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How to dismantle a shed like a pro

Whether you use it as a playhouse for your kids, a storage place, a greenhouse or anything else, there comes a time for your good old backyard shed to go. Either it starts rotting away, becomes redundant or you just need to free up space. Whatever the case, this is a task that can easily be classified as a feat of strength for most people, especially if done alone. Let us walk you through the whole process of dismantling a shed. Here we go.

You have to be extra careful while doing this because it is pretty dangerous, as it involves some heavy tools, parts and components. That’s why the first and most important thing is always to do it in the safest way possible.

Safety first

We strongly advise you to get a safety helmet and some protective glasses just in case. Also, since you will be working with wood and metal, you should probably get some work gloves as well. Throw a pair of old shoes in the mix and you are all ready for work.

After you are well equipped for the job, you have to now figure out what you’re working with. Next up is…

Inspecting your shed

Most sheds are usually very similar in structure and material – either wood, plastic, metal or in 90% of cases – a combination of the three, but you should still make sure you know where to start and visualize the whole process. Here is what your average shed most commonly consists of:

  • Trims
  • Doors
  • Ironmongery (door handles, hinges, etc.)
  • Windows and window frames
  • Felt
  • Roof panels (usually two)
  • Roof bracing
  • Roof ridges
  • Framing

The list may look relatively short but bear in mind that the actual number of elements is a lot higher, since there are more than one of some of the above listed.

All of these components will require you to not only be well equipped for the job, but well-armed too, so…

To arms!

The majority of sheds are mainly held together by bolts, screws and nails. In order to dismantle a shed as safely and as easily as possible, you will need:

  • A screwdriver (an electric one if possible, considering the amount of things you’ll have to unscrew);
  • A pry bar;
  • A saw (optional, but still handy if you are working with limited space for storage or transport later);
  • A sledgehammer (again, optional, but if you’d like to take a more ‘physical’ approach, this can come in handy).

Now that you are all geared up for the task of dismantling a shed, it’s time to take action and…

Get to work

We’ve split this part up into multiple sections for you, so you can have a better idea of how the whole process should take place. So, without further ado, let’s get on with the first step…

Removing the trims

The trims of a shed are the long, thin wooden planks that act as a finishing touch of each angle of the main structure, windows, door frame and in some cases – the roof. They are most likely screwed or nailed onto the whole thing, so depending on the way they are applied, take either the pry bar or the screwdriver and remove them gently. Proceed with caution, though, because they will get progressively looser and eventually fall or break off, if not held, depending on how old the shed is and how strongly they are mounted.

So far so good. The next step of the shed dismantling process is to…

Get rid of the door

Most likely held by two hinges and nothing else, this is probably the easiest one. If you are alone you should start with the lower one, so that the door doesn’t fall on your head. If you have a friend with you, it doesn’t really matter where you start, since one of you can hold the door in place while the other one gets to work. Unscrew the hinges and the door should come clean off. It’s easy as that. 

Windows and window frames

There are two types of shed windows – glass ones and plastic ones. Obviously, if your shed has plastic windows this step will be much easier, since the risk of you cutting yourself or breaking the windows is much lower. In fact, it’s close to nonexistent. Let’s suppose that you are dealing with regular glass windows. In that case, you should stand as far from the shed as possible, but still in reach of the windows in order to prevent the glass from dropping on your feet. 

Start unscrewing the frame, and leave the component on top for last, so that the window is, in a sense, ‘hanging’ from it to avoid it sliding off or moving around. Then, again depending on whether you are alone or with a friend, either secure the window so that it won’t fall down when unscrewing the last part of the frame, or ask your friend to hold the window. Remove the last few screws and safely dismantle the windows, putting them down carefully. Feel free to rest a few minutes. Get a glass of water, relax for a bit and get ready for the next step…

Dismantling the roof

This is a dangerous task, as the roof panels are likely the biggest and hardest to remove. The reason behind that is because they are heavier and require you to take them down manually and get a good grip, while simultaneously bearing the whole weight of the panel. So, let’s approach this task methodically.

Detach the felt

You should start here. If you’ve previously removed the trims, this should be as easy as peeling it off, since the felt is usually held by the trims, which are nailed to the edges of the roof. Moreover, in some cases it actually slides right off when removing the trims, depending on how many rainy days your shed has seen.

Unscrew the roof panels

This is an endeavour, which varies in difficulty based on the material and size of the shed itself, because, as mentioned earlier, the panels can be heavy and hard to manage. No matter the case, the method of removal is always the same. Unscrew each panel from the frame of the shed, and then from the bracing. Be careful, because as soon as it gets loose enough, the weight can overpower the remaining few screws and the panel can slide right off. As you can already guess, if there are two of you this task becomes a whole lot easier. With that out of the way, let us proceed to the final steps.

Disassemble the roof bracing and ridge bars

Compared to the last step, this one is a piece of cake. Just unscrew and detach the bracing planks one by one and then do the same with the ridge bars. Shouldn’t have any trouble with that. Continuing to the last part.

Take apart the frame

At this point, you are left with a very light and easy to dismantle roofless shed. If you want to have some fun, you can use the hammer here to basically break it down (responsively and carefully, of course). Or take a more peaceful approach and just unscrew the framing components, after which you can take the walls apart. You should now just have a floor, which you can lift up and stack on top of the other walls and parts for later usage or recycling.


In conclusion, as challenging and fun as this difficult project can be, it surely takes a lot of time to do properly and hides lots of risks of injury. Make sure that you follow our instructions closely and free up at least one whole day, maybe a day and a half.

However, if you decide dismantling a shed is too much of a burden for you, feel free to give Rainbow Rubbish Removals a call or request your personal quote. We provide a variety of rubbish removal services, including shed clearance, and would love to give you a hand!

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