How To Disassemble A Wood Shed To Move It

Disassembling a wood shed to move it is usually not a practical solution. It will take a lot of time and effort to disassemble and you will have to destroy some of the pieces in the process..

Then you will have to spend even more time putting it back together on the other end. It’s much easier to move it in one piece.

Read this post about moving a shed across the yard by hand, and this post about moving a shed across town.

But When You Have No Choice…

That being said, sometimes you will not have a choice. If you have to disassemble a wood shed, here is how you go about it.

You will want to take it apart into as few large pieces as possible, depending on the size of the shed and how much man power you have. The floor will be the heaviest piece but a few guys should be able to move even a fairly large floor. The walls will be lighter than any given floor.

Ideally you will be able to break the shed down into these big pieces…

  • Roof sheeting and trusses
  • 4 walls
  • floor

The first step is to get the roof covering off. If it has an asphalt shingle roof, just figure on tearing the shingles off and replacing them with new ones. If they are more than a few months old the asphalt shingles will be brittle and stuck together and they will tear as you handle them. But you should be able to save the metal flashing.

If the roof is another material like fiberglass shingles or sheet metal, you should be able to remove the pieces without damaging them. If you have a metal it might be installed with screws so the job will be easy.

Strip the roof down to the bare wood and remove any remaining fasteners, old felt paper etc. You want to get access to the nails holding the roof decking to the underlying trusses or rafters.

Back on the ground, remove the corner trim and eave trim so you can get to the nails underneath them. Sometimes you can save the trim, sometimes not depending on its condition and the material it’s made of. But chances are you will have to buy new trim because it’s usually rather delicate and held on with lots of nails.

Now you can start taking the big pieces apart. You probably will not be able to take the roof off as a unit because it will be nailed on in many places and chances are the nails holding the trusses on will be under the roof decking. So you will probably have to remove the roof decking to get to the trusses.

Use a nail bar and pry bar and start at the edges of the roof sheeting. Work a few nails loose and remove them. Then pry the sheeting up a little more to loosen more nails. If the nails will not budge, you might have to drive the nail head through the roof sheeting until you can pull the sheeting off. Do this with a large nail punch. It will make a large hole but you will still be able to reuse the roof sheeting.

Once the roof sheeting is off locate the nails or screws holding the trusses or rafters to the top plates and remove them. You might have to bang one end of the truss around with a hammer to pull the nail loose enough to get your hammer or nail bar on the nail head. There will probably be 2 nails or screws holding each end.

Of course if there is any metal straps holding the ends of the truss, remove them first by prying under the edge of the metal to loosen the nail up enough to get your claws under the head and remove it.

Now you can start removing the walls from each other and from the floor. Start with a non door wall because you will want to screw the door in place before you remove that wall, but you need access to the inside of the shed until you get the first wall removed. So save the door wall to second or later.

A wood shed is usually put together with nails inside the shed holding the corner 2×4’s to each other and nails holding the bottom plates to the floor. These are usually 3 inch nails. Then the siding is nailed to the frame and floor from the outside with 2 inch nails.

Because siding is more flexible than 2×4’s, I suggest starting outside and remove the nails holding the siding to the corner 2×4’s and to the floor.

Begin at the top of a corner and put a thin pry bar between the sheeting and the underlying 2×4 frame and pull a few inches of siding up. As the nail heads pull loose, remove them and continue to the bottom of the corner. If they don’t come loose easily, punch the nail head through the siding rather than let them rip the siding apart. Use a large nail punch like with the roof sheeting.

Then do the same for the next corner on the same wall. Then do the same for the nails holding the siding to the floor.

Don’t worry about the large holes in the siding because there is still plenty of strength left and the trim will cover the holes when you put it back together. But this is not the case for the nails holding the siding to the floor. Just be as careful as possible and use caulk to fill in any visible holes.

After you have all the siding pulled loose from both corner frames and the floor, go inside and remove the nails holding the 2×4’s together in the corner. Since the nails through the siding are gone you can pry the 2×4 frame apart to loosen the nails if necessary.

Now do the same for the nails holding the bottom plate to the floor.

When the wall starts getting lose and unstable you will need to brace it so it doesn’t fall. Or better yet have someone hold it because you will need to move it and bang it around a lot to find and get to all the nails.

Once the wall is loose from the shed, set it aside and begin on the next wall.

Before you remove the door wall you will want to screw the door shut. This will keep the door in place and make the door wall more stable because it probably doesn’t have a bottom plate at the bottom of the door.

The best way to do this is to place a 2×4 across the door about 12 inches from the top and run some long screws into the door it’s self and also into the outside door frame. Do this with another 2×4 about 12 inches from the bottom of the door. Use plenty of screws and make it solid.

Remove all the walls and set them aside. Now you will only have the floor assembly left.

The easiest way to move the walls and floor will be to get someone at each corner and someone in between and lift together. You can move a large wall or floor with enough man power.

If you have to get the piece vertical to get it through a gate or a hall way, put some 2×4 handles on either end of the wall or floor about waist high. Then get someone on each side of either end and lift it a few inches off the ground and walk it through the gate.

Congratulations. You have probably made a big mess in the yard but the shed is in movable pieces now and you can load it on a trailer and transport it to it’s new location.

If you decide to build a new shed instead…

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