Sheds are great for storing things. They make good substitutes for garages if you need a spot to store your outside tools. What if you are moving and want to keep your shed? Moving a shed can be tricky. You might be wondering how to move a shed across town.
Here are the steps to move a shed.
- Evaluate Shed and Prepare It for Moving
- Gather Equipment
- Get New Site Ready
- Load Shed onto Trailer Properly
- Drive to New Location
- Unload Shed into New Home
- Secure Shed to New Location
In this article, we will go in-depth on how best to move a shed across town. We will break it down based on shed type and give you tips for moving your shed.
- Why and When Would You Move a Shed?
- How to Move a Shed Across Town
- How Much Does It Cost to Move a Shed
Why and When Would You Move a Shed?
So, you are moving and want to take your shed with you. Well, this can be done depending on the type of shed it is. Some sheds are moveable, while others are not.
Moving may not be the only reason to move a shed, though. Another common reason to move a shed across town is if someone is giving it to you. Sheds can be costly, so if you have the opportunity to get a shed for cheap or free, then you might want to take it if it is a moveable shed.
What makes a shed moveable? Well, how the shed is anchored to the ground is one key factor if it is moveable. There are sheds attached to a foundation. Others are not attached.
Some sheds are attached to skids. Sheds on skids are the easiest to move.
For sheds not attached to a foundation, there is nothing you have to worry about. These can be easily moved from one spot to another because nothing is holding them down.
Sheds that are attached to a foundation are a bit more work, however, and can’t always be moved. If a shed is attached to a foundation, you have to determine if it can be removed from the foundation without damaging the shed.
If it is attached with 2×4 or other wood into the concrete, then you can probably cut it out. If the foundation runs into the structure of the building, though, then this is not a good moving candidate.
Now that you have looked at the foundation and if the shed is connected or not. There are some other factors to look at to see if a shed is moveable. The first is the condition.
You want a shed that is solid and not falling apart or deteriorating. If the shed is wood, then you want one that is good quality wood that isn’t crumbling and turning to dirt.
If the shed is deteriorating, then you might just want to pass on it as it will probably end up being more work than it is worth. If it is only a few minor boards breaking down though, and still has good structure, then it is worth moving.
Some sheds aren’t wood, though. They are plastic or another kind of composite material. These sheds are generally worth moving. That is because the structure usually is always solid, and they are a lot of times lighter.
Weight and size are the last things to consider before moving a shed. Really big sheds can be hard to move because it is hard to support and brace everything. This leads to twisting and snapping.
If you are inexperienced, then you might want to leave moving big sheds to professionals. Small sheds though, can be moved without issues.
Remember that you have a trailer that is bigger than or as close to the same size as the shed as possible, so the shed isn’t hanging off.
How to Move a Shed Across Town
So, now we are going to get into how to move a shed across town. The key to a successful move is to have a good plan and reading these steps will help you make your plan. Your plan should cover how you are going to load, move, and unload the shed.
When it comes to loading a shed getting a trailer as close to the shed as possible makes it easier. Sometimes it isn’t possible to get a trailer close to the shed though, because the shed owner doesn’t want their yard messed up or the ground is soft. If this is the case, you have to get as close as you can, and then use the tips here to get the shed onto the trailer.
Step 1: Evaluate Shed for Moving and Prepare it
So, before you start moving the shed you need to evaluate it. We have already covered how to do this in the what kind of sheds can be moved section. You should remember that you want a shed that is in good condition, structurally sound, on skids or not attached to a foundation.
Also, it should be a size you can handle. Tied into size is weight. It is important to know the weight of the shed before trying to move it as this will factor into your moving method. To figure out the weight of a shed, you can take a look at this article.
Once you know that it is a good movable shed, it is time to get the shed ready to move. This should go without saying, but the first thing you should do is make sure the shed is empty.
The next thing to do to get the shed ready to move is to add bracers where needed. Sheds that are on skids should not need much more support because the skids provide support. They will help keep the shed from twisting. The same can be said about sheds with floors.
Sheds that don’t have floors or skids though are relatively weak. That is because areas such as doors don’t have much support.
If you can get under a shed without skids, then you can add skids to it. If you do this, it will also make it easier to load. All you do is add some 4×4 across the bottom from one side to the other. You don’t have to add skids though.
Another way to add support is by putting bracers made of 2×4 from one corner to the opposite corner, so you are making an X-shape on the wall with the boards. This will add strength and keep the shed from twisting.
If a shed has windows, then you can add it from the corner of the wall to the window to add strength because like doors windows are weak areas. Also, if a shed has windows, you might want to board them up, so they don’t get broke out during the move.
Step 2: Get Tools Needed
Once you have the shed ready to move, you want to get everything ready that you will need. You will need a trailer big enough for the shed, a few 6-inch thick PVC/metal pipes, wood boards for guides, a jack, straps to secure the shed, and manpower. You also might need a forklift or crane instead of the PVC pipes and boards if you are using that loading method for large or heavy sheds.
Step 3: Get New Site Ready
You want to get the new site ready before getting the shed there. You don’t want to get ahead of yourself and start moving a shed that you don’t have a spot to put it. This makes more work for you in the long run. Preparation is a key part of a successful shed move.
When it comes to getting a spot ready for the shed, you want it to be in a clear open space. You want there to be enough room to get the trailer, with the shed on it, as close to the final area as possible.
For sheds that are on skids and have floors, you don’t have to have a foundation to put the shed on. You can put it on any flat area. For sheds without floors or skids though, you need a foundation.
A good shed foundation is a concrete slab that is the size of the shed. This is because if your shed doesn’t have a floor, then it needs one. You want to be able to drop the shed just straight on top of the flat concrete slab.
Step 4: Load Shed Properly
Now that the shed is prepared to move it is time to load it. You have a few options to load a shed. The three main ones are crane, lift-fork, or pulling it. Certain kinds of sheds are moved easier with specific methods.
For smaller sheds, especially if they are on skids, you can use a lift-fork or pull it onto a trailer. A crane is only needed for large sheds. When we say small shades, we are still talking about ones that are too big to pick up. If it is a small pre-built shed, you and a few friends can probably lift it enough to move it and put it on the trailer.
To load a shed that is too big to pick up, you can use a simple machine method to move it. This method works best on sheds with skids. It can be used on any shed, though, with patience.
The first thing is to place down boards that are going to act as guides for the shed. Then you are going to jack up the front of the shed. A typical car jack will work and slide a pipe under the front of the shed, making sure it is on top of the board.
Then you are going to have another pipe in front ready to go under the shed when you start to push the shed. Three or four pipes should be a good number depending on how long the shed is. You want enough pipes to keep all the shed off the ground once you have started.
After you got the front of the shed on the pipe, you can jack up the back of the shed. Then push the shed until it is on the pipes.
Next, you just push the shed and when the back pipe is no longer under the shed, you can move it to the front and keep pushing. This method works great for small to medium sheds.
When you get to the trailer just put ramps with pipes and pull it up. A trailer that is lower to the groundworks is best for this. A tilting car trailer works even better.
If the shed is too big for this method, you might have to go with a forklift or crane. Another reason why you might need a forklift or crane is if the trailer is too tall.
A forklift is the next easiest method. To load a trailer with a forklift, it helps if the shed is on skids. That is because the shed will have support and you can get under the shed easier.
To use a lift fork to move a shed, the key is to go slow. You also want to make sure the forks are spaced apart to support all the shed. Then you drive the forks up under the shed. Lift the shed slowly and just enough to get it off the ground.
The higher you lift the shed, the less stable it will be. Once you get close to the trailer, you can drop the shed down on it. Then drive the forks out from under the shed.
Using a lift fork is faster than the pipe method, but also cost more. Also, you may need someone that is certified to use the forklift. The last method is even more costly and also requires more skill.
That is, using a crane. Using a crane should only be used for very large sheds where the other methods won’t work. To use a crane you need to go very slow and make sure the shed is hooked up right or else it will rip it apart.
To connect the shed to the crane, you need to hook each corner of the shed and also the middle of the sides if you can. That way the pulling force is even. You want to make sure the crane is dead center of the shed.
Once it is connected, pull up slowly and lift just enough to get the shed on the trailer. Once the shed is on the trailer, you can disconnect it.
After the shed is loaded, you want to make sure to strap the shed down tightly. You don’t want it to go anywhere as you drive. Make sure the straps are spaced evenly, and the pressure is even. This way the shed won’t get damaged.
Step 5: Drive to New Location
Now that you have the shed on the trailer, it is time to drive it to the new location. You need to know what route you are taking and be aware of any power lines or overpasses. You want to avoid these if you can.
Also, avoid curves if you can. One key thing to remember when driving the shed is it might not be legal to drive without permits based on the width and height of the shed.
A shed on a trailer will be tall. You need to know how far off the ground the shed is. A trick to do this is to measure how far the trailer is off the ground and then measure how tall the shed is. Then add the two numbers together.
Knowing the width is also important. If you are moving a 12 ft wide shed, then it is going to be wider than your standard 8 ft wide trailer. This means it will be hanging off. You need to research and get the proper permits if needed.
If you don’t want to get the permits, you should at least use a lead vehicle to warn oncoming traffic. Also, move the shed early on a Saturday or Sunday to avoid as much traffic as possible. The key is to drive slowly and carefully.
Step 6: Unload Shed Properly
Once you are at the new site, move the trailer as close to the final spot as possible. Then unload the shed in the same way that you loaded it. Unloading should be pretty easy once you got this far.
If you are sliding it off the trailer with a jack and pipes, go slow. The key with unloading is like most of this process and that is not to rush. It is best to do it slow and right, then you rush and damage something.
Step 7: Secure Shed in New Location
Now that the shed is at the new location, it is time to secure it. If the shed is on skids or has a floor, then you can secure it by just staking it down with rope. If it doesn’t have a floor or skids, then you need to secure it to the foundation.
For a wood foundation, you can drill the shed through the bottom of the walls onto the foundation with standard screws. If you are attaching it to a concrete foundation, you will need special concrete screws to attach it. Attaching the shed correctly though will keep it in place in case of high winds and storms.
How Much Does It Cost to Move a Shed
So, now that you know the steps involved in moving a shed, you may be wondering how much does it cost to move a shed. Well, the answer is that it varies depending on the method you use and the size of the shed.
If you are moving the shed yourself with the pipe method and have all the equipment, then it mainly only cost you your time. That is assuming you don’t need or don’t get permits.
If you do need permits, then this can cost a few hundred depending on the area. If you have to rent a trailer, then this can be another few hundred.
If you are moving a shed with a forklift, and you have to pay to rent it, then it can be a few hundred. It can add up quickly to move a shed on your own if you don’t have the right equipment.
Small sheds can be moved on their own without costing you much assuming you have a truck and trailer, but larger sheds can be costly.
Companies charge different amounts to move a shed. A lot depends on the size. It is a good idea to get multiple quotes from companies as your area can affect pricing. For reference though it is best to expect to pay around
$335 for a shed no bigger than 8ft x 16ft
$435 for a shed no bigger than 10ft x 16ft
$545 for a shed no bigger than 12ft x 16ft
Expect to pay more for bigger sheds.
As you can see, moving a shed can be a big task, but it can be done. The key is to make sure you have a good plan before you start moving the shed.
Make sure you know where it is going if it is in moving condition, and how you are going to do it before you start to move a shed across town.
Eugene has been a DIY enthusiast for most of his life and loves being creative while inspiring creativity in others. He is passionately interested in home improvement, renovation and woodworking.