How to move a shed

Safely relocating your shed, whether big or small

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Are you considering moving to another property and bringing your shed? Do you want to spruce up your yard and place the shack somewhere else? Then you might be interested to know how to move a shed by hand.

It will not be easy, and you cannot move some designs. But with the right tools and professional help, you can quickly tick this off on your to-do list. Read this guide to learn the basic steps of moving a storage building. 

Are all sheds movable?

Before planning to move 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 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 seam.

  • 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. A part of learning how to move a wood shed involves:

  1. Getting the permit

  2. Setting a budget

  3. Gathering the tools you need

  4. Prepping the shed, yard, and 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:

  1. You might skip processing permits if the shed is small–that is, its size is around 8 x 10. Large sheds might go against zoning restrictions.

  2. Regardless of the shed size, its new location should not be within or close to a property line.

  3. You must have enough yard space to accommodate the moved shed. 

To be safe, call or visit your local office for ideas and requirements. If you are moving to another community, verify if the housing association has specific rules about sheds. 

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

  • Specialized equipment or machine used

  • Your timeline

  • Number of people who will move the shed

  • Distance of the new location

Usually, the average hourly rate starts at $200 to $300. 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 most basic 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

Steps to moving a shed by hand

a man holding a shed door

1. Plan the move with these tips:

  • Choose a good day to move a shed. Ensure that the weather is fine, as rain and snow can 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 all the way past the center 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 shed with a truck

The steps above usually work when learning how to move a small shed. How do you move an 8x12 shed? 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 center 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. Gently drag the shed across the ramp using a come-along or a winch attached to another smaller vehicle.

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 to move it properly. 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. You can post a task, get quotes, and then pick the best professional for your needs. 

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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 difficult to relocate the building, especially if you need to know how to dismantle a shed to move it or have to use special equipment, like a truck. The work is easier if you are dealing with a smaller structure, such as a garden or 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.

To know how to move a tool shed of this size, you need makeshift rollers, preferably made from metal pipes and thick wooden beams. You will also need a bottle jack and a truck to relocate it farther from your yard.

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