Moving a Shed to a New House: Costs & Logistics

Moving to a new home and want to take your beloved shed with you? Here’s everything you need to know about the cost and logistics of moving a shed.

From BBQ grills and swingsets to sandboxes and swimming pools, American backyards are recreation hotspots.

They’re also popular among do-it-yourselfers who store tools, sporting goods, and lawnmowers in sheds.

In years past, sheds usually stayed homes when the owners sold them, but now that’s not necessarily the case.

These days sheds are larger and more custom to each home than ever. And many homeowners would rather not leave them behind.

That said, when it’s time to move your storage shed, you’ll need to consider numerous variables – which is where we come in.

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Assess Your Situation

Not all sheds are movable, so before breaking out the tools, it’s wise to take stock of your situation.

If you need help, call in a local handyperson or friend with shed moving experience.

Consider –

  • The age and condition of your shed
  • What it’s made from (sheet metal, lumber, or rubberized plastic)
  • How it’s built – screwed, glued, nailed, welded?
  • How much it weighs as a whole or in its component parts
  • Its dimensions
  • Whether it’s in an accessible area
  • The cost of replacing it vs. disassembling, moving, and reassembling it

Most sheds fall into one of the following categories –

Moving a shed with a truck

Some smaller sheds designed to hold a lawnmower and a few garden tools will fit on the back of a small flatbed truck like a Jerr-Dan (pictured here).

flatbed truck

These trucks are perfect for moving bulky items. They have tilting bodies and powerful winches capable of pulling a heavy shed up onto the bed for transport.

Keep in mind that most sheds won’t fit in the back of a standard pickup truck unless you disassemble them due to their relatively narrow width and rear wheel wells.

Moving a shed on a trailer

Since they generally have much lower beds than truck bodies (as in 2 feet high vs. 4+ feet tall), trailers are often better for moving sheds.

In addition, they have lower centers of gravity which make transport safer.

On the downside, most trailers don’t have winches, so you’ll either need to get the shed onto the bed with a crane, forklift, or manually.

Hey chiropractor!

Moving a shed with a forklift

With big sheds (between 500 and 2,000 pounds) that you can’t take apart, you’ll need to call in the heavy hitters – forklifts.

Though forklifts may be available at some equipment rental businesses, in most cases, only commercial customers with experienced forklift operators can access them.

Remember, lifting heavy, awkward items like sheds with powerful machines on the uneven ground should always be left to trained professionals.

Hiring a forklift and operator isn’t cheap, but having the right equipment is vital, and it beats destroying your shed and risking severe injury.

Moving a shed after disassembly

It definitely takes more time and elbow grease, but moving a shed after being disassembled is always safer than driving it in one piece.

Before taking it apart, consult the owner’s manual it came with, or if it’s long gone, take photographs of the hardware and joints to reference later on during reassembly.

It’s also a good idea to label adjoining parts with numbers or symbols like arrows and Xs, so you know which go where later on.

Put all the hardware like nuts, bolts, washers, screws, and brackets together into a plastic bag and seal the end, so they don’t get lost while in transit.

Sometimes, you just can’t move a shed

Some sheds just can’t be moved because of –

  • Prohibitive weight
  • Crumbling structure caused by water damage, dry rot, or termite infestation
  • An inaccessible location due to obstructions like fences, tree branches, telephone poles, and power lines

Consider Your Options

Once you’ve determined that your shed is movable, it’s time to think about how you’ll get from your old home to your new one.

Do It Yourself (DIY)

If you have the right equipment and know-how, moving a shed as-is (without disassembly) can be quick, efficient, and relatively painless.

But again, you’ll need to factor in weight, structural integrity, and dimensions. You also need to consider whether it’s fastened to a concrete slab or just resting on the ground.

In the case of a heavy shed that has sunk into the ground, you may need to dig or lift it out with shovels or hydraulic carjacks.

Then, if the truck or trailer can’t get close to the shed, you’ll need to carry, forklift or roll it into place.

When rolling a shed, it’s a good idea to do it over thick sheets of plywood or Masonite laid over level ground, especially if it’s moist or uneven.

Place the rollers – PVC or metal pipes or round timbers – on top and lift the shed over them so it’ll roll with relatively little effort.

Have Your Movers Move It

Professional moving companies will rarely move sheds in one piece but might disassemble them first before moving them.

If you’d rather not mess with disassembly and reassembly yourself, they may be able to schedule these services for you through a rigging or third-party moving services company.

If you’re moving locally, you’ll most likely pay for the time it takes the crew to move your shed pieces along with the household goods.

On the other hand, on long-distance interstate moves, you pay for the weight of the shed and usually an additional “bulky item,” which are standard on moving tariffs.

Regardless of where you’re moving from always let your moving company know upfront that you have a shed so they can make the proper arrangements.

Prepare Your Shed for Transport

1. Gather Your Supplies

Let’s assume that you already have a truck, trailer, helpers, and/or a forklift lined up to move your shed.

They’re important, but first, you’ll need to get your moving supplies ready.

Generally, you’ll need –

  • Screwdrivers, pliers, hammer, crowbar
  • Heavy-duty steel or PVC pipes or round timbers (if you’ll be rolling it)
  • Approximately six sheets of plywood or Masonite
  • Close-toed footwear, long pants, and shirt
  • Sturdy gloves

2. Empty Your Shed

The smallest plastic sheds can weigh just a few hundred pounds, while large ones built with lumber and shingle roofing like homes can top 2,000.

Either way, the first step in preparing to move your shed or storage building is emptying its contents.

Put everything together out of the way so you’ll have an obstacle-free work area.

3. Remove Windows and Doors

Lifting a heavy shed that hasn’t moved in ages can cause serious warping, which in some instances can break doors and shatter windows.

If they’re easy to remove, take out windows and doors first.

4. Create Easy Access

Having an obstacle-free path between your shed and the truck is imperative.

Avoid sharp inclines if possible, and keep an eye out for overhead power lines and other obstructions.

5. Free Your Shed

First, you may need to trim the grass and weeds around your shed to determine whether it’s on a concrete foundation or resting directly on the ground.

If it’s the latter, it may be soggy, rotten, and sunk into the ground, in which case you’ll need to dig it out or raise it.

It’s common for older sheds to experience severe damage during this process. So if it looks hopeless, you may be better off leaving it where it is.

Regardless of whether you decide to take it or leave it behind, keep an eye out for creepy crawlies like snakes, scorpions, and rats that often take up residence under sheds.

6. Use Your Legs Instead of Your Back

Heavy lifting stinks.

If you’re using people instead of power tools and motorized equipment, remember to lift with your legs as much as possible.

In addition, always have more help than you think you’ll need.

Moving large sheds can be tricky, and the more helpers you have, the less likely I’ll be that anyone will get hurt or your shed will be damaged.

7. Rolling is Better Than Carrying

The aforementioned rolling method is always preferable to actually carrying a shed manually.

Make sure there are at least three pipes (rollers) under the shed at all times, and designate one helper to take them from the back when to the front for you to use again.

8. Load Your Shed

If you’re forklifting your shed onto a trailer, elevate it on skids, concrete blocks, or evenly spaced 4x4s to allow the forks to slide in and out during loading and unloading.

Make sure it’s as square on the trailer as possible, and secure it to the bed with at least three chains or nylon logistics straps over the top.

If you’re manually lifting it onto the trailer, you’ll need between three and five helpers depending on the weight.

This is where gloves, long pants and shirts, and heavy-duty boots are important to help you avoid crushing fingers, gouging knees and smashing toes.

9. Drive Carefully

As long as you load it and secure it correctly, driving a truck or pulling a trailer with a heavy shed isn’t rocket science.

Drive slowly, avoid erratic braking or acceleration, and taking turns too quickly, and you should be good to go.

If you’re moving your shed farther than across town, stop after the first 10 miles and check that your chains and straps haven’t loosened up.

10. Reassemble Your Shed

To get your shed from the truck or trailer to its proper location in your new backyard, just repeat the previous steps in reverse.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to turn a shed into a tiny house?

Turning a shed into a tiny house can cost between $1,000 and $30,000 depending on its size, the materials used, and amenities like plumbing, heating, and air conditioning.

How can I move my shed without taking it apart?

If you have a small shed, you may be able to move it manually with helpers or with a forklift and flatbed truck or trailer.

What is the best way to move a shed?

When possible, the easiest method of moving a shed is by disassembling it, loading the pieces onto a truck, and reassembling them at your new location.

If I buy a new shed will they deliver it to my new house?

Yes, they’ll either deliver it with their own truck and crew or contract delivery out to dedicated shed movers.

Who can I hire to move my shed?

Moving companies may move your storage shed after you disassemble it. Alternately you can hire a local rigging or towing company to move it in one piece.

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