How To Move A Shed To A New House
Back in the good old days, sheds were built on the ground or concrete floor. Homeowners would bid adieu to their sheds while leaving their homes for new places. When movable plastic, metal, and wooden sheds came into the picture, homeowners started moving their sheds along with their household belongings. The reason? Memories and expensive sheds. You too must have sentiments attached to that shed in your backyard (even if it just houses your lawnmower and garden tools).
Carrying that shed to your new house will make you feel at home in a foreign land. But moving it comes with its challenges; the larger your shed, the more manpower you require. If you have a huge backyard, with a lawn, garden, and a pool, then it’s obvious your shed is going to be huge and moving it will be just as tough. Only tough men and women can afford to carry it from your yard to the waiting trailer. But if you’re a fan of DIYs and want to move your shed yourself, this extensive guide will make your load lighter.
Check If Your Shed Is Movable
The first thing you do before planning to move your shed is to check if it can be moved. Why take all the pains of collecting all tools and booking a truck only to know that your shed cannot be uprooted from its spot! If the previous homeowner left their shed behind, chances are that it cannot be moved (otherwise they would’ve just carried it with them!)
But here’s a catch, some homeowners do leave sheds behind because they’re traveling over a larger distance or because they felt the shed was too old to be moved. What you should do in such a situation is check how the shed is attached to the ground. If the shed is on a skid, you have good news, it’s perfectly portable. If the shed is not attached to any kind of foundation, you can easily relocate it. But if the shed is cemented firmly to your yard, you’ve got no choice but to leave it behind.
Things To Note Before Moving The Shed
Once you identify whether your shed can be moved or not, note some things before you call for the forklift and roll up your sleeves.
Condition Of The Shed
Check if the condition of your shed is deteriorating. While timber sheds have a lifespan of 20 years, plastic sheds last for 10 years. If your shed has been in your backyard for decades, it’s better to leave it behind and get a new one in your new home.
Material And Weight
The material of your shed also determines how difficult moving it is going to be. Plastic sheds are the easiest to move because they weigh around just 100 pounds. Metal sheds can be a tad difficult to move since they weigh anywhere between 70 to 200 pounds. But if it’s a wooden shed, just call the professionals to move it because they weigh between 1,200-2,600 pounds.
Cost Of The Shed
You need to budget the move of your shed well. The cost of labor, transport, equipment rental, and the charges of the forklift operator has to be kept in mind. The farther your new home is, the higher the relocation cost. In such cases, tally the cost of your shed and if it’s really worth spending so much to move it.
Structure Of The Shed
Pay close attention to how your shed is built – whether the shed’s structure is screwed, glued, nailed, or welded together. If it is screwed, it gets easier to disassemble the whole thing and rebuild it after reaching your new home.
Size And Dimensions
A smaller shed that’s just under 80 square feet is easier to move and doesn’t require much hard work. But if it’s a huge 144 or 288 square feet shed, you need to measure its dimensions and book a trailer in advance.
Location Of The Shed
Before you start moving your shed, access the area it’s located in. If there are trees, fences, or power lines obstructing the path, it’s better to let the shed be. If it’s just temporary fences or tree branches, you can clear the way.
Ways To Move Your Shed
A shed is not like a common household belonging that you wrap up in bubble wrap and moving blankets and shove onto the truck. It needs planning! Depending on the size, structure, and weight of your shed, you need to decide which way of transportation is ideal for it.
Dismantling It And Loading The Shed In The Moving Truck
This is the safest option of moving your shed to your new house. But it’s also the most time-consuming and tiring one. You’ve to disassemble the whole thing. While doing so, follow the user manual to the book. In case you’ve lost it, just click loads of pictures for reference for when you put it back together. Label the parts that are supposed to go together. Place nuts, screws, brackets, and other hardware in separate ziplock bags and label them with a marker pen.
Loading The Shed Whole On A Flatbed Truck
A small 10’x12’ or 8’x12’ shed can fit on a flatbed truck. These trucks have tilting bodies that can easily accommodate your small shed. There are winches in flatbed trucks that can be used to load your small shed.
Loading The Shed Whole On A Trailer
Getting a trailer is a better option if your shed is larger. Trailers have lower beds than flatbed trucks so it’s easier to load sheds onto them. You’ll need a forklift and a fork operator to load the shed safely. But if your shed is huge, like a big garage, it’s better to hire a crane service. This happens in fewer cases though.
Tools Needed To Move A Shed
Most supplies to move your shed will be within the shed, so you don’t have to go anywhere else. Just remember to wear safety shoes and comfortable clothes before you begin. Some things you’ll need are:
- Forklift and a licensed forklift operator
- PVC pipes if you aren’t using a forklift
- Hammer, crowbar, screwdrivers
- Skids or bracer boards
- Straps to secure the shed
Moving Your Shed
1. Get The New Place Ready
You need to prepare a spot in your new home’s backyard for the shed. Clear the area off debris and grass and make sure there is enough place for the truck/trailer to stand near your yard. If your shed has skids or a floor, you can just place it on the new spot without a worry. But if it has no base, you need to prepare a concrete slab well in advance. Measure the size of your shed and construct a platform in your backyard. This preparation ensures you meet no surprises after moving the shed. Just bring it in and place it on that slab.
2. Empty The Whole Shed
Always empty your shed, be it 100 pounds or 2,000 pounds! Everything from a BBQ grill, lawnmower, gardening tools to small pool cleaning products have to go. Start packing everything up a week before you move your shed. Make sure every object inside your shed is packed up and placed far from the shed. Moving an empty shed prevents any accident or injury, so never skip this step. Just keep your lawnmower handy, we’ll tell you why.
3. Take Off All Doors And Windows
Grab your toolbox and take off all doors and windows from their hinges. Then take them aside and load them separately on your moving truck with other belongings. If you don’t remove the doors, they can get distorted, damaged, or warped during the loading and unloading. The same goes with windows: they should be taken off and packed carefully (especially glass windows). Otherwise, the windows might shatter while the shed is being moved.
4. Prepare The Area And Dig Out Your Shed
You need to mow the grass around the shed all the way to the truck/trailer. This ensures stalks of grass don’t act as an obstruction while you carry the shed. When you’re cleaning the weeds and grass around the shed, be cautious of rats, scorpions, or creepy insects. If your shed is attached to the ground or has sunken inside over the years then you need to dig it out. Grab a shovel and dig half a foot underneath your shed, especially the corners. This makes the work of your hands or the forklift easier.
5. Add Skids Or Bracers
Most sheds have skids or floors under them. In such cases, it’s easy to lift and load them on because the skids act as support. If your shed has no skid or floor, you need to add one. You can either get under it and support it with a 4’×4’ skid or use bracers. While supporting with bracers, use 2’×4’ boards and make a shape of X to support all walls of the shed. Now your shed will have the strength and won’t twist during loading or unloading.
6. Roll It If You Aren’t Using A Forklift
If you plan to move your shed without a forklift, get hold of 4-5 pipes and some friends. Evenly place out the strong pipes and with the help of friends, place the shed on the pipes. If the shed is heavy, you can use a car jack to do the deed. Just use the car jack to lift the shed high enough so that pipes can be rolled under it. Now start pushing and keep placing the pipes back to the front of the shed if they come out from the behind as the shed rolls on. Once you reach the truck/trailer, use its tilting body and winches to load on the shed.
7. Load Up The Shed
If you’re using a forklift, make sure there is enough place under your shed for the forklift prongs to go underneath. Ensure the forks are placed apart to evenly support the whole shed. You don’t have to worry a lot about it if you hire a trained and experienced forklift operator. Your work’s done when it’s loaded on the trailer. In case your shed is really huge, you need to use a crane, but this method needs more skill and is costlier.
8. Secure It With Straps
Once loaded, you should secure the shed in place with straps to prevent it from moving during the move. Secure it to the truck/trailer’s bed with strong chains or thick nylon straps. Use 3-4 straps or chains for it and strap down evenly so the pressure is balanced. This method protects the shed against any damage while on the road. Call up the transport/moving company in advance and enquire if they’ll be sending straps along. Usually, protective straps are included to tie down cargo, but if they aren’t, equipment rental is a solution.
9. Drive Your Shed To Your New Home
The first thing you do before driving off is to measure the height (add the height of your shed and trailer). You need to get a permit to drive that huge shed across. So make sure you’ve researched and have your permits in place. Next, avoid routes that have power lines or overpasses above. Also, try keeping off roads that are too curvy.
It’s better to leave the whole driving bit to an experienced driver. Choose a weekend to move your shed to stay away from traffic. If the shed is moving over a longer distance, it’s ideal to stop at intervals and check if the straps are in place or have loosened up.
10. Unload The Shed
Your battle isn’t won until you unload the shed carefully after the move. Park the truck/trailer as close to the new spot as possible. Assuming that you’ve kept the platform ready, roll over the shed in its place. Be very careful though, the hurry of finishing the job might cause freak accidents. Haste leads to nothing, so unload with care.
If you disassembled the shed and moved it in a pickup truck, this is the step where you assemble it back together. Refer to the photos you clicked and start building it back. This is going to be your favorite DIY project so far!
11. Secure It Firmly In Its New Place
If your shed has a skid or a floor, just place it on the spot designated for it. If it has a wooden foundation, secure it to the ground with standard screws. For this, you have to drill a hole from the bottom of all walls and right into the foundation. Use concrete screws if your foundation is made of concrete. This protects your shed against strong winds and storms.
Once your shed is in place, attach its doors and windows back in place. Fill it with its contents and done! You’re hours away from hosting a backyard BBQ party! Celebrate the successful move of your shed because you did put a lot of planning and pain into moving that big boy. If you want to sit back and relax, just call up professional movers to execute moving your shed to your new house, nothing wrong with that!
Is Moving A Shed Too Costly?
Moving a shed locally with the help of pipes, friends, and a rental truck is cheap. But if your shed is huge and has to be moved over a long distance, it’s going to be an expensive affair. You need to rent a trailer, forklift, labor, and keep aside around $100 to obtain a permit. On average, moving a small shed over 50 miles will cost you around $225 to $500.
How Many People Does It Take To Move A Shed?
You need at least 4 strong people to move a shed, however small it is. This is for the sake of not ending up with squished toes and broken fingers. If you’re low on manpower, disassembling your shed and moving it will be an ideal plan.
Is It Worth Moving A Shed To A New House?
Yes and no, if your shed is portable and expensive, don’t leave it behind. At the same time, if your shed is old and attached to the ground, it’s best to let it go. Calculate your costs and decide if you can afford to move your shed. If the cost of the move is higher than the original cost of your shed, then drop the idea and buy a new shed after reaching your new house.
See also: Best Full Service Movers in USA