Can You Build a Shed on a Slope? | Solutions, Permits, Cost & More

Installing a shed on your property is a practical and popular way to add storage, work, or leisure space. However, when your land is sloped, this seemingly straightforward project can become a complex puzzle.

Today we explore the challenges of building sheds on slopes, what solutions are available, the permits required, and finally what costs you might expect. So stay tuned and find out everything you need to know before building your shed on a slope.

What are the challenges?

The primary concern with sloped terrains is the stability of the structure. A shed needs a level and solid foundation to ensure its longevity and safety.

Another significant challenge is drainage. Sloped land can lead to water runoff problems, potentially impacting the shed’s foundation and overall structural integrity.

Access is also a factor that cannot be overlooked. Installing a shed on a slope might restrict how you access the shed and use the surrounding space. This includes considerations for doors, pathways, and even how you might bring in larger items or machinery.

Finally, cost is a major concern for property owners. Sloped land installations typically require more materials, labour, and sometimes, specialised equipment, which can escalate the overall cost of the project.

The process of building sheds on slopes

Mini digger excavating for building a steel shed

The prospect of installing a shed on uneven ground can initially seem daunting. However, with proper planning, it is not only feasible but can also offer unique advantages. The key lies in understanding the topography to transform the sloping ground into a stable, level base for your shed.

Cutting & filling: First and foremost, addressing the uneven terrain involves creating a level ground that can support the shed foundation. This process often includes cutting and filling techniques – removing soil from the higher part of the slope and using it to fill in the lower parts. Such earthworks ensure a stable and flat surface, crucial for the longevity and safety of the shed.

Retaining walls: The second step is building retaining walls which play a critical role in stabilising sloped earth and creating level areas. These act as a sturdy barrier, holding back soil and preventing erosion, which is vital for maintaining the integrity of the shed’s foundation.

Concrete foundations: In terms of the shed foundation, options vary depending on the degree of the slope and the soil type. On a slight slope, a simple concrete slab might suffice. However, steeper gradients might necessitate more specialised solutions like pier foundations. These involve installing deep-set piers into the ground to create a level frame upon which the shed can be built.

Drainage: On sloped land, ensuring a strong and durable shed base is paramount. This might involve reinforcing the foundation with additional materials like gravel, especially around the perimeters, to enhance stability and aid in drainage. Proper drainage is crucial to avoid water pooling around the shed, which can weaken the foundation over time.

Regulations and permits

In Western Australia, the construction of any shed, especially on sloped terrain, requires a keen understanding of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) as well as local council regulations. These rules often dictate the permissible size, height, and location of the shed on your property.

For sloped sites, additional considerations come into play, such as the stability of the land, the impact of construction on erosion and drainage, and how the shed integrates with the existing landscape.

One of the key regulatory requirements is obtaining a building permit. This process involves submitting detailed plans of the shed, which must include structural details, especially how the shed will be safely anchored and stabilised on the slope. The plans are then reviewed to ensure they comply with local standards for safety and environmental impact.

Moreover, local councils may have specific guidelines regarding the construction of retaining walls or the alteration of natural landforms, such as slopes. These guidelines are in place to prevent issues like soil erosion, landslides, or negative impacts on neighbouring properties.

For areas prone to bushfires, additional regulations may apply. Sheds in such regions need to comply with standards that minimise fire risk, which might include using specific materials or incorporating certain design elements.

At Spinifex Sheds, we take care of all the paperwork for you. From submitting plans to negotiating with the local council, we can get your shed site and shed design approved. Read our blog on Planning Permission & Council Approval to find out more.

Cost of building sheds on slopes

Mini storage unit sheds

When undertaking a project like building a shed on sloped terrain, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the potential extra costs that might be incurred, compared to a standard installation at ground level.

Site evaluation & planning: This initial step could include surveying and might cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000, depending on the complexity of the site.

Groundwork & levelling: This could involve excavation, cutting, and filling. For moderate slopes, this might range from $1,000 to $5,000. Steeper slopes or more complex landscaping could increase costs significantly.

Retaining wall construction: The cost here depends on the length and height of the wall, as well as the materials used. A basic retaining wall can cost between $150 and $250 per square metre.

Foundation work: Custom foundation work can vary greatly. A standard concrete slab might cost around $60 to $85 per square metre, while more complex pier or beam foundations could go higher, potentially exceeding $10,000 for extensive work.

Drainage systems: Installing proper drainage can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the extent of the system required.

Regulatory compliance & permits: Cost can vary, but you might expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $1,000, depending on local regulations.

Shed construction: The cost of the shed itself will vary based on size, materials, and design. For an accurate quote, contact us at Spinifex Sheds.

Build your dream shed with local experts

Whether you are looking to build your shed on flat ground or on a slope, the team at Spinifex Sheds has you covered. We take care of everything including procuring the permits, sourcing a reliable landscaper for the groundwork, building your concrete slab, and installing your custom built shed.

Choose a shed builder that will manage your entire project and ensure there are no delays and that everything is built to the best of standards. Explore our shed range today and don’t hesitate to contact us for any information or to request a quote.



Owner - Spinifex Sheds

I've got a passion for helping people build the right shed. Whether that's custom made for your hoist, fitting the shed into a tight site or just a shed that's going to last many years, I love to help.

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