A guide on how to remove a shed yourself, how much it will cost to remove, and what to do if you find asbestos.
This article will detail the steps required to remove an unwanted shed form a property, as well as dealing with its disposal and the making good of any ground that it stood on. Garden sheds are enormously useful structures that serve as a place to store garden implements, tools, mechanical devices and even crop enhancing – or weed-killing – chemicals safely and away from the elements. However, you may have moved into a house which came with a shed that you no longer want or need, or maybe wanting to remove and update.
That will depend upon the materials used to construct the shed and whether there are any extenuating circumstances such as the shed being constructed from restricted or dangerous materials. It will also depend on the kind of base that the shed stands on and how difficult it is to remove it. The cost could be very low if you deconstruct it yourself, to several hundred pounds for the removal of deep-seated and/or composed of dangerous materials. The average cost for a standard shed removal is around £200. If you need to remove asbestos, you can expect to add between £200 to £1,350 on top of the removal cost.
A garden shed can be constructed from an array of materials and may have fairly substantial footings or foundations to support it. Many sheds are simple structures made of wood or even structural metal and plastic that can be unbolted to allow for their ease of removal. However, generally, a shed needs to be sited on a sturdy base to prevent it from being damaged in bad weather and to protect the content further. A base such as this may be as simple as paving slabs resting on the ground, to something far more substantial. If this is the case, then you have a difficult task in removing what may be a large amount of brick or concrete. This will have to be broken up and removed, once the structure itself has been taken down and cleared away.
The removal of material such as this may require a good deal of breaking up with a pneumatic or large electric drill and digging out of the broken material by physical means. Alternatively, you may want to hire a small digger to help do this, though this will come at a much higher cost. Alternatively, if you are not bothered about removing the footings, and have no plans to reuse the area for anything other than a lawn, you could simply ignore the fact that you have them and lay turf over the top. This, however, is not a completely clean option and is the least preferred way of removing a shed.
Obviously, when removing a shed, you will have ample opportunity to reconfigure that ground that it is sitting on, and potentially turn it into another feature – such as a flower bed of vegetable area – within the garden.
If you chose to deconstruct your shed carefully, you would need to find and remove all of the screws and nails that have been used to put it together and store them in such a way that it is apparent which part they were removed from. This is best achieved by placing screws from each area in small, clear plastic bags and adding a note stating which section they relate to. You could also make a basic drawing of the shed with notes that show which screw bag is located where. You will also need to carefully remove other parts such as hinges and door catches and store them safely away.
If you choose to take the careful route, you should start with the roof and gradually work your way down. If working at height, you need to ensure that you take appropriate precautions to ensure that the work never becomes unsafe. As you work down, you will inevitably come up against features such as windows, which will need to be safely removed. Usually, in sheds, windows are not as air-tight as in a house, and they may only be held in with a bead of wood which is nailed in position with small tacks, so it may be a better option to remove the whole window feature at the hinges and to store it safely.
Wood or plastic side panels need to be carefully removed and stored. It is a good idea at this point to mark each panel with a number system and note their positions on your drawing so that they can be returned to their original positions. Make sure that internal shelving is also removed and their positions noted on the main plan too for easy reassembly.
Here is a list of commonly asked questions regarding the removal of a garden shed.
Yes, provided that you remove all the nails, screws and other metalwork such as hinges from the wood before you put it through the chipper. Chipped wood is ideal for putting onto flower beds to prevent weeds from growing. Chippers can be hired but will add an extra cost to the removal of your shed.
Yes. If you deconstruct it properly, rather than simply knock it down, you will have a saleable item. How can I get rid of my old shed? In fact, one of the easiest ways to remove your existing shed is to sell it, as there's a very healthy market for old second-hand sheds. You probably won't gain a lot of money from the sale, but you'll effectively be able to get rid of it for nothing! The usual agreement is to sell the old shed for the purchaser to disassemble at a time which is suitable for you. You can usually place a classified advertisement in the community newspaper for a few pounds by phone or online, with payment by credit card or a bank transfer. You need to ensure that you state that the buyer collects, otherwise you may have a big job on your hands with delivery.
Asphalt is accepted by many council disposal facilities, but not all of them, so you need to check with your local site first. If your asphalt shingles contain other harmful substances such as asbestos, special precautions should be taken, and you will need to find a specialist to deal with it.
If you suspect that a shed has any asbestos used in its construction, you will need to seek specialist help in both removing and disposing of it – you will not be able to sell it on. You should contact your local council who will be able to advise you the specialist teams in your area who can help do both things, though there may be a charge to do this.