I picked up one of those cheap canvas garages from Costco, to keep a few things out of the weather. It's 10' wide, 20' long, and maybe 11' high at the peak.

Our area is a bit prone to windstorms. I'm in the woods, so it's largely protected from the wind, but I still want to make sure it stays put.

It comes with tent stakes, but the ground is too soft for that to be reliable.

I thought about trying to attach it to concrete pier blocks, since they are heavy, cheap, and aren't permanent if we want to move the garage later. I'd put one under each leg, and fasten the leg to the block.

pier block

The blocks are formed with a hole in the top, about 5/8" diameter. The garage comes with some concrete anchors, presumably for use if you put it on a concrete driveway - you'd drill holes and secure it there. The anchors are way too small for these holes, though. Even the biggest anchors at the local hardware store seem too small.

I could try to buy larger anchors online.

I could epoxy in some inverted screws.

I could try to find some old railroad ties and screw in to those, instead. I'm not sure where to find those around here, however.

I could pour small concrete footings, although then I'm locked in to an exact setup.

What should I do?

  • Do the holes go straight through to the bottom? Feb 1, 2011 at 23:02
  • @Russel yes they do.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Feb 5, 2011 at 16:59
  • Jay, how about wrapping this one up?
    – isherwood
    May 15, 2018 at 19:05

10 Answers 10


You just need bigger anchors ;-) The largest of these is 60" long with a 7" diameter.

enter image description here

  • These may work in some areas, but where I live, I have never gotten one of those more than 6 inches deep before hitting some impenetrable rock or gravel. Also, the OP is in the woods, so roots are going to be a potential issue.
    – Rob
    May 15, 2018 at 22:47

I'm in the woods, so it's largely protected from the wind, but I still want to make sure it stays put.

Tie it to the trees. If you're willing to dig a little find a root, rope under the root, and tie the tarp to that.

For a no-cement job try something like a 'snow anchor'. Tie your tarp down to a metal stake or a brick then bury that. The thing you tie to doesn't need to be heavy. The soil holds it down. Steel cable would be better than rope for this.

  • +1 for the snow anchor idea. I remember learning that one in Boy Scouts years ago.
    – Doresoom
    Dec 8, 2011 at 19:07

You can get concrete wedge anchors in a 5/8" diameter:

concrete wedge anchor

To use these anchors, first drive them into the hole (they should be relatively snug to begin with). Then as you tighten the nut around the object you want to secure, the wedge at the bottom expands and holds the bold in place within the concrete.

You can get a 5/8" one at home depot for around $4.

You'll want to make sure the anchor can set securely in the concrete piers you've got, so consider bringing one with you and testing in the parking lot before buying a few more.

  • I have some that look exactly like this, and claim to be for a 5/8" drill, but are still way to small. That was the largest size my hardware store stocked. sigh
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Feb 5, 2011 at 17:00

How about putting in a concrete J-bolt into the 5/8" hole, and then filling the rest of the hole with cement?


There are different styles of footings; for what you're dealing with, you don't need it to take the weight of the structure, you need it to resist lifting; for that, you can get away with fairly small holes, as you're actually more interested in the friction of the soil against the footing to anchor it down.

In my case, I have clay within 9 to 12", so for my greenhouse, I used a auger drillbit meant for planting flower bulbs (maybe 4" across, 24" long), to dig a few holes, then filled 'em with concrete and set the anchors that came with the greenhouse kit in each piling.

If I need to move the greenhouse, the pilings are small enough to dig up and move, and thin enough that I could even break 'em up with a sledgehammer and just remove the top so it won't interfere with a lawnmower.


I had the same dilemma. The solution I used has proven to be quite simple and effective. I bought 8 rebar from the local rebar plant (total cost $16). They put a hairpin bend at the top of each bar. I used a maul to hammer these bars along the sides of the shelter, four to a side, evenly spaced. Then over the top of the shelter I passed a rope, in between each pair of spikes. I used a truckers hitch to tension and tie them down. There is no way that the shelter could lift up or shift location. And the tie-down method increases the overall stability in wind because it passes strength right down the frame from top to bottom.


We use these tents at shows and fairs. We always anchor them with screw in dog spikes just inside the poles, and tied straight down. I was in one during a storm with 60 mph gusts, and the tent only moved over one foot.


Why don't you just drill a new hole an inch or two away from the existing hole? No need to fill the old hole.


Fill in the hole in the pier block with concrete, Let it cure, then redrill to the size you need.

  • 3
    Hi and welcome to DIY Stack Exchange site. Can you expand on this answer a bit more to explain why it might work.
    – ChrisF
    Dec 8, 2011 at 8:56

I purchased two very similar shelters with similar site features but decided the shelters would be permanently located. One site had the added benefit of asphalt which made anchoring very easy. The second site was a clearing in woods much the same as the other writer, which we further cleared of all weak/sickly trees in the immediate area. Throwing northern winters into the recipe, we decided on sunken concrete footings. After laser squaring the building footprint we chose to pour three 6" by 48" Sonotube footings per side. Then using four inch galvanized steel deck post mounts, we tied each set of three footings together with beams created by stacking and screwing together two pressure treated 2 X 4 for each side. This gave a flat surface for the building frames feet to bolt down to. Next for support, drainage, elevation and a dry floor, we covered the footprint with three inches of compressed class five and another three inches of driveway rock flush up to the top of the beams. After assembling the structure we ran eight lengths of stainless steel cable under the beams and up over the first row frame cross bracing as added wind protection.

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