Sheds are not meant to last forever, and eventually, you’ll need to dismantle them. Whether it’s because they’ve outgrown their usefulness or have become unsightly, shed removal is an inevitable but manageable project. You don’t need to worry about the distinctions between disassembling a wooden shed and a metal shed. Our step-by-step guide will explain the best approach for demolishing both types.
Preparation for Demolition
Having a plan for shed demolition is essential for success. Determine if you need a permit from your local authorities, gather the necessary tools, create a disposal plan, and understand the general costs associated with shed demolition. This preparation will make the project safer and more straightforward.
Estimating Shed Demolition Costs
There is no fixed cost for shed removal, as it depends on various factors. If you’re handling the DIY shed removal, your expenses will cover tools, materials, permits, and disposal. If you’re considering hiring professionals, several factors can affect the price:
- Location: The shed’s accessibility on your property. Easier access typically means lower costs.
- Material: The shed’s construction material, whether it’s metal, wood, or stone, affects removal costs. Heavier materials often result in higher disposal fees.
- Condition: The condition of the shed can impact removal costs. A well-maintained shed might require more effort to dismantle, increasing the cost. Conversely, a decaying shed may be cheaper to remove, but if it poses safety risks, the removal cost may rise.
- Attachments: Consider how the shed is affixed to the ground, its use of utilities (electricity, water, gas), and the presence of any additional attachments. More attachments typically mean higher costs for shed demolition and removal.
Gathering Tools and Materials
You won’t require heavy-duty or specialized tools for shed demolition, unless you prefer to use them. Most of the necessary tools can be found in a standard toolkit:
- Adjustable wrench
- Reciprocating saw (optional)
- Roofing shovel (optional)
- Hard hat
- Heavy-duty gloves
- Heavy-duty boots
- Long-sleeve shirt
- Durable pants
Clearing the Shed
An empty shed is easier to dismantle. While you don’t have to discard everything, you should move items out of the way. Ensure that anything you wish to keep is stored securely to prevent damage during the demolition process. This is also an excellent opportunity to sort through items:
- Hazardous disposal
Identify Hazardous Items
Some items in your shed, such as propane tanks and pesticides, are considered household hazardous waste. These items cannot be disposed of in landfills and require separate disposal. Check with your local government to find out about hazardous waste collection events.
Salvage Items for Donation or Recycling
If you want to donate or recycle shed materials, consider their condition. Some companies accept donated wood from sheds for refurbishment and reuse. However, severely decayed or damaged wood may not be accepted. Metal sheets from your shed can also be recycled, but rust could render them unacceptable.
Removing Doors and Windows
Before beginning the shed demolition, remove any wall fixtures, shelving, or storage accessories. This not only enhances safety but also lightens the walls for later steps.
Remove the Door
- Use a screwdriver to detach the door from its hinges or remove the screws and hinges entirely.
- Optionally, remove the remaining part of the hinge still attached to the frame.
Take Out Windows:
- To prevent injuries in later demolition stages, remove the windows.
- Remove caulking and trim around the window using a combination of a hammer, chisel, and screwdriver.
- Pry out nails or screws holding the window in place and slide the window out.
Pro Tip: To prevent window panes from breaking and causing a mess, use contact tape or heavy masking tape on both sides. If a pane does break, the pieces will stay in place.
Dismantling the Shed Roof
Whether you’re demolishing a wooden or metal shed, the roof is the first part to tackle. Keep in mind that as you remove shed components, the structure becomes progressively less stable. To ensure safe demolition, it’s best to work from top to bottom.
Note: Most shed removal projects may require working on the roof with a ladder. If you’re uncomfortable with heights or lack a spotter, consider hiring a professional.
Knocking Down the Shed Walls
After removing the roof, it’s time to focus on the walls. Start with the wall containing the door, as it is the least structurally sound.
For a Wooden Shed:
- If you intend to save the siding for reuse or recycling, use a hammer to detach all attachments from the shed frame.
- Gently knock the siding from the inside until it comes off.
- Remove any connections to the floor using an adjustable wrench and pliers. If the floor connections cannot be removed and you don’t plan on reusing the floor, use a reciprocating saw to cut through the frame on each side of the fastener. Alternatively, use a sledgehammer to force the connection out.
- Locate and remove any connections to other walls.
- Push on the wall frame until it falls down. Be cautious not to exert too much pressure or fall with it. If you don’t feel safe, use a sledgehammer to bring down the frame.
- Dispose of the dismantled wooden shed wall.
Repeat these steps for the remaining walls, bearing in mind that the structure becomes less stable as you progress and may require temporary support.
For a Metal Shed:
- Remove any connections to the floor using an adjustable wrench and pliers. If floor connections cannot be removed, gently use a sledgehammer to push the walls outward, which should force the connection out.
- Identify and remove connections to other walls, keeping in mind that the nails, screws, or bolts might be on the outside of the shed.
- Use a sledgehammer to push the wall outward and force it over if it doesn’t fall automatically.
- Remove the dismantled shed wall from the area and dispose of it.
Repeat these steps for the remaining walls, considering that the walls become less stable as you continue and may require temporary support.
Demolishing Shed Flooring
If your shed has flooring, use a crowbar to remove the planks. If the flooring is elevated on legs and you feel comfortable, use a reciprocating saw to cut through the floor, speeding up the process. Once the floorboards are removed, check if the legs have fasteners to the ground and remove them. If your shed lacks a floor but has a concrete slab, you’re finished. If you want to remove the concrete, consult our concrete patio removal guide for guidance.
Shed Cleanup and Home Dumpster Rental
After finishing the shed demolition, you’ll have three piles to deal with: Donate/recycle, hazardous disposal, and trash. To streamline the disposal process, consider renting a home dumpster.
Renting a home dumpster makes debris removal more efficient, saving you time and effort. Organize your waste into the appropriate piles, then use the rented dumpster for disposal. With your shed successfully demolished and debris efficiently managed through a home dumpster, you’re now free to enhance your yard. Whether it’s creating a garden, building a fire pit, or installing a new shed, you can enjoy the open space your hard work has created.
An Open Yard Awaits
Now that you’ve successfully demolished your shed, there are plenty of options for your yard. Maybe you want to plant a garden, build a fire pit, or put a new shed in its place. Whatever you choose, enjoy that the space in your yard is the result of your hard work.