How to Move a Steel Building
Depending on the size and design of the steel building there are two options for moving it. Larger steel buildings sealed to a foundation will need to be disassembled and reassembled, while smaller steel buildings may be able to be moved short distances in one piece. Either way, moving a steel building 50 feet or 500 miles requires a lift and a skilled lift operator; if it’s being moved any significant distance an 18-wheeler will be required.
It is possible to move smaller steel buildings like sheds or small garages without disassembling it. If a smaller building is being moved a short distance, say from one end of a property to another it can actually be slid. The process begins by carefully raising the front of the steel building with a lift and sliding wood under it to act like a stand and then again repeating this process on the back to the building. Then, by attaching a towrope to the wood beneath the building, the steel structure can be towed from one place to another.
While this method is much less costly than disassembly and reassembly it’s also more risky. Uneven movement can cause bending and warping that can damage or destroy the structural integrity of a steel building. An advisable, but not surefire method of preventing flexing is to reinforce the skids by attaching 2×4’s cut to the width the building to the skids creating a sort of frame. In the end the building can be towed on the skids by a truck; much like a child being slid through the snow on a sled by his parents.
If the building needs to be moved further then it can be raised up by the lift from the 2 until a truck is able to move below it at which point the lift can lower the steel building or shed onto the bed of the truck. The truck can then relocate the building and then again a lift and raise and lower the steel building onto its new property.
Moving a larger building is much more complex because it involved breaking down a building into its basic components, transporting the components, and then reassembling them back together. The most important part of breaking down a building is organization. Improper deconstruction can create costly expenses in the form of lost or damaged parts. It’s highly highly recommended that skilled laborers be hired to ensure the structural integrity of the steel building is protected through all phases of the moving process.
Breaking down a building is essentially done in the reverse order of constructing one. Remove the trim and accessories, then the roof and wall sheeting, then the framing. A new foundation with the appropriate anchor bolts will need to be prepared at the new location. Once all of the components are moved from the original location to the new location the reconstruction process can begin as if it were a brand new building. High-quality buildings will be easier to move because their components will be able to better withstand the wear and tear of being taken apart and put back together. Also, pre-welded clips on buildings will speed up the entire process and prevent the loss of loose bolted clips during the move.