How Tos

How to Move a Shed Without Breaking Anything

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In keeping your yard clean and neat, there’s nothing better for storing your supplies than a good, old-fashioned shed. While they’re expensive to buy (or even build, if you’re feeling ambitious), the cost is worthwhile to keep your yard organized, not to mention the chance to provide you with an extra storage space. But when it comes to time to move, the age-old question arises: keep it or leave it? And with a shed, that question becomes infinitely more difficult because most people don’t know how to move a shed.

But it is possible to move your shed with you (in most cases) as opposed to starting over from scratch. With some extra assistance, a few simple tools, and a large enough truck or trailer, you can move your shed from your old home to your new one without a scratch. Just follow our trusty guide on how to move a shed.

Step 0: Evaluate Your Shed’s Movability

Not every shed is the perfect candidate for moving to a new property, depending on factors such as size, weight, and materials – which can best be summarized as movability. Get started by taking some measurements of your shed, and if you purchased it pre-assembled, looking online to see how much it weighs empty. Chances are, your shed will fit into one of five categories:

 

  • Moveable in a truck bed. Most longer truck beds are around 8’ long, but the average, “short” truck beds are closer to 6’. Smaller sheds, like small indoor models, fit into a truck bed, and are light enough to be lifted by a group of people instead of requiring special equipment.
  • Moveable on a trailer. If your shed is over 8’ long or wide, and weighs over 300 pounds, you’ll likely need to move it with a trailer. This requires some extra equipment (more on that below), but is still fairly inexpensive.
  • Moveable with a forklift. These are the real “big guns” of sheds – over half a ton in weight, these sheds need some serious special equipment to move. You can rent a mini forklift, but you’ll either need some experience using a forkilift or a licensed forklift operator to move it effectively.
  • Not moveable. If it’s cemented into the ground or permitted by the city, you won’t be able to move it. While it’s tough to leave a quality shed behind, it’s a chance to find a new one for your new yard space.
  • Moveable only after breakdown. If your shed disassembles, you’re in luck – moving it disassembled is the easiest method. Save yourself some time and patience by looking up instructions for assembly before you break down the shed, just in case you can’t remember where all those nuts and bolts go afterwards. Once it’s broken down, it can be moved in pieces just like any other piece of furniture.

 

Step 1: Empty Your Shed for Moving

Even with nothing in it, your shed is well over a hundred pounds. So save yourself the backache and trip to the chiropractor by emptying out everything beforehand. Do yourself a favor and move the items inside far away enough from the shed that you’ll have sufficient room to move it without obstacles.

Step 2: Gather Your Supplies

Now that you know your shed’s movability, it’s time to prepare for what that entails. If you’re planning on using the roll-over-pipes method, get yourself a dozen or more UVC pipes (or any lightweight pipes will work, really). Gather some basic tools for any breakdown necessary, your standard home toolkit should work. If you think you’ll need a forklift, or even just a heavy jack to lift it (which even the medium-sized sheds may need to get them up out of the ground), head to your local rental center to pick them up. 

You’re probably going to need some muscle to help you out, but don’t risk your friends’ backs. Book a Dolly to get two Helpers to assist with the heavy lifting. And if your truck is disassembled or pickup-truck size, you’re in luck: we’ll bring a truck to take care of transporting it, too. Our friendly neighborhood pickup truck drivers are strong enough – let them do the heavy lifting when moving your shed.

Step 3: Prep the Area and Your Shed for Moving

When you’re moving out of your house, you want to make sure your path to the door is clear. The same principles applies when wondering how to move a shed: a clear path is even more necessary here, because you’re moving something much heavier. If you’ll be moving across a grass or dirt path, do yourself a favor: rake the area and mow the grass. It may seem over-cautious, but you’ll be glad when you find a branch you’d inevitably trip over hidden in the grass.

After the area is cleared, it’s time to prep your shed. Sheds may warp when lifted and put in new positions, especially for prolonged periods of time (take note of this if you aren’t going to set your new shed up right away). As a result, windows may fall out or doors may warp. Take the windows out completely and remove the doors from their hinges to keep them from twisting into odd positions after being moved. Place these aside and move them separately.

Step 4: Break Out the Shovels and Dig Your Shed Out

Unless you’re the Hulk, you’ll find it rather difficult to lift your shed straight out of the ground once it’s sunken in. So grab a shovel and start digging: create “gripping points” at periodical areas around the shed (particularly near the four corners) so your jack (or at least your hands) can get underneath the shed to lift it up. It’s best to dig at least half a foot underneath, or even more if possible. Exercise extreme caution if doing this on an uneven surface to avoid the shed tumbling downhill.

Step 5: Lift Like It’s Leg Day

Use the power jack if you have one to give yourself a head start, then get your Helpers underneath and lift. If you’re using a roll-over-pipes method, start by lifting the side of the shed that the pipes will roll over, slide the first few pipes underneath, then hold them in place while another helper goes around the back to lift and slide the rest of the shed forward.

Step 6: Roll, Roll On

Make like the ancient Egyptians and roll your shed over the pipes, taking a pipe from the back and moving it to the front in an ongoing fashion. This is where being aware of your path is important: any rocks or bumps will make this task much more difficult. Go slowly to avoid building too much momentum and sending your shed into a face-first nosedive.

For those of you going with the conditional carry method, skip ahead to our next step on how to move a shed.

Step 7: Loading Your Shed

Loading is the hardest part of this process, and it also requires the most muscle. You won’t be able to use your pipes for this part, even if you do have a ramp (thanks, gravity!), so you’ll need an alternate method. The simplest involves a ramp, if you have one:

  • Have two people positioned on each side of the shed (front and back)
  • Use a jack (or just some very strong muscles) to lift the side of the shed closest to the truck, make sure the people in the back are prepared to hold up the shed to keep it from falling onto its back.
  • Have all four helpers lift the shed to a level position (best achieved by having them go up a ramp into the truck), and begin moving it into the truck or trailer. This is tricky – it requires some serious shoulder strength, as the two closest to the truck won’t be able to stay in the truck bed for the entire time – they’re better off carrying it over from along the sides.
  • Gently let the shed down in the truck or trailer bed.

Step 8: Transport & Move Your Shed

Now that you’ve conquered how to move your shed, it’s time for the easy part: driving. Drive the truck to its new home, and once you arrive, repeat steps five through seven to settle it back in its new home. Now, all that’s left is putting your shed’s contents back inside, sitting back, and enjoying it.

When it comes to moving your shed, don’t take a chance with your back. Get moving help you need with Dolly. We’ll connect you with background-checked Helpers can bring the muscle (and a truck if you need it) to move your shed. You’ll never wonder how to move a shed again with Dolly by your side.

Miranda is the Marketing Coordinator at Dolly. She’s moved nine times in the past six years, and while she’s grateful for the moving expertise, she’s hoping she doesn’t need to move a tenth time anytime soon.

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