Submitted by Barbadosslims t3_10896eh in DIY

I'm building a lean-to firewood shed in my back yard early this year for storing next winter's firewood. My plan is to use construction lumber for the frame, galvanized sheet for the roofing and reclaimed pallet wood* for the wall slats.

My question is: do I need to install a floor? The substrate in my garden is rocky soil and my plan was just to clear and level the footprint of the shed, and bury the upright posts in concrete, but just to leave the floor as bare earth. A lot of plans I've seen install a box frame with 2x6 flooring but I want to avoid that to A) spare expense* and B) keep the overall height down (neighbors)

(I'll probably lay 2x4 runners down under the wood pile to aid air circulation if I go bare-earth)


*I'm not quite broke, but I'm definitely broke-adjacent



You must log in or register to comment.

haze_gray t1_j3qsy6z wrote

Why not just use pallets as a floor? That will give you airflow and they are cheap. Wood coming into contact with the ground can cause it to rot.


Barbadosslims OP t1_j3r94b2 wrote

Ding ding ding, I have no idea why that didn't occur to me ahead of time. Glad I asked.


Cannablitzed t1_j3tfnor wrote

If you can score some plastic milk crates or 20oz soda flats, even better for the floor. Super strong. Won’t ever rot. Can rinse and reset as needed over time. Worked under moms woodpile for 15 years or more.


trashycollector t1_j3vvrv7 wrote

Before you buy pallets check around there are some places that send them to the dump. I have gotten a lot of free pallets when needed.


here-for-the-_____ t1_j3w20ew wrote

That's what I have. Keeps the wood off the ground and keeps it dry. Works like a charm and you can get them for free in industrial areas. They don't need to be pretty, and businesses are always throwing out broken ones


ghostcat_crafting t1_j3sax32 wrote

I would put gravel between the dirt and the pallets. That way if there is any water, it can drain away instead of standing and soaking the pallets getting them all nasty.


tohellwitclevernames t1_j3t64rw wrote

Dig up a couple inches of soil and put some geotech fabric under the stone. It'll stop the stones from being quickly absorbed in the mud and needing to be replaced every few years.


ghostcat_crafting t1_j3wclhi wrote

Thank you, saving that tip for a rainy day. (My shed has a concrete floor but you never know..)


cecil021 t1_j3sgjhq wrote

I was going to suggest that as well. Help keep the wood from rotting.


Shopshack t1_j3sol0a wrote

You guys are right on the $!. Put down visqueen/6 mil poly, covered by gravel. Source plastic pallets - cut them in half if you can't go full depth. I got mine for free. My woodshed is full depth pallets on one wall and half depth on the end and opposite walls.


PedagogyOtheDeceased t1_j3rvtuj wrote

Yep, if you get a lot of rain this is the best idea. Plus, dirt already has a lot of moisture, you dont want to get moldy firewood.


Str8upSC t1_j3uctql wrote

I was thinking the same thing. And it keeps snakes from burrowing in the ground underneath the wood as well.


NaySp19 t1_j3ue8qp wrote

That's what we did in ours to aid in air circulation.


ProjectionHead t1_j3qs0te wrote

Maybe put the runners up on cinderblocks. I keep firewood on racks made of cinderblocks and Garden Timbers/4x4 year round on top of soil with no issues


Jak_n_Dax t1_j3sbvz2 wrote

This is the way. You generally don’t want wood in direct contact with the dirt. And cinderblocks are cheap.


why_did_you_make_me t1_j3qsnfv wrote

Use treated lumber rather than just construction lumber - things in contact with soil will rot quickly otherwise. You're not saving money if you have to rebuild in a year or two.

You don't need a floor in my opinion, though you absolutely want to elevate the wood off of the dirt. A couple of the aforementioned pallets might help there.


Barbadosslims OP t1_j3r9blw wrote

I use the terms interchangeably because I'm a rookie/frequently wrong but yes, I'll be using treated lumber for the structure.



OutinDaBarn t1_j3qsqhn wrote

put some old pallets on the floor. You want a little air circulation under there.


1feralengineer t1_j3qt2su wrote

Somewhat depending on your location, but in general wood in contact with soil means bugs. Termites are your worst enemy, but I assume you don't want to bring any bugs into your house with your firewood.

Two things you never want to do: stack firewood against your house (garage or any structure made of wood); or lay your wood directly (indirectly) on soil.

There are plenty of barriers you could use that are cheap and would offer some protection (pressure treated lumber and tarps is one way to go)


Barbadosslims OP t1_j3r9oit wrote

I should have specified when I said a "lean to" I meant a freestanding structure open at the front with a single pitch roof caused by building the front side higher than the rear. I have no intention of butting this thing up against my house. Thanks


Bman2U t1_j3tpevr wrote

I would just use pallets on the ground and replace them as they rot


PM_meyourGradyWhite t1_j3rl7yd wrote

All we ever did was lay 2x4 pressure treated runners on the ground to get the first row of wood off the ground a bit. Runners may or may not be nailed to your shed.


CAM6913 t1_j3s2oiz wrote

Get a roll of heavy plastic and put it on the ground to keep moisture from coming up.


Jaffacakereddit t1_j3sgypk wrote

I've one wood store with a pallet floor which works well for ventilation but gives the mice a great place to overwinter. Another has paving slabs as a base - they were about 6 quid a slab (probably a bit more now) but also a killer to bring home and place, cos they weigh 60kg each.


squaredistrict2213 t1_j3sxj1z wrote

Just put gravel down. Might want to use pallets or a couple of boards under the firewood stacks just to prevent ground contact.


Sonjiin t1_j3t64pw wrote

If you can find them then plastic pallets are the bees knees. They are 4x4 and I used 4 of them to build a 16ft lean-to for my firewood. Then in the 4 corners and also directly in the middle I put concrete block that's shaped kinda like a pyramid but in the center is a hole cut out for a 4x4 post. Start building upwards and tying it altogether with 2x12s that I had lying around. Set the pitch, add some roof purlins and then steel roofing. The way I have mine setup I can fit just about 2.5 full cord in it.


SirGunther t1_j3timxb wrote

The gravel and pallets idea is solid, but I would also suggest for a nominal fee, cinder blocks. I use 2x4's instead of pallets, but either is fine. Cinder blocks just keep it completely off the ground so no need to worry about drainage.


lucky_ducker t1_j3tnd7t wrote

If you intend to set up a buffet for termites, you don't need a floor.

Also, your woodshed should be thought of as a facility for seasoning your wood, not just storing it. So it needs excellent ventilation and protection from ground moisture.


BrobdingnagLilliput t1_j3tyzbz wrote

You don't want your firewood in contact with the soil. Rock or gravel is probably OK; soil makes it moldy / punky over time.


TheeSlyGuy t1_j3qsqdq wrote

Yes you need a floor, wood does rot


buildyourown t1_j3rwtal wrote

You need something to keep the wood off the ground and allow air to circulate.


NurseMan79 t1_j3s8kiw wrote

I would think at least a few inches of non-locking gravel over sand for the floor would be one option. Better still an elevated and ventilated setup like pallets.


off_the_cuff_mandate t1_j3se5sc wrote

I would not install a floor, its just going to get beat up anyway stacking firewood on it. I would put pallets down to achieve airflow, and just replace the pallets as they fall apart.


redcore4 t1_j3sfufm wrote

putting runners down will be essential or you'll lose the lower part of your wood supply to rot and it'll be too dusty to burn indoors - bonus points if you use weather-treated wood for that as it'll last longer, but that's less important. you may well find it's quicker and cheaper to just chuck a few spare pallets down instead of putting a proper floor in, and that will work just fine for what you need.


mmaalex t1_j3shu7j wrote

I would skip the floor.

Scrape off any duff layer and spread some gravel for drainage and you should be golden.

If you're concerned about moisture you can stack on old pallets or PT timbers to keep the stacked wood off the (potentially) wet ground layer


billhartzer t1_j3so4l8 wrote

I would make sure the wood doesn't touch the ground. Like others have mentioned, if the wood contacts the ground it will rot.

You can easily get wooden pallets to stack the wood on. There are a lot of businesses out there that will give you the pallets for free, and they're perfect for this situation.


Few_Ad_5677 t1_j3srgki wrote

Pallets wick up a lot of moisture, if you’re doing to do that, raise them on bricks


dallassoxfan t1_j3swgla wrote

Do Pressure treated runners and you are good.


ExtensionSystem3188 t1_j3toqbs wrote

We used to stack in between trees in a row of pine trees on the ground but I remember the bottom row sometimes shitty but can't remember what was done to prevent it... long time ago


imnotsoho t1_j3tylma wrote

How many termites do you want in your woodpile?


88leo t1_j3tz0gx wrote

Lay several parallel lines of firewood to keep the rest off the ground.


reeherj t1_j3u25kw wrote

Second the soda flats... or plastic pallets.


myalias1919 t1_j3u2l2y wrote

Are you in termite territory?


Fuzzzer777 t1_j3u5ecn wrote

You need something to keep the wood away from the ground unless it want termites... of course that depends on where you are. I'd recommend at least some plastic.


DLBaker t1_j3u8770 wrote

Yo udon't want to place any firewood directly on the ground as it will collect moisture, insects and molds that you might bring into your house.


nishnawbe61 t1_j3uoo2l wrote

We used pallets for the floor and walls, left the front open with a tarp that hangs over the open front and put plywood in top for lean-to type roof and had spare shingles so put them up. Been using that for almost 10 years. Good air flow... kindling in one side wood on other. Pallets around us, free for the taking. Most manufacturing plants give them away. So other than a couple pieces of


Yummy-Beetle-Juice t1_j3v2jbf wrote

Wood to earth contact causes dryrot and attracts termites. The wood on the ground will get wet from the moisture in the ground. Use cinder blocks or bricks.


kubotalover t1_j3vfzn9 wrote

I just put pallets down in my wood shed.


Northernvermont t1_j3w009h wrote

I live just off the Canadian border, and have a 12x24 foot wood shed, it holds 14 cord of wood. I put gravel down, and ditched the sides that are uphill. Full, it last three years, the wood in contact with the ground has not rotted. This shed had been in use for twenty years, we have five wood stoves in the house. Good luck with your project.


maxant20 t1_j3qs7ee wrote

I would advise a vapor barrier