How Do I Move a Small Building to My Land?

Moving a small building to your land depends on just the building size and type of the building, the construction of the building and how far the building has to be moved.

Is the building a garden shed, an implement shed or a garage? Is it building constructed of, wood, metal or vinyl? Are you moving the building next door, down the street or across town? Such a project is moving a wooden garden shed next door or across town.

If the building has a plywood floor that is sitting on the ground, the plywood will probably be rotten. Dig a shallow trench around the outside edge of the building to find the bottom of the shed. At one corner of the shed, dig a trench at a 90-degree angle to one corner, put a block of wood in the trench and put an automotive hydraulic jack on the block of wood. Place another block of wood between the jack and the corner of the building and raise the corner of the building. The walls will probably come away from the floor. Place blocks of wood under the studs on either side of the corner of the building. Repeat this for the other three corners.

Using 3-inch wood screws, attach 2-inch by 6-inch lumber the full length of the inside walls about 1 foot from the bottom of the building. Run a 4-inch by 4-inch block of wood across one corner and place a jack under the block of wood. Raise the building higher and place additional blocks under the diagonal 4-inch by 4-inch piece of wood far enough from the wall, so you can secure a new bottom plate under each side of the building. Repeat for the other three corners.

Run pressure-treated 2-inch by 4-inch lumber the full length of the bottom of each side of the building flat side down to make a new bottom plate. Screw the new bottom plate to the bottom of the studs with 3-inch wood screws. Square up the building and attach pieces of 2-inch by 4-inch lumber diagonally as cross braces.

Attach a towing hook to the bottom of opposite sides of the building with 3/8-inch diameter lag screws. Place three or four 1-inch steel pipes under the building at the front, middle and back of the building to use as rollers. Lower the building onto the pipes. Connect one end of a 5/16-inch chain to each tow hook (if necessary use one chain for each side) and attach the other end of the chains to a vehicle hitch and slowly start to move the building. As one pipe rolls out the back, take it and move it under the front of the building and repeat this procedure until you reach the new location for the building.

If you are moving the building down the street or across town, you will want to load the building on a flatbed car trailer. Make sure the chain is long enough to stretch the length of the trailer, running it to the front of the trailer and to the vehicle trailer hitch. Nail two 2-inch by 10-inch planks together for each side of the trailer to use as ramps and pull the building up onto the trailer. Use tie downs to secure the building to the trailer.

If the building is sitting on a floor constructed of 2-inch by 4-inch lumber with plywood on top, your job will be much easier. Simply jack up the building, put the rollers underneath, attach the towing hooks and tow away.

Things You Will Need

  • Drill/driver
  • Ratchet wrench
  • Automotive hydraulic jacks
  • 3-inch wood screws
  • 3/8-inch lag screws
  • 2-inch by 6-inch lumber
  • 2-inch by 4-inch lumber
  • 2-inch by 10-inch lumber
  • 4-inch by 4-inch lumber
  • 5/16-inch chain with grab hooks
  • Towing hooks
  • Hammer
  • 3-inch nails

Tips

  • Check local bylaws regarding the transportation of a building.
  • Be sure the building is well-braced before moving it.
  • A pick-up truck would be the best vehicle to move the building.

About the Author

James Paine began writing in 1973 as an assistant editor for "Canadian Insurance" magazine. He wrote all of the news and articles as managing editor of "FoodMart News." Paine attended Humber College in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada, where he studied journalism.