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How to Tear Down a Shed

How to Tear Down a Shed

Whether you need to get rid of your old shed to add some extra space to your yard or replace a dilapidated shed with a new one, chances are you’re weighing just how difficult it is to tear down and dispose of yourself.

In this post, we explain how to tear down a shed, the equipment and dumpster size you’ll need, and other considerations to help you determine the best removal method for your situation.

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Before you grab your hammer and begin tearing into your shed, take a moment to make a plan. Consider whether it’s in good condition, so you can figure out what you might want to salvage, and follow this step-by-step guide for ideas on what you should do before you begin your shed demolition.

preparing to tear down a shed

Step 1: Check Your Local Regulations

Depending on your area of residence, you might need a demolition permit for shed removal. Your area’s zoning laws may require you to have a demolition permit for a small structure, so make sure you obtain that if necessary.

Older structures may use hazardous building materials that contain asbestos or lead paint, so take that into consideration as well and consider if testing and professional removal is needed.

Step 2: Gather Tools and Equipment

Every shed is made of different materials, and may require different tools for removal. Basics like a claw hammer, chisel, and pliers are tools you probably have on hand that can help pop off boards and shingles. But other tools, like a reciprocating saw can make tearing out the roof even more efficient. So check to make sure you have all the tools necessary before you begin taking it down.


Tools Wooden Shed Metal Shed Price Range Uses
Pry Bar yes no $20–$60 Detailed work for prying or removing nails or windows
Hammer yes no $20–$70 Pulls nails out
Reciprocating Saw yes no $100–$500 Precise cutting
Utility Knife yes no $5–$20 Cutting through caulk or adhesives
Screwdriver yes yes $5–$30 Unscrewing light fixtures or other fittings
Ladder yes yes $50–$150 Climbing up to the roof
Cordless Drill yes yes $100–$300 Removes screws or drill out rivets
Safety Goggles yes yes $5–$30 Protect your eyes from debris
Hard Hat yes yes $10–$150 Protect your head from materials falling
Protective Gloves yes yes $10–$50 Protect your hands from wood or metal pieces
Ear Protection yes yes $10–$100 Protect your ears from loud sounds
Tin Snips no yes $15–$50 Cuts thin metal sheets
Angle Grinder no yes $100–$150 Cuts through thick metal components


Step 3: Determine Your Disposal Method

If you’re going to demolish your shed by yourself, you should make sure that you have a way to dispose of any parts you don’t plan on repurposing. A 10-yard dumpster costs $522 per week, on average. There will likely be additional space in the dumpster, so this is a good option if there are items inside the shed you need to dispose of or you’re doing a home or yard cleanout. You can also consider a junk hauling company to remove the debris.

Step 4: Empty the Shed and Disconnect the Utilities

Once you’ve made a plan and have all the tools required, be sure to clean out your shed. Your shed should be emptied of all belongings and fixtures. If some of your items are hazardous, such as a propane tank, ensure you move them properly by contacting your city’s waste management department. Additionally, if your shed had electricity or running water, make sure to disconnect those lines before you begin the demolition.

Tear Down

Now that your shed is empty, it’s time to begin your demolition project. These steps offer an efficient way to tear down your shed whether you’re salvaging any materials or not.

how to tear down a shed

Step 5: Remove Windows, Doors, Shelves, and Trim

Your first step in the DIY demolition process is to remove any nonstructural item from the shed. These could be windows, doors, shelves, and attachments to the walls, such as hooks, bars, or pegboards. When removing doors, unscrew them from their hinges or remove them from their tracks if they are sliding doors. You should also remove any screws that hold the doors or windows in place. Loosen the trim with a screwdriver and cut the caulk with a utility knife. Gently pry the window out of its frame with a pry bar, but don’t push too hard or else you could risk breaking the glass and making more of a mess.

Step 6: Remove the Roof

To get to your shed roof, use a ladder and a sawzall (reciprocating saw) with a demolition blade to cut the roof into sections. You can then use a sturdy tool like a prybar to knock the roof down. If your roof is metal, unscrew the metal panels with a drill or screwdriver and remove the panels from the roof, placing them in a pile or dumpster. If you want to reuse some of the roof, such as the plywood under the shingles, make sure the saw that you use is set to the appropriate depth so that you only cut what you want.

Step 7: Knock Down the Walls

Next up: the shed walls. There are multiple ways you can remove the walls. As you remove pieces, the shed will become less structurally sound. Stay out of the way of objects that could fall.

You can use a prybar to remove the siding and unscrew the plywood sheathing from the walls if you’d like to save it.

Alternatively, you can use a hammer or sledgehammer to dismantle the structure, making sure that you start with the top and work your way down. Removing one stud at a time will help prevent any sudden collapses.

Finally, you could use your reciprocating saw to cut the walls down in pieces.

If you have a metal shed, you can dismantle the metal panels in the same way, starting at the top. You might need a sawzall or an angle grinder to cut through the metal. As always, be careful of the sharp edges when cutting metal, and watch out for sparks from the angle grinder.

Step 8: Demolish the Floor

If your floor is plywood, you can use a crowbar to rip up the floorboards or plywood sheets. Use a hammer to remove the joists from their anchors. If some beams are too large, you can simply cut through those with a sawzall. If your floor is a concrete slab, use a sledgehammer to break it up into smaller pieces for clean-up.


Once you’ve demolished your shed, it’s time to clean up and get rid of the debris.

shed disposal options

Step 9: Clean Up the Debris

Here are the ways you can clean up the mess and get it to the landfill:

  • Haul the debris to your local landfill. Fees will vary by material and volume.
  • Rent a dumpster and load it with the debris yourself. The cost to rent a dumpster averages $522 for a 10-yard dumpster.
  • Hire a junk removal company to clean up the mess for you. This could cost $200 to $400+ per load depending on where you live and how much shed debris you have.
  • Hire a shed removal service to get rid of the shed for you and clean it up. This is the most expensive option, and can cost is anywhere from $600 to $2,000, depending on the size of your shed.

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Ready to Tear Down Your Shed?

Now that you understand how to tear down a shed safely, it’s time to get to work! Be sure to make a plan ahead of time and have all the tools you need before you start. If you’re ready to begin demolition by yourself, you can rent a dumpster from BigRentz by the day or week, and use it to dispose of your storage shed.


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