Turning Two Outbuildings into a Cheap Metal Shed
Learn How to Economically Build a Metal Shed
Romie Holl – On my property, there were two metal structures that I wanted to combine into one cheap metal shed. One was an 18 x 22 garage, the other was a 16 x 18 garden shed. After several layouts trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my homestead and making future plans for the area, I decided that instead of buying a new shed (having looked through several shed plans and marveling at the cost of a supposedly cheap metal shed) I would combine both the garden shed and the garage into one long metal barn.
With the plans made, I had to figure out how to do this since I did not have any heavy equipment on hand (no skid loader). Spotting a few truck axles that I was going to put in a K5 blazer, floor jacks and wood, I decided to combine these items and move the shed with my truck and a 16-foot long car trailer.
I decided to do the hard move first (the garage). This was harder because it had only three walls, with one wall being the 16-foot-wide garage door.
With the garage, I had a problem since my trailer I was shorter than my garage. This meant I would have a section at the back of the garage that would not be supported when I moved it. I went through my woodpile and picked out the largest logs of wood I had (these were not split yet so they were at least 20 inches in diameter). Using a chainsaw and cutting the 6 x 6 vertical uprights as close to the ground as possible, made the garage loose and able to move. I rolled a truck axle to the back of the garage and left it there.
The 2 x 12 boards I had were not long enough to span the entire width of the garage, but if the boards were overlapped by at least 18 inches (more is even better) I could span the width and provide a floor to sit on the trailer. After nailing the 2 x 12 pieces across the span of the garage, and putting verticals from the rafters to the 2 x 12 pieces it was time to add cross bracing. These were angled pieces to stop the garage from racking when it was lifted and moved.
When I was happy with the structure that was built, it was time to start lifting the garage. I had two car floor jacks, a few jack stands and the logs from my wood pile. Starting at one corner I lifted it a foot off the ground. And once the stand was in place, I went around the garage lifting it a little at a time working my way around the garage. On the second go-round, I was able to lift it to two feet, this allowed me to use the first of several logs to hold up the garage. Once the garage was three feet in the air, I was able to back the trailer into the garage under the wood floor I had created, this took a little while because I wanted the trailer to be in the exact center of the garage to help balance it.
It was time to deal with the six feet that were not supported with the trailer. I rolled the truck axle to the back of the garage and started building a wood frame to keep the axle in place and where it belonged. I was glad the springs were still on the axle since it provided a place to run the wood. I used wood for support and tow chains to hold things in place.
I already had five hours of work into this thing and it was almost ready to move. So after a quick lunch, I came back out and jacked the garage up a little so I could remove the logs that were supporting the garage and lowered it on the trailer (as slowly as possible).
I was very happy when it was being 100% supported by both the trailer and the axle. I used every ratchet strap I had, (10 of them) then I borrowed five more from my neighbor and went from the upper part of the garage to the opposite side of the trailer, crisscrossing the straps, this helped keep the garage from sliding off the trailer as I moved it. The garage was finally ready to move.
The hardest part of the move was spinning the garage around 180° so it was facing the right direction. This started the slowest driving I had ever done. It took me 30 minutes to turn the garage around and move it 60 feet. I kept getting out of my truck and checking everything over every few feet.
Once the garage was in the right place, I took the straps off, jacked it back up, removed the trailer and axle, and slowly lowered the garage to its final resting place.
I was done for the day (10 hours total) so the next morning I went out and drove T-posts into the ground to hold the garage in place (three per each 6 x 6 vertical post).
The following weekend it was time to move the garden shed. This was easier because the trailer fully supported it.
I used the same procedure as moving the garage and once the shed was in place I had its back on the back of the garage. As you can see some of the metal bent.When I lowered it to the ground, one of the logs rolled at the wrong time and it hit the metal. I used more T-posts to hold the shed down. (Three per each vertical upright.)
To combine both structures into one seamless structure, I put rubber roofing between the metal of both structures and bolted them together. Using an Oxy-Acetylene Torch I cut through both the garden shed and the garage (leaving two feet per side) this provided a nice-sized area for the future animals (dairy goats, backyard chickens and pigs). Moving these structures and combining them gave me a cheap metal shed, at least compared to the cost of buying and building a new one. In the future, I will be converting the garden shed section into a goat barn and the garage will provide ample storage for the feed and hay that are required. Since I have a nice garage door I will be able to back the trailer up and unload it. But that’s next year’s project after I finish putting up the fencing.
Do you have any tips and tricks for building a cheap metal shed? If so, share with us in the comments below.