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How to Dismantle a Shed

Published: 11/08/2021

As you’ve arrived on this page, it’s clear you want to know how to dismantle a shed. But while this may seem a daunting task, it can be easy (as long as you follow some simple steps).

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Perhaps you want to know what to do with an old shed. And if you want to know whether your shed can be disassembled safely (due to age or condition), we're here to help. Or maybe you'd like to know how to disassemble a shed for relocation – and you're looking to avoid causing any damage during the dismantling process. You could even be concerned about how much it costs to hire a shed dismantle-and-removal service, and you want a step-by-step guide to help save money. Well, you’re in luck! In this post, we aim to answer any questions you may have before taking you through each step you need to take to dismantle your shed – the right way…

How much does it cost to dismantle a shed in the UK?

As an article on the Checkatrade website states, it can cost between £150 and £325 to pay someone else to dismantle and remove an old shed (at the time of writing) [1]. But if you’re wondering how to dismantle a shed yourself (or with a friend), this is clearly the most frugal option; all it’ll cost is your time and effort.

What should you do with an old shed?

Rickety old shed

If your shed is old and is blighted by a sunken door or roof or suffers from distorted windows – you should probably buy a new shed. But as long as your old shed is structurally sound, there’s no harm in moving your shed. That said, the steps in this guide show you how dismantle a shed in the safest most efficient way. So whether you want to know how to dismantle your shed for transport, or for demolition, keep reading.

How long does it take to dismantle a shed?

Man working hard outside

The amount of time it’ll take to dismantle your shed depends on the following factors:

  • The size of the shed
  • How many people are performing the task
  • The tools you have available

As long you have the right tools and at least one person is helping to take the shed apart, dismantling the building shouldn’t take you more than a few hours. However, larger sheds can take more time to dismantle than smaller garden buildings. The process of dismantling a shed is pretty much the reverse of assembling it. So, if it didn’t take you too long to construct it, it’s unlikely to take you too long to dismantle it either. Note: The number of people who’ll be dismantling the shed is particularly important. In the interests of safety and efficiency, at least two people should dismantle the shed – please don’t attempt it on your own! So, without further ado, let’s get started…

9 steps to dismantle a shed

The following guide shows you how to dismantle a pent shed, apex shed – and pretty much any type of shed.

1. Get the right tools

Electric screwdriver

For the sake of both safety and speed, it’s important you have the right tools for the job of dismantling your shed...

What tools do you need to dismantle a shed?

  • Hammer
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Gloves
  • Ladder

As you can see, you don’t need many tools to dismantle a shed. That said, all of those listed above are important. In particular, the electric screwdriver will speed things up (and save you a few muscle aches to boot!).

2. Take note of any possible issues

Before deconstructing the shed, you need to make sure you’re aware of any potential issues. The may include the following: Heavy parts: If there are any heavy parts, you need to make sure you’re ready to carry, or move, the weight – which means the person giving you an extra pair of hands also needs to be ready to help you. Rusty nails or screws: Take note of any rusty screws or nails and find a container to keep them out of harm’s way while you work. You can then dispose of them when you finish. Reusable screws: If the screws are in good condition, find a container to keep them in. That way, you won’t lose them and can use them to reconstruct the shed when you’ve moved it (if that’s what you plan to do). Debris disposal: This will be especially important if the shed you want to disassemble is rotten. In this case, it is likely to create debris when you take it apart. With this in mind, think about where you’ll put this debris (out of harm’s way) until you’ve finished the dismantling process and can dispose of it properly. The shed base: If you’re dismantling the shed to move to another location, you need to be aware that you may not be able to move the base – especially if the base is made of concrete. Likewise, if you’re dismantling an old shed to build a new one in the same place, you must make sure the base is in good enough condition to hold your new shed.

3. Take off the finial, fascia, and trim

The finials, fascia and trim are likely to be screwed in place, but they’ll be fastened with nails on some sheds. If yours is screwed on, use your electric screwdriver to detach the finial, otherwise you can use the hammer claw. As these are mainly decorative elements, removing them won’t affect the structure – so you won’t experience any wobbles at this point.

4. Remove any windows

M\n removing window

If your shed has windows, start by removing them – especially if they’re made of glass. When it comes to the structural elements of your shed, it’s best to remove the more fragile parts first. Start by unscrewing the window frames and carefully take out the panes. Again, if these panes are made of glass, take a slow-and-steady approach to prevent them from shattering. But if the panes are made of styrene or Perspex, you don’t need to be quite so careful when removing them.

5. Take off the doors

Shed door hinge

To remove the shed door(s), unscrew the hinge mounts to detach the door from the main structure. Take off the hinges, catches, locks, and any other metal parts.

6. Remove any roof coverings

Man replacing shingles

The extent of this step depends on what is covering your roof. Most garden building roofs are covered in shed roof felt alone. However, some sheds feature shingles on top of roofing felt.

To detach shingles

As we state in our post on shed roof repair, you can prise off shingles easily using a hammer claw (or pry bar). If you want to move your shed and the shingles are still in good condition, take care not to damage them as you may wish to reattach them once you’ve moved the shed.

To remove roof felt

To remove the roof felt, use your flat-head screwdriver to pull the tacks off and put the felt to one side (ready to dispose of it later).

7. Take off the roof boards (and gables)

Due to the weight and height (how far from the ground they are), taking off the roof boards will be the hardest and most awkward part of this process – both you and the other person (or people) helping you need to concentrate on this. The roof will be constructed of separate boards or panels, so you must deconstruct the roof in sections – each one is likely to be screwed or nailed on. Use your electric screwdriver or hammer claw to detach each of the panels, while your partner holds the panels up to stop them falling. Once you unscrew each board or panel, remove it with care and place it to the side. If you’re moving your shed to another location, you’ll want to put each panel/board in a place where it won’t get damaged. You’ll also want to keep each screw or nail in a container, so it doesn’t get lost.

Apex shed? Here’s how to remove the gables

If the building is an apex shed, you also need to remove the gables. Again, use your electric screwdriver to remove each screw until the gables come loose and you’re able to remove them.

8. Remove the walls

Your method here depends on whether you have a tongue and groove shed or an overlap shed.

Detaching tongue and groove walls

Because of the way in which tongue and groove panels slot together, there are likely to be fewer nails or screws (if any). Use the hammer claw to gently lift each board or panel until you feel it come away from its surrounding panels and pull it away. Repeat this process until you’ve completely removed the walls.

Detaching overlap walls

If the shed uses the more traditional overlap panels, use your hammer claw to remove the nails and take each panel off one by one.

9. Take up the floor

The final step in this process is to remove the floor of the shed. Most shed floors are screwed together, although some use screws sparingly (as in the case of tongue and groove floors, for example). Use your electric screwdriver to detach any screws and place them into the relevant container for safe keeping. Some floors will come apart right away – at which point, you can start removing each panel. If the floor is made from tongue and groove panels, then you may need to use the hammer claw to gently prise each board apart. At this point, you've dismantled your shed - and all that's left to do is tidy up! 

Reference

[1] https://www.checkatrade.com/blog/cost-guides/cost-remove-old-shed/

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