How do you move a shed? Ahh, the age-old question. There are many reasons that you might want to learn how to move a shed. Maybe you moved into your new home and absolutely hate the current placement of your new shed. Or you need to upgrade in size and want to keep your old shed for various storage needs. Or your cousin moved in down the street and you want to bequeath your old shed as a housewarming present. Hey, everyone could use more storage.
The logistics of moving a shed are complex and unrelenting. Where are you going to put it? Will that site be level enough? What are you going to use to lift it and transport it? All of these questions and more will be answered in this handy guide.
How Do You Move a Shed That Is In the Backyard?
You can either move it by hand with PVC rollers or rent a forklift truck to drive the shed from one spot to another. Those are the most common methods. If you have unlimited funds, maybe you can rent yourself a crane that will pick up the entire structure. But you probably don’t have that kind of scratch and you don’t want to deal with the headaches of hiring an operator, getting the necessary permits, etc. Best to just go with the first two options.
But before you get to the actual moving of the shed, you need to work your way through the preparations. Finding the right spot is key.
Pick the New Site
Make sure there is plenty of space, adequate drainage and level ground. You don’t want items rolling across your shed floor when it settles into a 15 degree decline after 3 months. Find an out of the way corner of the backyard, so the shed is accessible but not messing up the flow of your outdoor space. Make sure that it is far away from any gas lines or water lines and do not place it over your cesspool. You are going to want access to that part of your plumbing system for sure.
Look out for other possible roadblocks to shed placement, from old pet graves to in-ground sprinkler systems to a forgotten oil tank. You don’t want something popping up on a survey when you go to sell in a few years and find out that you need to move the shed all over again. Do your homework when it comes to placement.
Prepare the Site
If the ground is not level, make it so. Dig out a space for a foundation, whether you are actually going to pour concrete or not. Even if you don’t go whole hog and create a cement foundation for your storage shed, you will want to clear out rocks, dig a bit and tamp down the area where you are going to place your shed.
Can you use cinder blocks for a good foundation? No, probably not. The hollow blocks will settle unevenly and cause problems down the line. Use solid concrete blocks if you want a solid base that you won’t have to worry about. If you are really concerned about the foundation, you might want to go to the trouble of pouring an actual concrete slab for the base.
Empty It Out
Get every piece of lawn equipment, every tool and every patio chair out of the shed. The building needs to be completely free of stuff and light enough for a regular jack to get it up in the air. Sweep out the inside and even hose it down, so there is no dirt or dust kicked up during the move. A cloud of dust at the wrong time is going to create a hazardous situation for anyone moving a 1,000-lbs. structure.
Finding the Right Equipment
It depends on how you want to move your shed. Is it going to be with some friends, a small jack and some pipes to roll it on? Those items will be pretty easy to find. Do you want to skip all the back breaking labor and use modern tech to make the move? That might require sourcing out a small Bobcat or forklift to do the job of heavy lifting. There are many independent tool rental places that will offer up some real boyhood fantasy vehicles for a few hundred dollars. Just make sure you listen carefully to their tutorials on how to use the equipment safely.
Clear A Lane
You want a smooth, relatively hard path for the shed to travel on to its new location. If you are going over grass that is somewhat soft, and you are going with the roller method you will want to throw some 2x4s down as tracks. Basically you need some traction that will allow the rollers to flow and make the pushing process easier on you and your helpers. Look out for any overhead obstacles that might be in the way, from low-hanging tree branches to power lines.
Lift It Up: How Are You Moving the Shed?
Tracks and PVC Pipe
Find a bunch of rounded poles, wooden dowels or PVC pipes to place underneath the shed. And the aforementioned 2x4s for tracks. Use one or two hydraulic jacks to lift it up and place the rollers. Then push. It is that simple. Well, maybe not that simple, but with a small-to-medium sized shed, you should be able to pull it off.
You are going to want a contingent of friends and helpers to pull this off. You will be using a few rollers and you need some people to push, one or two people to move the roller from the back to the front and so on until you get the shed to the proper place.
A Small Forklift
Do you have access to a crane? No, probably not. Silly question. The next best thing is find yourself a small Bobcat with a forklift attachment and use that to lift the shed up and drive it to the new location. Take the time to study up on the proper use and driving techniques for forklift vehicles.
Even with this mechanical assistance, you are going to want a few friends to make sure the shed is properly placed on the forklift and it is clearing any potential obstacles in your way. When you are sitting the cab of the forklift, your visibility will not be ideal. Having an extra set of eyes is a good idea.
Placing the Shed
Once you get the behemoth to the new site, make sure you have it properly placed in order to never worry about extreme weather knocking out of place. Without a concrete foundation you will want to take measures to tie down the shed. Stakes, ropes and a mallet will help you do the job of secure the shed in its place, so heavy wind doesn’t turn your backyard into the Wizard of Oz.
Once you have the shed in place, fill it back up. And to keep your yard work and DIY projects manageable, you should take this opportunity to organize all your items in a pleasing and useful way.