Moving a Whole House & Keeping It Intact

From on July 31, 2009 in Remodeling News

Yes, the whole thing!

I once read an article about a man who bought an old house for $1. The purchase agreement contained the caveat that the house had to be removed from the property on which it sat, so that the property owner could repurpose the building site without having to demolish the old house first.

house-moving-brick.jpgPhoto Credit: aka kath | Move completed by Expert House Movers

That story was so colorful, it made me curious about the process of moving an entire building from one place to another. As I delved into the topic, I discovered a company that specializes in moving houses and other buildings around the country. Wolfe House & Building Movers talks about some of the benefits of moving an entire structure:

  • The structure changes locations, intact
  • All the plumbing, heating, and HVAC systems go right along for the ride
  • A wonderful house can go from an unsavory location to an appealing one
  • A building with historical value can be saved

House-moving services include oversight by qualified engineers (they must be!), who utilize high tech moving and lifting equipment such as remote-controlled dollies and hydraulic jacking. Wolfe’s house raising experts say, “We can raise your building, rest it on our state-of-the-art dollies in order to create a smoother and more accurate ride, and then gently lower the structure onto its new foundation without compromising its integrity in any way.”

But what about big, big structures? A major builder relocated an entire factory to supply a 1,000-unit subdivision in Ontario, Canada. The factory, which was dismantled and moved, was built to create a warm, secure working environment for the construction of prefab homes.

hauling-house.jpg

“To move a building of 1,200 square feet, it typically takes 2-3 days,” says Davis Construction Building Movers. This company’s website is chock-full of important considerations for the would-be house-mover, including arranging for permits and preparing the new site to receive the structure intact. Another issue that needs addressing is the removal of existing landscape to allow for house relocation, along with ensuring that the new site has a foundation in place to receive the structure.

It can be done by boat, too! Nickel Bros. House Moving moves recycled homes in neighborhoods and by barge in the Puget Sound area. The company claims that home relocation reduces landfill waste by an average of 80 tons and 60 trees. In addition to moving the houses, the company will sell you a house to “recycle” onto a new location. Their website has a great Before & After gallery that shows examples to educate as they inspire many ideas for moving entire homes.