Site Preparation for Structures

Before Your Structure Arrives — think about the foundation

Please download your kit assembly manual and review it prior to delivery. Most people can put together our gazebo kit in one day with two people. If you don’t feel confident with assembling the kit, please hire a local contractor.

Larger kits (18 feet +)  usually take 2 days to assemble with 3-4 people. Kits this size are generally installed by a local handyman or general contractor.

Foundation for Gazebos, Pavilions, Pergolas, Sheds, & Barns

The gazebo, pavilion, pergola, shed, or barn foundation needs to sit on a compact level surface. Options include having compacted gravel (3/4 inch stone or 3/4 inch gravel), patio stones/blocks, or a 4 inch+ thick concrete pad. The surface should be level from all sides of the foundation. 

Crushed Stone/Gravel Foundation

Using 3/4 inch compacted stone/gravel is the most popular and easiest structure foundation choices. A floor is needed to have your structure sit on a gravel foundation. Gravel allows water to drain beneath and protects the bottoms joists of the structure. It is also one of the easiest types of foundations to install. The crushed stone surface should be level from all sides of the foundation. It also should extend 6 inches past the diameter of the structure. 

Step 1: Dig out approximately 4 inches of ground extending 6 to 12 inches past the diameter of the structure.

Step 2: Fill area with the crushed stone.

Step 3: Evenly distribute the stone to finish grade. Stone should be compacted and level from all directions.

4×4 Skids or 6×6 Skids (larger structures)

If using crushed stone as a foundation, you can also upgrade to 4×4 pressure treated runners under the floor of the structure. 4×4 runners help keep the structure level and provide further provide against rot and decay. Often, customers add pressure treaded 4×4 skids underneath the floor with this type of foundation to resist damage from ground contact. If you ever need to relocate your gazebo/pavilion, 4x4s will make this handy!  The placement of the 4×4 runners will depend on the size of the structure. 4×4 Skids come standard with our sheds. 

Patio Stone Foundation

If the ground is stable, level, and has proper drainage, you can set your structure on patio stones. Patio stones can be timely, but create a beautiful foundation.

pavilion on pavers
Concrete Footings

Concrete footings is a popular option for larger structures to secure your structure to the ground. Concrete footings can be installed by digging the post holes and then filling with the proper amount of concrete and/or rebar. The concrete should be a minimum of 3500 PSI. The structure will be anchored to the concrete footing with post brackets and anchor bolts. Footing sizes will vary based on the size of your structure. The footings should be below the frost line of the soil. Typically footings are placed on center beneath the posts and center of the structure. 

*Size of footings may vary based on structure size and local codes.  

Concrete Slab Foundation

A concrete slab foundation is the strongest method to provide for your structure. An advantage to concrete slabs is your structure wont settle or shift over time from ground settlement. The concrete slab should be made from a minimum of 3500 PSI concrete. The pad will sit on a 4″ compacted and level gravel base on undisturbed non organic soil. A typical slab foundation for our structures is known as a monolithic slab, where the perimeter of the slab contains a thicker portion of concrete to support the load bearing walls or posts/columns. Another option is the place the slab on top of the footings. Typically the slab extends 12 to 16″ past the structures post center.

12’x12′ Pavilion
14' Octagon Wood, 2 Additional Entrances , No Floor, Cedar Shake, Pagoda Roof, Stain

Anchoring – Post Brackets

Structures ordered without a floor need post brackets to hold down your structure. The post brackets will attach to each side of the posts and become anchored down with anchor bolts. Brackets are galvanized and black powder coated.

post bracket
post bracket detail
Post Bracket With Anchor Bolt

Anchoring – Heavy Duty Post Brackets

Extra heavy duty post brackets are used for structures that have larger posts such as 7×7 and 8×8 posts or for areas that have high wind loads. The post brackets will attach to the posts with screws and become anchored down with anchor bolts to the foundation. Brackets are galvanized and black powder coated. Also available in stainless steel for coastal regions or areas with high salt content.