You’ve built the shed. Its foundation is rock solid, and you’ve followed all the proper techniques for constructing the frame, installing the siding, and roofing. In both form and function, the shed is an excellent addition to your property.
But what about the large gap between the bottom of the shed and the ground? Unless you’ve constructed your shed on a concrete slab, chances are there’s a space between the floor of the shed and the ground beneath.
This gap presents a few issues. The concrete peers or cinder blocks the shed is resting on detracting from the shed’s aesthetics. There’s also the issue of that gap creating a place for critters to crawl beneath the shed and nest or even gnaw their way through the roof into the shed.
Fortunately, you can add shed skirting to cover that gap and create a finished look while preventing unwanted squatters from making a home under your shed.
Shed skirting options include a wide range of materials that vary in aesthetics, including vinyl siding, brick, chicken wire, faux stone veneer, and pressure-treated boards.
This article will look at the many different options for shed skirting, discuss the pros and cons of each so you can choose the right option for your shed, and identify some of the pitfalls of installing skirting.
- What Is Shed Skirting?
- Why Is Shed Skirting Important?
- What to Put Around the Bottom of a Shed?
- Can Shed Skirting Cause Problems?
- How Long Does Shed Skirting Last?
- How Much Would It Cost to Install Skirting?
- Can I Fill the Space Under My Shed With Dirt?
What Is Shed Skirting?
Shed skirting is precisely what it sounds like. It is a material that surrounds the lower part of the shed that covers the shed crawl space, the gap between the shed floor and the ground. This space can vary from a few inches to up to a foot or more. Shed skirting can be made from various materials, including vinyl or wood lattice, bricks, and treated lumber boards.
Why Is Shed Skirting Important?
Skirting fulfills both functional and aesthetic features. The addition of skirting creates a finished look by filling this gap while covering any framing or foundation that may be unsightly, such as cinder blocks. Many homeowner’s associations require residents to skirt a shed that sits on concrete blocks.
In addition to improving the look for a shed, skirting can also have a functional use. Serving as a barrier that prevents wild animals or the neighbor’s cat from getting into the area under the shed and creating a nest, chewing on electrical wires that may run into the shed, or finding a way to get inside.
What to Put Around the Bottom of a Shed?
There are various materials one can use to skirt the shed ranging from concrete landscaping blocks to vinyl panels to chicken wire. Each of these offers different looks while also serving as a barrier to prevent critters from invading the space.
Lattice is by and large the most commonly used material for shed skirting. It’s attractive, inexpensive, and easy to install, making it one of the best options for skirting a shed. Lattice is available in treated lumber or vinyl.
While most latticework isn’t tight enough to prevent smaller rodents from wiggling their way underneath the shed, it will keep the neighbor’s cat, groundhogs, and other would-be residents from getting under your shed. If you don’t mind the extra work and cost, you can attach hardware cloth to the backside of the lattice to keep smaller critters out too.
Plus, the latticework serves as a vent that allows airflow beneath the shed, critical for preventing moisture from building up, creating an environment that fosters mold growth.
Concrete Block/Landscape Blocks
Concrete blocks or landscape blocks represent the most durable and secure means of filling the gap. Concrete blocks won’t deteriorate or rot and animals also won’t be able to chew through this material as they can wood or vinyl.
That said, concrete landscaping blocks tend to be a more expensive option than other solutions.
Installation is also more labor-intensive, requiring you to cut some of the blocks to size if you can’t find blocks that fit the gap perfectly.
Also, keep in mind that a concrete block skirt won’t allow for airflow, which can cause moisture to collect in the space under your shed.
While cinder blocks are also a functional option, as we discussed above, cinder blocks simply aren’t very attractive. If you go with concrete blocks, it makes more sense to spend a little more money on landscaping blocks that create a more finished look.
Brick offers a classic look that will make a shed look more like a finished structure. It’s especially appealing to complement brick homes or homes with a brick foundation, tying the shed and house together.
While it’s more expensive than most skirting options, it’s also more durable. Brick skirting will last longer than wood or vinyl skirting.
And, unlike concrete blocks, brick doesn’t necessarily have to restrict airflow to the crawl space. You can build vents into the brick skirting to allow for airflow while still making the space underneath secure enough to prevent mice or other pests from getting inside.
Brick does have its downsides. It is one of the more difficult types of skirting to install as it requires some skill and experience with bricklaying. You’ll also need to mix mortar, which can be a labor-intensive process.
One simple and attractive way of skirting a shed is to use pressure-treated lumber. Cut 2x6s or decking boards to run the length of each side of the shed to cover the gap. For wider gaps, stack the boards, ripping them to size using a table saw if needed.
You can also use lengths of pressure-treated plywood cut to size to cover the gap. Simply fasten the panels of the upper edge of the plywood to the framework of the shed using lag bolts.
This method closes off the crawl space, preventing animals from infiltrating the space. However, keep in mind that covering this gap with wood will prevent air from passing through to ventilate space below.
Chicken WireThis more practical answer to the shed skirting question won’t win any awards for aesthetics, but it will protect the gap under the shed from animals while still maintaining plenty of ventilation to prevent mold growth. Chicken wire is made out of galvanized metal, which makes it a very durable material. And, when purchased with a tight enough pattern, 1-inch or less is ideal, will prevent rodents from getting in.
For maximum protection, bend the length of chicken wire skirting at a 90-degree angle so that half of the width creates a border a foot or so wide around the shed that prevents animals from digging under it.
Chicken wire is also one of the more affordable and easier materials to install. Simply cut it to size and use a staple gun to attach it to the framing of the shed’s floor. And, since chicken wire allows air to pass through, you don’t need to worry about trapping moist air under the shed.
For sheds with smaller gaps, a bed of gravel is an easy way to install skirting. Simply buy enough gravel to create a thick enough bed around the shed’s base to reach the bottom edge of the shed.
This is one of the easier options to install as it doesn’t require measuring, cutting, or fastening. It’s also one of the more affordable methods.
For a more attractive look, spend a little more money and trade out the gravel for landscaping stone. If you’re concerned about pests getting into the crawl space, use large stones that mice and rats won’t be able to burrow through.
If your shed has a large gap, install landscaping timbers around the shed to contain the gravel so you can build it up to the required height to close the gap.
Vinyl is durable, affordable, and is easy to install, making it one of the more attractive options for shed skirting.
Although vinyl may not be as strong as some other materials, it won’t rot or rust, making it a good choice for material that will be near the ground. It also comes in a broad range of colors and styles, so it’s an easy material to match to a shed’s look.
Vinyl is also a good option for sheds with vinyl siding, as it creates a cohesive look. Some vinyl siding even has tiny vents incorporated into it that allow air to pass through to ventilate the space under the shed.
Faux StoneTopping the list of aesthetics is faux stone. This is the same material commonly used to provide stone accents to a home’s facade. Some companies sell faux stone skirts in shorter 1-foot sizes that are suitable for sheds. This creates an attractive look that can take the visual appeal of a shed to a whole new level.
It’s also a great way to tie the shed and house with natural stone accents. In addition to being one of the more attractive ways of skirting a shed, faux stone also closes off the space to prevent animals from getting in.
Just keep in mind that faux stone doesn’t come cheap. This is perhaps the most expensive option for skirting a shed.
Duraskirt Shed Skirting
This effective option consists of concrete boards that are custom cut to cover the openings around your shed. Duraskirt shed skirting provides a clean concrete look that mimics the foundations of most modern homes. Each panel measures 11 inches or 18 inches wide, giving these panels the ability to cover wider gaps.
And, since it’s made out of concrete and requires the user to be exact, it’s incredibly durable and strong, ensuring nothing will get through once the skirt is in place.
Installation is more difficult than other products, as it requires the user to cut each sheet to length with a diamond-tipped circular saw blade, which is included with the kit. This option is also pricier than most.
Mobile Home Skirting Panels
Another option for skirting a shed is to use the same method many mobile homes use: mobile home skirting. These vinyl panels come in standard 16-inch by 35-inch panels. Simply cut the panels to the right width and run them around the base of the shed to cover the hole and create a finished look.
And, since the panels come in various colors and styles, it’s easy to match them to the shed’s style. At 40 mil, they’re also thicker than most vinyl panels, which makes them better able to endure impacts from feet, gardening tools, or a lawnmower.
These panels are also relatively inexpensive, making them one of the more affordable options on this list.
Can Shed Skirting Cause Problems?
While shed skirting can make a shed more visually appealing and seal off space underneath the shed from critters, it can also cause problems.
Enclosing the space under the shed can cause moist air to become trapped in the space, creating condensation that can eventually lead to the growth of mold and mildew. If you live in a humid region, it’s best to go with shed skirting that allows for ventilation, such as lattice.
Just as skirting can help protect the underside of your shed from unwanted residents, it can also encourage them. An enclosed space is an idyllic nesting place for mice, rats, and other animals. With this in mind, if you choose to install shed skirting, make sure that you don’t leave any gaps that can allow animals to enter.
How Long Does Shed Skirting Last?
This depends entirely on the material. Concrete blocks, brick, and other masonry products can last many years. Vinyl and wood lattice skirting, in comparison, has a comparatively shorter life span of about five years before it will begin to deteriorate and require repair or replacement.
The lifespan of different shed skirting materials is important to take into account when choosing a material, especially when considering the long-term cost of the shed skirting.
How Much Would It Cost to Install Skirting?
This depends almost entirely on the material. Specialty products, such as Duraskirt, are among the most expensive. A Duraskirt kit for an 8’x8’ foot shed with 11-inch tall panels costs $448. In comparison, covering the same space with wood lattice, among one of the cheapest options, with a 4×8 sheet, costs about $30 at home depot
While Duraskirt will last significantly longer than the wood lattice option, it would take many years to recover the difference in cost. Faux stone is a more expensive option than Duraskirt, while treated lumber and vinyl panels are other affordable options.
Can I Fill the Space Under My Shed With Dirt?
Do not fill the space under the shed with dirt. Doing so places dirt that is potentially wet in contact with the wood frame or sheathing of the shed, quickly causing the wood to rot. It will also cause runoff from the roof to splash back onto the shed.
Backfilling can also cause rain run-off to run back toward the shed instead of away from it, potentially causing water to enter the shed. Backfilling the space with dirt will also create a damp, humid area in the space under the shed (think of a humid basement surrounded by dirt), creating ideal conditions for mold growth.
Adding skirting to a shed is a finishing touch that has a significant impact on the aesthetics of a shed and prevents animals from nesting under the shed.
Shed skirting options range from wood or vinyl lattice, which is affordable, attractive, and easy to install durable and sophisticated faux stone and cement panels, which are more expensive, to purely practical solutions such as chicken wire and gravel.