Hello everybody. When my wife and I moved into our new home there was an old shed in the backyard. It was run down and ugly, the roof wasn’t really complete and I was sure it was running rampant with scorpions. It was positioned right next to the palm tree in the backyard, which we also cleaned up and documented. I’d never done a shed demolition before, or any type of demolition work for that matter. I asked my dad visit me and help me out on this one. Since it was more hands on I didn’t get a chance to take as many images so this post will be a bit shorter and more bare.
What We Used:
Not a pretty piece of architecture to have in your backyard. A proper shed demolition had been long overdue. The shed had floor boards and I was certain we’d find some scorpions dwelling underneath. My dad and I wore protective clothing and gear. Long sleeve shirts, pants, sturdy shoes, and a dust mask to avoid breathing in nasty stuff.
We got to work right away and these were the steps we followed:
Removing Electrical Components
The shed was built with an electric line coming from the main circuit box outside. We flipped it off in the breaker box and tested it to make sure no electricity was flowing in the line while we worked.
Looks like a complicated piece of equipment, but it comes together with screws. This becomes removed quite easily with a screwdriver or drill. It was the first screw we removed from the shed.
Removing the Rest of the Screws
Pretty straight forward work. We took the power drill and removed all of the screws visible to us. We started off with the door
and worked our way around the shed. As we removed more screws some of the walls started to fall off and the shed began to fall apart on its own. It was built rather poorly.
The structure of the shed was weak to begin with, and removing the walls wasn’t a big challenge. Most of the wall boards were held together with nails onto the support beams. With a couple bangs with the hammer and use of the pry bar taking off these rusty old nails was no major task. Once removing the nails the boards usually fell on their own. If not, a powerful strike with a hammer or kick with a boot were enough to send them flying.
We tried to keep the roof intact for as long as possible to use it as shade while we worked on the walls. It was a sunny day and if you’ve ever lived in Phoenix you surely know to work in the shade when you can.
After tearing down the walls and leaving the shed intact only by the power of its support beams we started removing the shingles piled on top of the shed. These were not adhered properly and came off by moving them with light force. We stacked the shingles and left them on top of our trash pile.
The roof beams were able to separate with relative ease by striking them with a hammer. Since it was weather beaten and exposed to the elements for plenty of years the wood gave way rather easily. We took down the roof beams and also piled these on top of our trash pile.
The Rest of the Shed
With no walls or roof, the support beams attached to the flooring came off with some blunt strikes with a hammer. As they were yanked off some of the floor boards started rising by the force of the strikes. We were almost done with the shed demolition yet I stirred with anxiety.
The time had come and we had to lift the floor boards and remove them from the shed. I was well protected with gloves and clothing so I tried to clean up the boards as fearlessly as I could. After lifting the first board I found the first scorpion hiding away in the shed. I managed to keep my composure and my dad (an experienced scorpion killer) struck it with the pry bar before it could get away. We disposed of the critter and carried on with our work. In total we found 3 scorpions and 2 black widows. I didn’t need to see any more venomous arachnids that day.
This part was rather unnerving. After removing the floor boards I was a bit jumpy during the clean up, I was worried there might be a scorpion hiding somewhere in our pile of debris. Luckily we found no more bugs and simply stacked the trash onto our truck bed. We laid all of the flat boards first and used a saw to cut some of the longer wooden beams in half. Afterwards we hauled away the old wood to the landfill to be turned into a compost made by the local city government.
Our shed demolition was complete. The scorpion headquarters (as my wife fearfully referred to it) had been removed and we didn’t have to ever see it again. I plan on using the space to possibly grow a garden. The dirt beneath it is relatively loamy and probably easily has the best growing conditions out of all of the soil in our yard. I’ll post an update of it later on.
In conclusion I hope the documentation of this task serves as a simple guide for you. If not, I hope it at least gives you the courage to try something like this without hiring someone to help you. As always, I encourage any type of comments or feedback that you might have for me. Cheers!