Demo 1-2-3: How to Remove Your Shed

Old abandoned shed

Do I need a permit to demolish my shed?

More often than not, you will need a permit to take down your shed. In a majority of cities, permits are needed when any structure or building is built, altered, or demolished.

However, there are some places that don't require a permit when demolishing a small, detached structure, like New York City, NY and Seattle, WA, for example.

Check with your city's Building Department to make sure you get all the necessary permits.
 

How much does it cost to remove a shed?

Like any demolition job, the price to remove a shed depends on a few things:

Location of the shed

Simply put: Removing a shed in higher-income areas will be more expensive than doing so in low-income areas.

Not only that, but where your shed is located on your property plays a role in pricing, too. The closer your shed is to the street or the driveway, the easier (and less expensive) it is to remove.

Keep in mind: If your municipality requires that you have a permit, you'll have to pay a fee in order to receive one.

Condition of the shed

If your shed is in decent condition, it's very possible that someone will be interested in taking it off your hands.

Try putting your shed up for sale on Craigslist. You may be able to sell it to someone who will come and remove it for free.

Connections to the shed

Most importantly, if the shed is anchored to a concrete slab, it will be more expensive to have removed.

Also, if the shed is wired for electricity, the wiring will have to be disconnected, perhaps removed—all of which will be reflected in the price.

Overall, shed removal costs can vary a great deal, from $200 to $2,000, depending on its size, whether or not it is anchored, wired, or in good condition. Generally speaking, the worse condition the shed is in, the less it will cost to remove it. See what others have paid for their shed removal.
 

Who can I hire to handle my shed demolition?

Depending on your location, there may be restrictions to who you can and cannot hire to perform your shed's removal.

For example, some cities have lists of permitted or approved contractors, so be sure to check with your Building Department.

Hometown Demolition Contractors can help you find the contractor you're looking for.
 

Learn more about hiring the right contractor for the job:


Find a shed removal contractor near you


Can I do the shed removal myself?

Well, that's a question for you and your chiropractor (and maybe your therapist), but if your shed is small and you're up for the challenge, you more likely than not can perform the removal yourself.

Disassembling your shed may not save you any time, but it will likely save you some money.

If you're up for the challenge, here are some of the basic tools you'll need to remove your shed safely by hand:

  • Safety equipment (glasses, gloves, work boots, etc.)
  • Hammer with ripping claw
  • Pry bar
  • Ladder
  • Tarps and drop cloths
  • Hand saw
  • Drill
  • Pliers
  • Heavy duty broom
  • Adjustable wrench

Keep reading about DIY projects:


How does the disassembly process work?

shed deconstruction

When it comes to physically taking apart your shed, the general rule of thumb is to start at the top and work your way down, with the exception of entrances, exits, and windows.

NOTE: If electricity or other utilities run to your shed, you'll need to have them shut off prior to demolition/deconstruction.

Windows

  • Remove any trim around the interior & exterior of the window.
  • Remove any window jambs/frame pieces holding the window panes in place, and carefully remove the window sashes.
  • Pry the window frame from the wall opening.

Doors

  • With the door closed, tap the hinge pins loose (they should pop up an inch or two) by tapping on the bottom of the pin with a hammer and nail.
  • Once loose, pull them out with your fingers, or use a flat-head screwdriver to drive up on the underside of the pin.
  • Place a piece of cardboard or a protective sheet underneath the door to protect the floor, and carefully lift the door off the hinges.

Roofs

  • Taking the proper safety precautions, carefully strip shingles off the shed's roof.
  • Disassemble the wooden framework of your roof be removing nails then prying them up.

Walls

  • Remove any existing drywall by first sawing a line from one end of the wall to the other, minding the studs, and then firmly but carefully removing it by hand. With some luck, it will rip off relatively easily, in big pieces.
  • Once all drywall in the shed is removed, you can begin prying apart/removing the walls one-by-one.

Floors

  • If there's wood flooring, pry it up using a pry bar or flooring tool.
  • If there is no flooring, just a concrete slab, this will have to be broken up and removed (if you don't wish to leave it in place). You can do this by hiring a contractor, or renting the proper equipment and handling it yourself.

Here is a good example of what the shed deconstruction process looks like:


How should I handle the debris and resulting rubbish?

When going through with a shed demolition or deconstruction, there will no doubt be quite a bit of debris to deal with.

Depending on your state or city ordinances, it's possible that there is a law regarding the number of materials you must recycle.

Consider donating recyclable materials to non-profits, like Habitat for Humanity. For materials that cannot be recycled, renting a dumpster is another great way to manage the debris (or find a landfill near you where you can haul the material yourself).
 

Keep reading about proper disposal methods: A Convenient Guide to What You Can and Can't Put in a Roll-Off Container


Consider repurposing, not removing.

So, you don't use your shed anymore and you're sick of it taking up valuable space on your property, but is it still in decent shape? If so, then repurposing your shed might be the best solution.

Not only does doing so keep the demolition materials out of the landfill, but it also breathes new life into your property.

Consider these new and inspiring shed ideas for transforming your old outbuilding into something spectacular:

Library / Office

shed library
Image via Bombay Outdoors

Art Studio / Creative Space

art shed
Image via Lowes

Bar / Wine Tasting Room

pub shed
Image via RIS Media

Learn more:


Find a shed demolition contractor near you