Install a paver foundation for a shed | How to build a shed foundation

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When we first moved into our house, we had lovely dreams of building a shed in the backyard to hold all of our lawn supplies. 

We would be so organized and be able to find any piece of equipment or bag of lawn fertilizer in under a minute!

Needless to say, it took us a while to get around to building the shed, with all the other DIY projects we took on. 

Then, one spring day, we found a great deal on 12” x 12” pavers and we realised this would be the perfect foundation for a shed. We picked up sand and gravel and started planning our biggest project yet!

Do you need a place to store all your gardening supplies and equipment?

Follow along to find out how you can lay the foundation to build your own customized shed, in the space that you have.

Before you install your paver foundation, you need a shed plan. In another post, I share how to create a shed plan, which will help you determine how large you want the shed to be.

Please remember that we are not professionals and we cannot be responsible for the outcome of your project.

how to install pavers

Before we started, we read and watched a lot of posts on how to install pavers. In the end, the most helpful tutorial was by Young House Love and how they installed their paver patio. Please visit their tutorial to get more details – we will give you an overview of how we did ours in this post below.

First, let’s talk about supplies and tools.

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Install Paver Foundation


  • pavers (we decided on the space, then bought enough for that size)
  • gravel (this layer should be 2-4 inches deep)
  • sand (1 inch deep)
  • stakes
  • 2×4’s (to make things level)
  • 1″ PVC pipe (to level sand)
  • paver edging (we did not use this but it would be a good idea)
  • string (mark your area, again we did not use it)
  • fill sand
  • weed fabric


  • shovels
  • tape measure
  • tamper (we used boards screwed together, see below)
  • rubber hammer
  • rake


The first thing we did after buying the supplies was to mark the area with stakes. We used our tape measure to give us the distance we wanted. You could also rope off the area but it’s not needed. 

Then, we started digging inside the marked area with our shovels.

removing dirt for a paver foundation


We decided to have our gravel base only be 2″ and make our pavers a 1/2″ above ground level. Thus, our exact depth we needed was the same distance of a 2×4 board. We used a 2×4 to give us our crisp edges and the depth of the hole we need to dig.

board to determine depth of paver foundation

Once everything was dug out, we used our homemade tamper. We are cheap, what can I say… but it worked!

how to create a paver foundation with homemade stamper
gravel for paver foundation


The gravel will help to keep grass away and help with water draining off the shed roof.

First, we placed weed barrier fabric down and set the gravel bags in the hole. We did this to make it easier to spread them out.

lay gravel to create a paver foundation

Next, we cut the bags and used the rake to spread the gravel out. 

To make everything level, I turned the 2×4 to have the 2″ facing up. Then, I moved the 2×4 along the gravel with the level on top. Once it was level, we flattened the gravel with our homemade stampers again.

gravel base for paver foundation


To install the layer of sand, we placed two PVC pipes on the gravel and poured sand into that area. Then, using the 2×4, I leveled the sand by pulling the board across the pipe. We had to move the pipe and fill in the little holes – Young House Love has some great pictures of this.


Then, we placed the pavers on top of the sand, hammering them to make them level. 

Next, we sealed our pavers with a concrete sealer (ours are concrete) and filled in the cracks with more sand. 

And finally, we had this:

how to install pavers

The process of installing the pavers took us one whole day and our area size is 6’x10′. The cost of the project was:

#60 :12×12 pavers – $52.80
#20 : gravel bags – $110.60
#12 : sand bags – $30
TOTAL – $193.40

Everything else, we already had on hand. 

With the right materials and a few easy steps, we created a paver foundation for our future shed. This project was not as hard as we thought and we cannot wait to install our paver patio one day!

The next step is to build the floor of the shed.

How to add edging to pavers

Install a paver foundation for a shed

Yield: paver foundation
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 5 hours
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Estimated Cost: $$$

When you're building a shed, you need the shed to be on a solid surface, a foundation. An easy way to build a shed foundation is by installing a paver foundation for the shed.


  • pavers
  • gravel
  • sand
  • stakes
  • 2×4’s
  • 1″ PVC pipe
  • paver edging
  • string
  • fill sand
  • weed fabric


  • shovels
  • tape measure
  • tamper
  • rubber hammer
  • rake


  1. Prep the area for the pavers by digging out dirt from the area.
  2. Determine the depth needed to install the pavers, gravel, and sand.
  3. Spread the gravel evenly into the area.
  4. Add the sand over the gravel.
  5. Set the pavers over the sand.
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