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How to Level and Square a Shed

Starting a building project is an intimidating task for the inexperienced. Without the background in construction, it is like a child building a playhouse by himself, but with the proper resources, you can do it. One of the primary tasks is to lay out the shed and place the corner posts in a level and square fashion.

  1. Lay the floor out by driving pegs into the earth. You must make sure that the floor is square before committing to where you will place the posts for the corners. After placing the stakes at the tentative corners, take a tape measure and measure the distance diagonally between the two corners of the building and compare it with the diagonal length between the opposing corners. If the building is square then the measurements will be the same.

  2. Adjust the position of the stakes to make any changes that are required. When you have the two diagonal distances equal, then measure the length of all four walls. These measurements should agree, two sides should be equal and the other two sides should be equal.

  3. Dig holes under the placement of the four stakes to plant the concrete anchors in. These holes should be at least 36 inches deep. Place the post holders into the top of the holes after you pour the concrete. Re-measure until you have them positioned correctly to hold the four corner posts for the shed.

  4. Put your corner posts into the post holders. Measure the distance from the bottom of the post holders to the point where the floor will be. Now take a joist that will run along the side of the shed and place it at the determined height of the floor. Use a screw to hold it in place and lay a builder's level along this board. Make sure the board is level from one end to the other.

  5. Place another joist, one that will run along the next side of the shed and use screws to put it in place. Now measure the level of this board. If there are adjustments that need to be made to the point of attachment at the far end to keep the floor level, then make the adjustment and put a screw through the far end to hold it in place. Continue this procedure until you end up back where you started and compare both the levelness of the joists and examine to see that they indeed meet at the same place they started.

  6. Position joist hangers on the posts when you have the above conditions met and cut and hang the joists in the places marked. As you hang the rest of the floor joists, continue to check the levelness of the top of each of the joists and across the joists. The floor should remain level as you progress. When all the joists are in place, you are ready for sheeting to go down on the joists. Before screwing or nailing the sheeting down do one last check on the levelness of the floor from front to back and from side to side.

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