How To – Installing Shed Tie Downs

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    Well you just bought your new shed and the building inspector tells you that you need to install Tie Downs to pass your inspection.

    So what are Tie Downs and Why Do you need them?

    In areas prone to high winds small out building like sheds can cause some serious damage if they are lifted off their foundation and blown into a house or car. For this reason many local building inspections require that you install Tie Down anchors and cables to the joists. The idea is that if you can help the building resist the initial lifting motion winds won’t get under it and cause it to fly across your yard.

    How useful this technique is will really have you wondering when you go through the process of installing a kit on your shed. If you are like us you will begin to wonder if the building inspector gets a kickback from the manufacturer.  The fact is something is probably better then nothing and since there are a variety of different sheds including light weight metal and plastic ones that probably will get blown away if not anchored.

    The kit should be available where you purchased your shed or you can get one at most lumber supply centers.

    It will contain Two auger type anchors a metal cable and clamps to attach the cable to the anchor.

    You will need 2 kits to secure all four corners of your shed.

    First we need to install the anchors at all 4 corners along the long  sides of your shed. To help get the anchor into hard soil you should either use a hose to wet the ground or a pick to losen the dirt in the area.  If the grass has deep roots then you should cut out a chunk where you are going to install the anchor.

    Use a slight angle to  get the anchor under the edge of the shed so it will be out of the way when you are cutting your grass.

    Using a metal rod or crowbar placed through the eye of the anchor crank the auger into the ground until about 2 inches of the stem stick out. You want it in as far as you can get it and if you hit a rock then you may need to reposition or dig the rock out.

    Our shed is placed on 4×4 pressure treated beams we will need to run the cable over them and through the floor joist opening. Unless you have a rabbit or cat that can get under the shed and help you doing this can be some what difficult.

    To get the cable over the 4x4s we use a 1/2″ piece of wood molding with an eye hook inserted in the end. Any piece of scrap flexible wood will do and if you don’t have an eye hook then you can duct tape the cable to the fish stick. Insert the molding through the joists attach the cable and pull it back out.

    Once you have cable sticking out both sides you can attach it to the eye of the shed anchor.

    Attach one side to an anchor using the clamp provided in your kit. You will probably need a 1/4″ wrench to tighten the nuts. When the first side is secure pull the cable through the eye of the other anchor and secure it before you cut your wire to length.

    To cut the wire a hack saw is probably your best option. If you have a vice grip you should install it near the cut so you can hold the cable while cutting and not disturb your wire clamp.

    Well that is pretty much it for installing shed anchors. This project will probably take about an hour and once you are done remember if you need to in your area to call the inspector to get passed off on your permit.


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