Swing set removal can be an emotional decision for a homeowner, signifying the loss of what once was. Unfortunately, this all part of life. Over the years Junk Truck NH has removed dozens of swing sets from homes all over New England. We created this blog post for those of you who have decided that the old rotten swing set in the backyard simply must go.
When removing a swing set, you must first be prepared for the type of job you have decided to embark on. You will be dealing with old, rotten wood that is typically waterlogged and extremely heavy. Many of the wood planks are held together with large lag bolts and can twist and turn in unexpected ways. Please take some time to come up with a demolition plan before making any cuts.
Many of these swing sets are so rotten and weak that we do not advise that you ever climb up on their ladders or stand on any of their platforms. Stand on the ground surrounding the swing set as you make your cuts. Many times, the wood will fall in an unexpected way, so you want room to avoid that falling debris.
We have found that it is best to cut as much of the swing set down as possible, prior to making any cuts to any high platforms. Once the swings as well as any other attachments have been removed then you can begin cutting down the platform. Start from the bottom and work your way up. Eventually you should be able to knock the platform down on its side and begin cutting everything into moveable pieces. If you own a 2-wheel truck/dolly it will make transport much easier.
Another item to consider is the fact that the wood used for swing sets is categorized by most landfills as demolition, meaning it is priced at a much higher rate than general trash. Additionally, the amount of wood you are going to be hauling to the landfill is going to be extremely heavy which leads to quite a cost all around. You will typically spend 2-3 hours getting the set on the ground and loaded into the truck or trailer and then an additional hour hauling and dumping it.
Finally, you will need some tools for this job which will include a Sawzall, 2-wheel truck or dolly, drill, knife, and hammer. The most important of these tools is going to be the Sawzall, everything else you can technically get by without. Once you put your tools away and your swing set is in a pile on the ground please remember that the wood is stained and pressure treated making it illegal to burn.
HOW TO REMOVE A SHED
At Junk Truck NH we have been demolishing and removing entire sheds throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts for the past 3 years. In this time, we have collected information that will hopefully help you out with your shed demolition and removal. If you find your project to be a bit more than you can handle feel free to call or email us and we can take care of the shed removal for you.
You want to begin by examining the structure’s overall integrity before you select the tools for the project. If you have an older, rotten shed you might be able to tie a rope around one or more of the ceiling joists and (from a safe distance) pull the shed right down. Keep in mind the direction you pull as well as how the wood will land on itself, as you will need to eventually get in there and cut up the pieces.
If you have a strong, well built, shed that you are trying to remove, getting the shed down will require much more than a rope. If the shed is safe enough to step into then, get inside and inspect the quality of the walls. Most sheds that we come across will have 2x4 studs on the inside and ¾” plywood on the outside with some sort of vinyl or wood as an exterior. In this situation you should be able to take the butt end of an axe and knock the plywood walls off with no issue. If you end up with plywood on both side of the stud a Sawzall will be your best bet to get the walls down, while keeping the studs intact. Once the walls come down you will want to make sure that you clear all debris from the area, as you do not want to trip and injure yourself as you attempt to pull the remaining structure down.
Now that the walls are gone, take a long piece of rope and tie it to the remaining structure. Again, position yourself a safe distance from the structure and see if you can rock it back and forth and possibly pull it down. If this fails, then you will need to Sawzall a few of the studs at the base and try to pull the rope again. Continue this process and the structure will eventually come down.
As the shed lay on the ground, you will now want to take your Sawzall and begin cutting the roof up into pieces. Keep in mind the thickness of the shingles when determining how large you cut the pieces of the roof. If the roof has 4 or 5 layers of shingles, as some of them do, you are going to struggle moving the debris into the truck, if you make large cuts. Another thing to consider is the location of the roof frame. You will want to make you cut parallel to the studs so that you are not having to cut through each stud as you remove the pieces. Plan on going through a few wood Sawzall blades.
Lastly, you will need to remove the base. Most of the sheds we come across sit on a wooden base, although yours may sit on a concrete pad. Removing the base is the easiest part. They are typically made of a series of rotten 2x6’s with equally rotten plywood over the top of them. These will need to be hit with an axe or “Sawzalled” initially. Once you get an edge of the plywood up you should be able to remove the rest by hand. If it happens to be in good shape and you need to use the Sawzall, just remember to not go against the 2x6’s but rather in the same direction, as this will save you a lot of time and sweat.