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MY HANDMADE HOME: How we ... finally ... moved our shed


YouTube tutorials can be a wonderful resource when you’re trying something new. They can also fill you with false confidence and convince you to try a stupid (and potentially dangerous) idea that will leave everyone in a panic.

It all started with the placement of the shed (technically a baby barn) in our backyard. It was strangely positioned about six feet away from our deck, with a winding garden behind it. It made a already-narrow yard feel even narrower, and we talked for years about moving it ... somehow ... to the back of the property instead.

Well, YouTube to the rescue! We stumbled upon a video that showed a guy moving a huge shed by rolling it on long wooden polls. It sounds crazy and, it turned out, it was crazy, but it seemed doable. Didn’t the pioneers always load barns onto logs and move them to a new homestead of something? It seemed legit.

At $30 for six posts, we decided to give it a try and see if it worked. Without going into too much detail — because no one should try this at home — we started by jacking up the shed. I was freaking out the whole time, positive the whole structure was going to come crashing down on my husband’s foot (or head).

We slipped the posts underneath and rigged up wooden skids and a pathway of pavers. The idea was that the shed would smoothly roll along them to its resting point at the back of the yard. (Fat chance.)

We pulled ... and pushed ... and cursed. The shed barely budged. YouTube had lied to us.

I was frustrated, but my poor handy husband was in such a state I was worried he’d have a heart attack. We’d torn out our garden, we’d uprooted the once-stable shed and we’d wrecked a good chunk of the yard. He actually sank down to the kitchen floor, distraught. I needed to do something.

He said we’d probably need an excavator, so I made a couple of quick calls and found a local guy who came highly recommended. He was over within the hour, and for a hundred bucks he lugged the shed exactly where it needed to be. It remains the best $100 we’ve ever spent, on anything. We were both so relieved.

Of course, the project wasn’t totally finished. We still had a large area of our yard to re-sod (another $100), re-level and secure the shed on the uneven ground, and we also built a small deck at the front.

We plan to run power out there at some point. (Right now we just have long heavy-duty extension cords.) Handy Husband sometimes talks about replacing the wooden doors with an aluminum sliding garage-style door, but I argue that it wouldn’t leave room for pretty exterior lights, so we’ll see what happens.

For now, we’re just happy the shed is in a much better spot, tucked right at the back of the yard, leaving the rest of the grass free for the kids and their friends to run around. It looks better back there and it also makes the yard look larger.

And if, for whatever reason, we lose our minds and decide to move that darn shed again? We skip the wooden posts and immediately dial the friendly guy with the excavator. We’ve learned our lesson.

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