How to move a shed

Safely relocating your shed, whether big or small

Hire a removalist

Published on

Do you want the shed out of the yard but are wondering whether you have to dismantle and move it by hand? We have the answer for you. This guide shares how to move a shed, including:

  • Kinds of structures you can move

  • Tools you need for planning and moving

  • Why hiring a professional removal expert is more ideal than doing this DIY

  • Basic FAQs about how to move a garden shed

Are all sheds movable?

Before planning to relocate a shed, determine if it will be worth the effort. You might not be able to drag it across the property if:

  • It is directly attached to another building, such as a garage, a barn, or the main house.

  • It is fixed on the ground through a solid foundation.

  • The shed is dilapidated. (Replacing it could even be a better option.)

  • The structure is too large.

What if the building is neither of these? Can you move a shed without dismantling it? Yes, but ensure that it can withstand any significant movement: 

  • The walls and roof of the shed are not damaged or weak.

  • All the windows and doors are securely shut, with no drafts coming through any seams.

  • There is a secure foundation below the shed. This way, you can lift it without damaging any underlying structures.

  • You do not see visible cracks or holes in the woodwork of the shed that could cause it to collapse during the lifting process.

  • All nails and screws have been adequately secured, with no loose parts that could come undone during the move.

What do you need to move a shed?

a man drilling a shed

If the shed seems to be in excellent condition for moving, you can proceed to the following planning stages. It usually involves:

  1. Getting the permit

  2. Setting aside a budget

  3. Gathering the tools you need

  4. Prepping the shed, the yard, and the new location

Let’s begin with the permits. Do you need one? It depends on where you live (or planning to relocate). Cities, towns, and states can have various rules. For example, in New South Wales, a garden or tool shed may be considered an exempt development if:

  1. The property does not have over two similar structures.

  2. The shed in the residential zone is not bigger than 20 square metres.

  3. If it is in a rural zone, the size of the building is smaller than 50 square metres.

  4. It is at least 900 millimetres from every boundary. 

  5. The shed is not a shipping container.

To be safe, call or visit your council or planning commission for ideas and requirements. 

Now, let’s talk about your budget. How much does it cost to move a shed? This one depends on many factors:

  • Size, weight, and condition of the structure

  • Specialised equipment or machine used

  • Your timeline

  • Number of people who will move the shed

  • Distance of the new location

Usually, the average rate starts at $80 per square metre, especially if it includes dismantling the shed. You can spend less by hiring local movers.

Finally, let’s say you already have the permits (or do not need one) and have enough resources to hire moving specialists or do the job yourself. What materials should you have to begin the work? The essential pieces of equipment you need to move a shed include:

  • Jacks

  • Pry or crowbars

  • Ropes and straps

  • Metal or PVC pipes

  • Sliding boards or wood tracks

  • Gloves

How do you lift and move a shed? 

a man removing a shed

Here’s how to move a shed without dismantling it:

1. Plan the move with these tips:

  • Choose a good day to move a shed. Ensure the weather is fine, as rain and snow make navigating the path difficult. 

  • Prepare the terrain and level it if necessary.

  • Get rid of obstacles along the way.

  • Remove things that can fall inside the shed. Otherwise, secure them properly.

  • Perform last-minute repairs, such as loose screws or nails.

2. Loosen the shed. Use a crow or pry bar to gradually lift the shed and loosen it from its foundation or support.

3. Lift the shed. Insert a bottle, hydraulic, or car jack in one of the corners of the building and gently pump the handle to lift the shed off the ground gradually. Secure the jack and do the same for the other corners. Aim at least six inches distance from the earth. 

4. Place your makeshift rollers. Insert a PVC or metal pipe and layer it with durable wood boards. Place them perpendicularly under the shed, ensuring the boards go past the centre of the shed. Once these are in their position, remove the jacks.

5. Secure everything. With your sturdy rope, tie the house to the pipe.

6. Slowly move the shed. Be patient and check the rollers occasionally to guarantee that none, including the structure, are slipping.

7. Gently lay down the shed in its new location. Start at the back, which is the one facing against the new location.

How to move a large shed or metal shed

The steps above usually work if the shed is small. How easy is it to move a shed that is huge, say, 3.7 x 4.9 metres? For this one, you might need a trailer truck.

Here’s how it works:

  • You load the shed onto the truck or trailer using a ramp or lift.

  • Check that the structure is at the centre and balanced.

  • Secure it with ropes or chains.

  • Drive the truck carefully, avoiding sudden movements and sharp turns if possible.

  • When unloading the shed, remove the straps or ropes. Using a come-along or a winch attached to another smaller vehicle, such as a ute, gently drag the shed across the ramp.

What about how to move a metal shed? Consider using a tractor and steel pipes for the makeshift rollers.

DIY vs professional shed moving

a man talking to a contractor

The directions above are for how to move a heavy or small garden shed. And as you can see, it is doable as a DIY project. However, the best way to move a shed is to work with a professional mover for the following reasons:

  • Moving a shed even across the backyard is time-consuming, back-breaking work. Unless you have the strength and the stamina to do it, you are only making yourself prone to injuries.

  • Despite comprehensive planning, many things can still happen during the move. A moving expert can foresee these problems and prepare for them. Many can also perform immediate repairs and have general liability insurance.

  • The task might require special machines or equipment that you have to rent, especially when lifting heavy sheds. The most reliable moving teams can already include the cost of these tools in their quotes. 

  • Sometimes, the shed needs disassembly before you can move it. You might not have the permit, experience, and expertise to do it well. 

Is it better to build a new shed instead?

Sheds can be expensive, so unless they are already run-down or immovable, consider moving them instead. Airtasker can help you connect with experienced professional building movers in your area, whether you are moving a small shed or a large metal structure. You can post a task, get quotes, and then pick the best professional for your needs.

Find shed removalists, fast

Find a shed removalist

FAQs about shed moving

Yes, you can learn how to move a shed in the backyard, as long as it is not permanently attached to the ground or another fixed structure, such as a house, garage, or barn.

It can be challenging to relocate the building, especially if you need to know how to dismantle a shed or use special equipment, like a truck. The work is easier if you are dealing with a smaller structure, such as a garden or a tool shed, and the new location is only a few meters away.

You might need help and special tools to learn how to move a storage shed. Some of the essential types of equipment are rollers from pipes and boards, durable ropes, and hydraulic jacks to lift the structure. If you are moving a heavy shed, use a truck/tractor, winch, and ramp.

Yes, you can, because this size is considered small. Usually, you need makeshift rollers made of PVC pipes, a hydraulic jack to lift it, and ropes to keep the structure secure.

Related articles

Related price guides

Let's do this!

It's free and takes only a minute.