Lifting a shed

by Jo
(Rock Island, IL)

Our shed was located by the previous owner in the drainage of our acre yard. It stands in water every spring or during rainy periods. Therefore, it is starting to rot away. It has a plywood skid floor and is about 15 X 12 in size; wood frame (appears sound) covered by 4X8 siding panels (two of which are rotted and need to be replaced soon)

I would like to know if a heavy car jack can lift the shed so I can put concrete blocks underneath to remove it from the water. Any suggestions are welcome. THX!!

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May 20, 2014
Lifting a shed (reply)
by: Anonymous

I recently raised a 12' x 20' shed with a automotive bottle jack approx. 4". If you've dug beneath the shed corner to set your jack, be very careful to first place the jack on a flat and hard surface prior to raising the shed. The jack can become unstable on the ground very quickly without proper support. Even with support, plan to have something readily available to slip under the shed to prevent it from falling down in the event the jack becomes unstable.

Dec 04, 2009
Lifting a shed
by: John - Admin

Ho Jo,

Thanks for your question.

Before you go about this the first thing to do is to remove everything from inside the shed to make it as light as possible. If there are any glazed windows these should be either removed or braced as the frame may rack and crack the glass as you lift it.

I estimate the weight of the shed (assuming it to be 3/4" ply and 4x2 at 16" centres) to be a maximum of 1.8 tonnes. But you will only be lifting less than half this so a car jack (dependant upon the design) should be about right.

When it comes to lifting the shed do not put any body part underneath the shed as things supported on jacks and blocks etc can move unexpectedly - SAFETY FIRST AT ALL TIMES.

I don't know the layout of the foundation at the moment but I would think that it could be 9 pads on a 3x3 grid? I am also assuming that the floor is something like 4x2 timbers at 16" centres supported on say 3 6x2 timbers running the length of the shed.

I would excavate under the corners and lift each corner with the jack sequentially about 25mm packing each as you go. By doing this in small increments you will decrease the risk of the shed 'racking'. As the process goes on you may feel more comfortable increasing these increments.

There is likely to be at least one internal pad, this should be accessed from above through a hole cut in the floor, do not crawl underneath.

Let me know if this was helpful and how you get on with this project. Some pictures would be great!

All the best


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