How to Move a House

How to Move a House

As supposing as it might appear, moving a house is often the most practical solution when money is tight. 

In recent years, more and more cash-strapped Americans are taking up the idea in droves. Moving a cheap house, or one that would otherwise be brought down to a new location. 

Moved houses come from used house lots or lived in houses when people need to move to other parts but do not have the resources to build a whole new house. 

By moving your house, you can save anywhere between 40% and 60% of what you would otherwise spend building a new one. Here is the step by step process on how to move a house.

The Moving

This bit will be handled by highly qualified engineers and house moving personnel from the company you contract. It, however, doesn’t hurt to have a rough idea of what to expect.

Before the actual uprooting of the house, there will be days of planning. Building inspectors and engineers will first have to ascertain that the house is structurally sound and that it can be moved safely. 

They will look at its blueprints and other physical signs to identify which parts of the house will require specialized support during the lifting and transportation. 

Once this is ascertained, plumbers and electricians will come in to disconnect all services from the house. The ground around the house will require some preparation as well. For example, trees and shrubbery close to the foundation will need to be bulldozed or uprooted for relocation. 

Engineers will then do some excavation work to expose the house’s foundation. If the house has a crawlspace or basement foundation, it is separated from its foundation and carefully lifted on steel beams. These beams hold the weight of the building during transportation. 

Houses built on concrete slabs are lifted with the slab intact, such that the I-beans are inserted underneath the slabs. 

The building’s main structure can also be supported using wooden cribs until it gets to the new location.

Once everything is in place, the actual lifting is done using hydraulics. This is via hydraulic jacks placed under the I-beams. These are controlled centrally to ensure all jacks rise and fall at the same time and with precision. This ensures the building remains level at all times. 

Once the house is lifted, sliding beans are inserted underneath. These then move the building onto specially designed dollies with rubber tires for movement. These dollies are harnessed to a truck, and the house is ready to be moved to its new location. 

On the new site, the building is positioned above the new foundation. This foundation is partially completed. This is supported by cribbing as the foundation is completed. Once this is done, the house is carefully placed on the new foundation. 

Plumbers and electricians can then connect the house to utilities once more. At this point, the house is ready for occupants. 

Your Role In Moving Your House

While you won’t have much to do with the actual lifting, transportation, and planting of your house, you will have some roles to take care of to facilitate the project. 

These will include:

Hiring a general contractor

Aside from hiring the house movers, you will need a general contractor for the pre-moving process. 

They will handle several aspects of the movie, including:

  • surveying
  • engineering
  • getting permits
  • disconnecting and connecting utilities
  • new foundation laying
  • excavation
  • landscaping and carpentry

The general contractor will liaise with the house moving company on permits when required. 

Pre-moving routine

There will be things you need to get ready or out of the way before the mover shows up on site. Here are a few:

Clean out crawl space and basement

Crews will take longer and have a harder time working if your basement or crawlspace has appliances, items in storage, trash, and so on. Ensure these are cleaned out before the crew arrives. If there are items that you cannot move, let your moving company know well in advance, so they can plan on how to work around this.

Inside the house

One other advantage of moving a house is that you do not need to do all the packing and labeling that comes with moving houses. 

You can leave your house as-is of the move. If you have valuables you are worried about, feel free to pack them up or place them on the floor. However, moving a house is done so steadily and carefully that it’s often said an unopened can of beer can be moved without spillage.

Get Permission for neighbors

Moving a house can at times be difficult without using the neighbor’s property as well. It would help if you can discuss the move with your neighbors before-hand and get permission for the moving crew to access their property during the move. 

Your house can be moved if they decline to grant access or if you prefer not to encroach on adjacent properties. However, this might require the use of specialized lifting methods that cost more. 

Sort out The New Foundation

There are three things you need to confirm with the movers:

Height lift

This is the difference between the current first-floor elevation and the new first-floor elevation once the house is relocated. 

New footers

You need to figure out how to go about the footers. Essentially this will mean determining whether to build new footers or using the existing foundation.

New foundation

The movers need to see you’re the foundation before-hand. Some new foundation designs require lifting steel to be rigged differently. Giving movers this information early on helps them plan early and ensures you avoid extra charges on re-rigging. 

As you can see, moving a house physically can cost less than building a house from scratch, but it’s also very labor-intensive. While it has its advantages, sometimes selling your current home and buying a new one at your location of choice can be much easier to do. If you are short on time and have to sell quickly, fill in the form below, and we will get back to you with a cash offer.



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