How to Remove a Storage Shed

Removing a storage shed can open up the yard to improvements and eliminate an eyesore that can reduce a home's value.

An old shed can be an eyesore and yard hazard.An old shed can be an eyesore and yard hazard.
If the shed is in bad shape, removing it can reduce the risk of injury to children and pets and remove the nesting places of rodents, snakes and insects. It's important to take it down safely and remove the remains immediately so that what was a natty old shed doesn't become a dangerous debris pile. For safety, wear jeans, steel-toed boots, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and eye protection. Tie your hair back and have a truck ready to load for a dump run.

Check with your local building department to determine if you need a permit to remove the shed. Remove all objects in close proximity to the shed. Load anything you want to get rid of in a disposal area. Expose the exterior of the shed on all sides all the way to the ground, including weeds.

Check the exterior of the shed for any signs of old electrical wiring if you didn't install the shed. Many people illegally wire outbuildings and there may still be live wires. Turn off the electricity at the breaker box if you do see wires. Empty the inside of the shed and dispose of anything you don't want. Remove the shed doors with a reciprocating saw or other tools.

Take off the roof from the top down. Use a ladder if necessary. Cut through the roof, shingles, plywood and any other roof material using a reciprocating saw. Don't try to save materials -- this is usually a waste of time. Haul small chunks directly to your disposal area. Speed up the process using a wheelbarrow and a helper.

Cut off the front wall using the saw or other tool. Do not step inside the shed during demo, when possible. As you remove the supports, the walls become likely to collapse. By removing sections including all boards with nails or screws to a disposal pile away from the shed, you protect yourself from falling on sharp and rusted objects.

Remove one side wall and then have your assistant hold one wall while you remove the third wall. You can also brace the last wall with wood boards to prevent a sudden collapse. Take off the last wall and remove all of the debris. If the floor is wood, remove it the same way, section by section. If the floor is concrete, use a mini jackhammer rented from a home improvement store, break up the concrete into small pieces and haul them off.

Rake the yard around the old shed area thoroughly to expose and remove all nails or small debris. Rake up to your debris pile. Load the shed pieces into a truck bed and take it to the dump. Make as many dump runs as necessary to remove all traces of the shed.

Things You Will Need

  • Reciprocating saw
  • Crow bar
  • Pry bar
  • Sledge hammer
  • Regular hammer
  • Wheelbarrow

Tip

  • Some disposal companies provide tarp disposal bags that are nearly the size of a dumpster. Locate this type of bag where the truck can easily lift it and simply load the bag and call in the truck to haul it off. This makes complete disposal much easier and safer.

About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.