We just bought a house and the house has a (or once was, at least) a nice shed in the back with both water and power. Image is to scale (the shed is 12' x 12').

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The problem is that erosion from the neighbors next door has caused the ground to "rise" against the slab and now the bottom sole plates are rotted out and every time it rains, water comes right into the shed through holes in the rotted siding.

My project is to fix the shed and make it usable for storage, but I'm trying to figure out what's the best approach to keep additional runoff from making my work an expensive trial-and-error process.

  • Water runs downhill. Make it run somewhere else. Without knowing the shape of your lot (and your neighbor's), that's about the only advice I can give.
    – isherwood
    Apr 28, 2017 at 16:30
  • You could call the local government office and see who is responsible for the run off--- you or them.
    – d.george
    Apr 28, 2017 at 17:18
  • If you are actually getting mud building up against the shed, you may need a simple retaining wall behind the shed to catch the soil, and then a french drain around the shed, as Ken suggests, to channel the water. I had a similar problem with a shed that was near the base of a hill, and erosion kept building dirt against the shed, which was rotting it out.
    – fixer1234
    Apr 28, 2017 at 23:50

1 Answer 1


You can place a french drain on that side of the shed.

The other thing you should do is to find better material for those sole plates - I am thinking they are 4 x 4 all around - so you might try something like "Plastic Lumber" - there are many composites out there as well. This will eliminate your issues. You can search for plastic lumber or composite wood 4 x 4 as well..

The real issue is as one commenter stated the runoff from your neighbors - I see a chicken wire fence (perhaps chickens - if this is in the county and not the city - you may not get the support to resolve the issue form your neighbor, as the requirements may be much more lax.

  • Actually the sole plates appear to be 1x4s... at least what I can find of them.
    – nvahalik
    Apr 28, 2017 at 20:17
  • @nvahalik that is better for you in that should be easier to get composites in such sizes from more locations - if it were me - I would use maybe 2 x 4 or 4 x4 composite (makes the rest higher). Check the link and search the net - your local HardWare Store might have something.
    – Ken
    Apr 28, 2017 at 22:51

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