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Is it possible to DIY tear down a wooden shed held together by nails?

I have a hammer and crowbar.

What other tools do I need?

It looks like this shed except I already tore down the door and I've emptied out all the coal and rocks inside. This is just an example shed I found online.

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    How do you intend to dispose of the building materials once it's torn down? That may impact how you tear it down. – dwizum Jul 15 at 16:24
  • If you are going to denail the wood, you might need another tool for that like a pair of pliers. – Dan D. Jul 15 at 16:27
  • I anticipated that because this is small scale work, sanitation engineer would pick it up. – user103805 Jul 15 at 16:29
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I'm not sure if your comment about the dynamite is serious or not, but I would not recommend that option.

You can do it with the crowbar and hammer. You may want an assortment of crowbars and hammers, especially longer-handled crowbars and some with different angles.

Another option (if you'll consider power tools) would be either a cutoff saw or chainsaw with demolition blade/chain. These types of blades/chains are designed to cut through wood with embedded nails. For such a small shed, even a reciprocating with a blade for wood with embedded nails should suffice.

Cutoff Saw Cutoff Saw - U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David A. Cox [Public domain] U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David A. Cox [Public domain]

Chain Saw

Chain Saw by Ebear422 at English Wikipedia [Public domain] Ebear422 at English Wikipedia [Public domain]

Reciprocating Saw Reciprocating saw by Junglecat [Public domain] Junglecat [Public domain]

  • how does one get the wooden siding off the house hammered in by nails? crowbar? – user103805 Jul 15 at 16:46
  • Yes, several ways, just try what works best. You can use the crow bar to simply pry at the edge of a piece of siding, then eventually you should be able to pull it by hand once you have it started. You could also use a large sledge hammer to pound it off from inside. Or use the power tools described above to simply cut off manageable pieces of the entire structure, siding and studs all at once. – PhilippNagel Jul 15 at 16:49
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Absolutely doable, though it may take a while.

If your goal is to end up with wood that is usable for another project, then hammer and crowbar are the right tools. If your goal is simply to remove the shed and toss everything in a Dumpster, then a cutting tool such as a Sawzall:

enter image description here

will make the project much easier.

If you plan to reuse the wood, then removing nails is important and pliers or vise grips would help a lot. If you plan to burn the wood then:

  • Removing nails is important
  • If the wood is old & painted then lead paint is a big concern. Actually, any paint could be a problem but lead paint would be a major hazard.
  • If the wood is pressure treated then burning is not advisable.
  • how does one get the wooden siding off the house hammered in by nails? crowbar? – user103805 Jul 15 at 16:46
  • Crowbars are awesome if you don't care about reusing the wood. – manassehkatz Jul 15 at 17:02
  • @Germania, faster than a crowbar - just go inside the shed and hit the siding with a hammer (large) and it will probably just pop right off. Again, if you just want to demolish and not re-use. – JPhi1618 Jul 15 at 17:21
  • @JPhi1618 Would I need to wear a helmet and respirator incase the shed falls apart on top of me? – user103805 Jul 15 at 17:44
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    @Germania Needing a respirator depends on what was stored in the shed. If it was coal, then yes. However I have seen some very old but exceptionally clean sheds. Pretty much the same for a hard hat - really just depends on how bad the shed is. The siding shouldn't be structural, and taking it off shouldn't cause the shed to collapse, but if it's that wobbly, I'd stay outside. – JPhi1618 Jul 15 at 17:54

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