Picture this: you have a green thumb and a big garden with a nice shed to keep all your tools neatly stored. One day you will find a better home with an even bigger garden. The time to relocate is upon you, and you want to take your trusty garden shed with you, but you’re not sure how. What do you do? Well, we asked the Fantastic Removals Team and here are all the nifty tips on moving a shed they shared with us.
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Things to know before moving your shed
Moving a shed may actually be the least of your worries. Your first task should be to check whether you need a building permit to move your storage structure to your new home. Generally, for most sheds, which fall in the 8×10 or 6×8 category, you won’t need any special permits. However, you would still need to consult with your local building code, as many areas require sheds to be of a particular size and positioned in a specific place.
Here are some of the conditions for installing a shed without a planning permit:
- Zone: Your garden shed shouldn’t be positioned within a Conservation Area.
- Placement: It’s not allowed for your garden shed to cover more than half of the space surrounding the residential building and more than 15 square metres of ground. The maximum height allowed for sheds, which are positioned within the boundaries of a residential building, is 2.5 metres. As mentioned above, storage sheds cannot be placed in front of walls, which are considered as part of the front of the house. Moreover, they have to be placed away from any public roads and closer to the house.
- Dimensions: Your shed should be only one storey high and no higher than 4 metres for those with dual pitched roofs (3 metres for all other types). In addition, its eaves must not exceed a height of 2.5 metres. It’s also not allowed for your garden or storage shed to have verandas or balconies. Raising it on platforms is also not permitted.
- Usage: Unfortunately, if you want to avoid applying for a permit, you can only use your shed for domestic purposes. You are also not permitted to arrange any sleeping accommodations inside the shed or keep animals, such as pigeons.
To be on the safe side, check if your new home is part of a homeowner’s association, as it, too, may have additional rules regarding storage shed placement.
How to move a garden shed?
Now that you know whether you’ll need a building permit to install a shed at your new home let’s see what it’ll take to transport it.
There are three ways to move a shed: forklifting it, jacking it up, and dismantling it. Each technique depends on the type of garden shed you have, where it’s positioned and the terrain of its new placement. Make sure that you have enough people helping you on the day of the move.
Let’s look at each method separately.
How to dismantle and move a garden shed
This is by far the most time-consuming and cumbersome technique. And before you start working on your storage building, you will need to get a few tools:
- a crowbar
- a screwdriver
- wooden planks
- a hammer
- protective sheets
- protective gloves
So, how to dismantle a shed?
- Check the weather forecast. A calm and non-windy day is perfect for disassembling a shed because there’s less of a chance for it to collapse or injure you during the process.
- Empty the shed of all the items stored inside so it’s lighter and you have space to work.
- Remove the windows. Start by detaching the glass panes and securing them in protective sheets. Then, pry the window frames away from the shed with a crowbar.
- Unscrew the door hinges and detach the door from the shed.
- Make an X shape with the wooden planks on the walls and the floor and nail them. This will help keep the shed floor and walls intact during transportation. Keep in mind that this is applicable only if your floor is wooden or plastic.
- Again, using the X shape, install wooden planks on all the shed openings, where there were windows and doors. By doing so, you will further secure your shed structurally and the risk of damage during the move significantly diminishes.
- Finally, lift the floor and move it. If you have a wooden or a plastic floor, check for any rot or wear and tear. If there is damage, it may be a good time to buy a new floor before you install your shed in your new home. In case you have a concrete floor, you would have to invest in building or purchasing a new one once you relocate.
- Load all of the shed components onto the moving van.
How to move a shed without dismantling
If you don’t have the time to disassemble your storage shed, you can use one of the following techniques:
Using a forklift
Unfortunately, it’ll still cost some money to move your shed, even if you’re not going to dismantle it. Along with getting a few tools, you will have to rent a forklift for this method. The tools include:
- a shovel
- a flatbed lorry
- wooden planks
- securing straps
Remember that technique will only work if you can dig the ground under the shed or if there is enough space to place the forks underneath.
- Remove all of the items stored in your shed.
- Depending on your circumstances, either directly fit the forks under the storage shed or dig two narrow holes to provide enough space for the forks.
- If possible, try to fit a wooden plank in between the shed floor and the forks in order to secure the storage building in one place, balance it and limit its movement.
- Fasten the shed with securing straps for extra safety.
- Place it onto the flatbed lorry.
That’s it! When you arrive at your new home, reverse the process. Don’t forget to make sure the ground is level before you place the backyard shed in its new position. You don’t want severe weather to knock your building structure over.
Using a car jack
This final technique combines the first two methods minus the forklift. Here’s all the equipment you’ll need:
- a screwdriver
- wooden planks
- protective gloves
- a shovel
- metal pipes
- car jack
This method is more suitable for moving your garden shed from one spot in your backyard to another. Unless you have a few people to help you push the shed up onto a flatbed lorry, it’s practically impossible to lift the storage building safely without dismantling it.
- Empty your backyard shed.
- Secure the doors and the windows by nailing wooden planks diagonally across the openings.
- Nail the walls and the floor, if you feel your shed isn’t stable enough to survive the transportation.
- Decide where you will place the car jack and dig a hole near the selected wall.
- Use the remaining wooden planks to create rails from the shed to the place where you want to move it.
- Position the metal pipes along the wooden rails as you will use them to slide the shed from one place to the next. Once you start sliding the shed, you will alternate between the metal pipes so that the shed is always balanced on them.
- Fit the car jack under the storage building and start lifting it.
How much does it cost to move a shed?
Each relocation company calculates the price of transporting a building structure differently. There are a few main factors which are usually taken into consideration:
- Removal options and availability: Some home moving companies deal exclusively with transportation of household items, such as appliances and furniture, which don’t include garden sheds. When choosing a removals company, check if their services include the relocation of building structures. Those who do will have the proper equipment and vehicles to move your shed securely.
- Shed size: Given that storage buildings come in different shapes and sizes, it’s no wonder the prices vary. Shed movers may also take into account the materials used in making the garden shed as these will determine the safest way of fastening the structure to the moving vehicle.
- Distance: As with any other relocation, the distance between point A and point B is a big factor. Not every type of moving van is allowed through congestion zones and for those, which are permitted to pass through, there’s usually a fee.
Hire a professional
Moving a garden shed isn’t easy: it takes a lot of time, you can potentially injure yourself, and you end up wondering why didn’t you ask an expert to help you in the first place. If you’re planning your next home move and want an extra pair of hands to transport your shed, Fantastic Removals offers a free video survey option.
During the preliminary viewing, a friendly staff member can address all your concerns, including whether it’s possible to move your storage structure. Please note that transporting your shed will be under the condition it is dismantled before the move. However, you don’t have to worry about that, as the packers and movers can help you disassemble and set your shed back up along with the rest of your furniture.