Even if you have your yard set up the way you want, complete with a shed in a convenient place, life has a way of throwing you curve balls. Some big landscaping project completed on the property behind yours may cause rainwater runoff to suddenly target your shed.
Perhaps you live in a restricted community, and new rules require that sheds be kept behind the house so that they aren’t visible from the street. Maybe the town wants to run new utilities underground, and they happen to have planned to run them right underneath your shed.
If you bought an existing house with a shed, you may find that zoning regulations changed during the occupation of the previous owner. The town zoning authority may have grandfathered in your shed’s location for the previous owner, but now that you’ve bought the property, they want you to move it to a new location. Whatever the reason, you’ve got to move that shed. How in the world are you going to accomplish that?
The main options for moving a shed are, moving it by hand, move it with rollers, use a truck or tractor and getting a professional company to move it.
If you’ve got a solidly built shed that’s not very old and you’re moving to an entirely new location, you may want to just take it with you. You’ll need to check out zoning and other regulations in your new location to see what they require. Some localities require certain kinds of foundations for sheds or even height limitations that may not be applicable where you are.
Zoning authorities may require an inspection or at least a detailed diagram of your property with your proposed location mapped out. Distances between your shed location, other buildings including the house, and the property lines and utilities will also need to be specified.
When moving a shed to a new property, you may also need some sort of travel permit. If your shed is wider than a standard road lane, you may need special lights and signage on your vehicle. Check this all out before you decide to take your shed with you. The cost of all the moving, permits, and extras may just not be worth it.
You may even need to hire a professional shed moving company, and this will run into some money, especially if the distance is far away. After all, most people who are moving don’t take their sheds with them. There must be reasons for this.
Of course, before attempting the moving process, you need to do a few things. First, check with the town building authority to see if you need a permit to move the shed, and to see what kind of approval you may need for the new location and any travel requirements if moving to a new location.
Walk the path you intend to take when moving the shed. With a new property, check out both the path off your property and onto the new one. Make sure there will be plenty of room to get past trees and that there are no rocks or stumps in the way. Even a little bush stump can mess up your move. Prepare some kind of foundation for your new shed location. If you need help on choosing a shed foundation check out my article What’s The Best Shed Foundation Option For You?
Lastly, take out the doors and windows and brace the openings. If you have doubts about the strength of the shed or any part of it, a little diagonal cross bracing that can be removed later will help a lot. Take everything out of the shed, and we mean everything. You want as little weight as possible when moving.
How to Move a Shed on a Trailer
A flatbed trailer may be just the thing for moving your shed. Many trailers can be tilted, making it easier to move the shed onto the trailer with a roller system or by moving it up by hand. The tilting system also makes taking the shed off the trailer much easier. Some trailers come equipped with a winch, which will really make the process easier. For a large shed or a trailer that doesn’t tilt, you may have to rent a forklift.
How to Move a Shed by Hand
If you have a small shed that is lightweight, at least compared to some, you may be able to move it by hand. Small metal or plastic sheds around 8 x 8 feet or smaller can be moved with just a few people. Some sheds can actually just be picked up by a having a person at each corner or even just two people for really small sheds if the bottom frame is sturdy enough.
Flooring can stay with the shed, but you’ll need to unfasten it from any heavy foundation. You also need to prepare the new place for your shed, whether pouring a new slab or just leveling the soil and laying gravel.
You’ll need a couple of long 2 x 4s, a few feet longer than the length of the shed, fasten these to the long sides of the shed a couple of feet above the bottom, attaching them to the wall studs. Screws are best for this. If your shed doesn’t have studs, you can just attach the boards to the outside walls.
Get three friends, who will each pick up one extruding end of a 2 x 4 in unison. Then carry the shed to its new location like pallbearers. Once your shed is settled on its new foundation, you can remove the 2 x 4s and caulk or fill in the holes you made.
How to Move a Shed on Skids
Many sheds are built on skids. Even if yours is not, you can install skids or runners with the narrow edge up for moving purposes. You want to make it into a kind of sled. These are a couple of 2×6 or larger planks, installed on the bottom of the shed along the long sides.
Attach them a couple of feet in from the outer edge of the long side so that they are more towards the middle of the shed bottom. Attaching them with screws will allow for simple removal later.
Then lay similar runners flat on the ground, making a track for your shed to travel. Use some rollers made of schedule 4 PVC pipe, long metal pipes or round timbers as rollers. You’ll need at least two rollers to go under your shed, and some extras to put in front along the track.
Then you can use a tractor or other vehicle to pull your shed or even some helpers to just push and pull. You’ll need one helper to pick up exposed rollers as the shed moves off them and then put them ahead of the shed.
One other way is to move the shed on the skids without the rollers. You’ll need to taper the ends of the skids upward before attaching them. You’ll need a really heavy-duty chain or strap attached to the shed frame by long lag bolts or carriage bolts. You can then move the shed by dragging it with a tractor.
However, the ground needs to be dry when you do this, and the path relatively smooth, without rocks or tall grass. Any uneven ground will cause problems. It helps to attach diagonal bracing to window and door frames to counteract the strain the shed will be placed under when it’s being dragged. Check out my article How to Build Your Shed Floor on Skids if you want to move your sheds onto skids.
How to Move a Shed with a Truck
Very small sheds can fit onto a pickup truck bed. Those that are may be able to be lifted onto the truck with a few helpers. For larger sheds, if you have access to a flatbed truck or can rent one, you can lift the shed onto the flatbed and drive it to its new location.
The size and weight of the shed will dictate whether you will need to rent a forklift or whether you can fix up a ramp to move the shed onto and off the truck. You can attach runners to the bottom, using rollers if the shed is really heavy. If it’s not, and the frame is sturdy, you can just use the rollers. You can also try just dragging it up your ramp, but this is not easy.
What Types of Sheds Can’t Be Moved Without Taking It Apart?
Sheds that are built on a concrete slab are really hard to move. You’d have to find a way to cut off all the bolts that are holding your sill plates to the concrete. Since these are sunk into the concrete, you’re probably not going to be able to pry them out.
Bolts designed for use in concrete usually have a mechanism that spreads some parts on the bottom of the bolt to expand into the concrete when attaching the sill plate to cured cement, or they were set into the concrete while it was still wet. Either way, they’re not coming out of the concrete.
Even if you can figure out a way to cut them off or get the fastening bolts off, it’s really a toss-up as to whether you can do it without damaging the sill plates. Dismantling the shed may be the only way to move it. Most people will just tear it down and rebuild it in another location.
Of course, really large sheds may just have to be dismantled to be moved. You may be able to take it apart in sections if everything is sturdy enough, then just reattach everything together. Removing the roof may be the toughest part, depending on how your shed is constructed.
If you don’t have the skills to dismantle and reassemble the shed, really large sheds may be able to be moved but the cost will be prohibitive. It may be less expensive to just start over with a new shed.
If your shed is really large and/or heavy, it will need to be hoisted onto a truck. If your yard has a lot of trees that will make it hard or impossible for a big truck to get through, it’s just not going to be possible to move it.
Another problem pops up if the shed is old and has seen better days. It may be wobbly or may have rotted in places. Cheap sheds that weren’t soundly built present much the same problem. A shed that isn’t really structurally sound is almost impossible to move without having it fall apart or at least get damaged during the move.
Even if the shed is built of wood, if it’s over 20 or 25 years old, it probably won’t stand the move in good shape. There can always be weak spots that aren’t readily apparent until it’s too late. Again, it’s probably best to tear this kind down and start over.
If you’re thinking of moving the shed’s concrete slab, it can be done if the shed is small, and the slab is easily lifted. However, you’ll need a lot of equipment for this, such as heavy chains and a forklift or similar machine.
The problem comes with the size. Thinner or larger slabs are more likely to crack or just plain break when you try to move them. This is why people don’t usually try to move them, but just break them up, scrap them and pour a new one.
Do You Need a Permit to Move a Shed?
In most municipalities, you will need a permit to move a shed. Sometimes small sheds can be moved without a permit, but it’s always best to check. You don’t want to go through all that work only to find that you have some big fine to pay.
In addition, your zoning authority may want to approve the new place you plan for your shed. They may even require an official to come out and inspect the place you plan to move your shed to make sure that no zoning rules will be broken.
If you are moving the shed to a new location and the shed is sizable, there may be travel restrictions or requirements, and a permit may also be required. There may also be restrictions in your new area that you don’t have where you live now. It’s always best to check to see what is required and go through the process to avoid any unpleasant surprises later.
Should You Use a Shed Moving Service?
If you’re moving to a new location and want to take your shed along, this is probably the best bet. There may be a travel permit required, special signals and signage required on the moving vehicle, and restrictions on which streets you can use if the move requires going to or through another town to avoid heavy traffic or overhead utility lines.
In addition, if your shed is really large, it may be wider than a street lane, which will get you into the need for even more permits and travel restrictions. A pilot car may even be needed, which will travel a certain distance ahead of the shed and will carry signage warning motorists coming the opposite way that they’ll have to move over up ahead.
If you’ve ever seen a mobile home being moved on a highway, you know what is meant. A shed moving company will take care of all of that for you.
Moving a shed entails a lot of work and can be very dangerous if you don’t know what to look out for. In addition, keeping a shed together while it’s being moved also takes a lot of work. If you’ve never been involved in moving something like a shed, or your shed is very large, say 12 x 12 or larger, it’s probably best to start looking for professional movers.
If you are contemplating hiring a shed moving service, try getting more than one estimate if you can. While there shouldn’t be a great deal of difference between estimates, some companies will charge more than others. Be sure to have the dimensions of the shed before you call, including the height.
You’ll also need the distance to be traveled, especially if you are moving to a new location. The movers will probably come to inspect both your shed and the path off your old property and onto your new property.
There are several factors that play into the cost of moving a shed, but most medium-sized shed moves average between $200 to $500 if the shed is not moved out of the current area. Distance will influence the price, as there will probably be a charge per mile if the move is over 50 miles. Some companies have a lower base distance. The extra charge can be around $1 to $4 per mile.
The size and condition of your shed will also affect the price. Basically, the harder your shed will be to move, the higher the charge. The condition of the shed will also affect the price. A rickety shed will be much harder to move than a solid one.
Since some companies also charge based on the estimated time it will take to do the job, if loading or unloading the shed ends up taking longer than it should, there could be an extra charge. This extra charge could be a flat charge, or it can be an hourly rate. Any extra equipment or supplies will incur an extra charge, such as having to attach skids to the shed.
A rough estimate places moving a 10 x 12-foot shed at $250 to $350. For a 12 x 16-footer, you’re probably looking at least $300 to $400. With a 12 x 20-foot shed, you’ll shell out anywhere from $500 to $800 or more.
Moving a shed, no matter the size is no small feat. Small sheds under 120 square feet aren’t a huge problem, especially plastic sheds. However, wooden framed or sided sheds or those with wood or metal siding will be heavy. Larger sheds will also present problems with their bulk.
It’s still doable to move them, but you may want to look into a professional mover, especially with moving them to another property. If you have any doubts about your abilities or those of your helpers, it’s probably best to get a professional just to be on the safe side.