Should You Move Your Backyard Shed?
Should you move your shed to your new home? If your new residence has the space for it, you may want to consider taking the shed along. Today, many sheds are custom built and much larger than older models. Many homeowners prefer not to leave them behind.
You have many variables to consider when deciding to move your shed, such as:
- The age and condition of your shed
- The materials it is built with (sheet metal, lumber, or rubberized plastic)
- Its dimensions
- Whether it’s in an accessible area
- How it’s built – screwed, glued, nailed, welded?
- How much it weighs as a whole or in its component parts
- The cost of replacing it vs. disassembling, moving, and reassembling it
If your shed is small enough, you may be able to disassemble it and put it back together in the new home. If not, there are 2 primary methods to moving a shed intact: on a truck or on a trailer. Either way, you will need a forklift to move and place the shed on its mode of transportation. You may be able to rent a forklift, but in most cases, you will need an experienced forklift operator to do the work. This may be an additional expense, so you will need to weigh that expense with the cost of buying a new shed for the new home.
Moving a Disassembled Shed
This takes extra time and effort. However, it’s a safer way to move your shed. Consult the owner’s manual that came with it. As you disassemble it, take photos of the construction and placement of the hardware. Keep the hardware organized in ziplock bags that are clearly labeled. It’s also a good idea to label adjoining parts with numbers or symbols like Xs and Os to match up later.
Sheds That Cannot Be Moved
There are certain sheds that cannot be moved due to prohibitive weight, structural damage from water, termite infestation or dry rot, or its location makes it inaccessible due to fences, power lines, telephone poles, or trees.
Consider Your Options
Once you’ve determined that your shed is movable, you will need to select a method to move it.
Do It Yourself (DIY)
If you have the correct equipment and skills, moving a shed without taking it apart can be quick and efficient. You’ll need to factor in weight, structural integrity, and dimensions. You also need to consider whether it’s fastened to a concrete slab or just resting on the ground.
If the shed is heavy and has sunk into the ground, you will need to use shovels or hydraulic car jacks to lift it out. If you can’t back the truck or trailer close enough to the shed, you will need to move the shed to the method of transportation. You will need to forklift it, carry it, or roll it into place.
When rolling a shed, use thick sheets of plywood or Masonite laid over level ground, especially if it’s moist or uneven. Place the rollers – PVC or metal pipes or round timbers – on top and lift the shed over them so it’ll roll with relatively little effort.
Hire Movers to Move the Shed
Professional moving companies will rarely move sheds in one piece but might disassemble them first before moving them. You can schedule them to disassemble and reassemble the shed in addition to moving it. If the move is local, you will typically pay the crew for the time to move the shed. If you are moving a longer distance, you may be paying by weight. Either way, get a firm quote that lists all of the services and details.
Regardless of where you’re moving from always let your moving company know upfront that you have a shed so they can make the proper arrangements.
Prepare Your Shed for a DIY Move
1. Gather Your Supplies
You will need –
- Screwdrivers, pliers, hammer, crowbar
- Heavy-duty steel or PVC pipes or round timbers for rolling the shed
- Approximately six sheets of plywood or Masonite, perhaps more for longer distances
- Close-toed footwear, long pants, and shirt
- Sturdy gloves
2. Empty Your Shed
- Don’t move your shed with tools and other items inside
3. Remove Windows and Doors
- Lifting a heavy shed that hasn’t moved in ages can cause serious warping, which in some instances can break doors and shatter windows.
- If they’re easy to remove, take out windows and doors first.
4. Create Access to Your Shed
- Trim the grass and weeds around your shed to determine whether it’s on a concrete foundation or resting directly on the ground.
- If it’s the latter, it may be soggy, rotten, and sunk into the ground, in which case you’ll need to dig it out or raise it.
- It’s common for older sheds to experience severe damage during this process. This is a time to reexamine whether it’s worth it to move the shed.
- Watch out for critters that like to live under sheds like rats, snakes, and scorpions.
5. Use Your Legs Instead of Your Back
- If you’re using people instead of power tools and motorized equipment, remember to lift with your legs as much as possible.
- In addition, always have more help than you think you’ll need.
Moving large sheds can be tricky, and the more helpers you have, the less likely I’ll be that anyone will get hurt or your shed will be damaged.
6. Load Your Shed
- If you’re forklifting your shed onto a trailer, elevate it on skids, concrete blocks, or evenly spaced 4x4s to allow the forks to slide in and out during loading and unloading.
- Make sure it’s as square on the trailer as possible, and secure it to the bed with at least three chains or nylon logistics straps over the top.
- If you’re manually lifting it onto the trailer, you’ll need between three and five helpers depending on the weight.
- Always use gloves, long pants, and shirts, and heavy-duty boots to help you avoid crushing fingers, gouging knees, and smashing toes.
7. Drive Carefully
- As long as you load it and secure it correctly, driving a truck or pulling a trailer with a heavy shed is straightforward.
- Drive slowly, avoid erratic braking or acceleration, and taking turns too quickly, and you should be good to go.
- If you’re moving your shed farther than across town, stop after the first 10 miles and check that your chains and straps haven’t loosened up.
8. Reassemble Your Shed
- To get your shed from the truck or trailer to its proper location in your new backyard, repeat the previous steps in reverse.