that will stop termites from building their mud tunnels into your foundation. In order to keep animals from making their homes in your new shed, Blue Grass Amish Cabins offers a solar-powered pest repellent which uses ultra sonic sound. The best part is that no maintenance is needed. When the cottage is pushed tight near a fence, a building or tree will stop air circulation and create a spot for insects. To stop these pests from getting into the building we have a few options. Instead of strapping under the metal roof or a solid sheathed roof, you may change the roofing material from corrugated metal to shingles made of asphalt.