Last Updated on April 7, 2022 by Cooper Hayes
People move their existing houses from one location to another for many reasons. Most times, the home has historical significance and is beautiful but is located in an undesirable neighborhood.
The house could be a family home with high sentimental value, but the current owners dislike its present location. Regardless of the reason for house moving, it’s a huge decision that can be expensive and have you highly involved.
However, the reward is often worth the risk for those who prefer this route than selling their existing property and rebuying another when they move to their new location.
Moving a whole house is often the best option for people who find relocating and the attendant packing a daunting task. With moving an entire home, you don’t need to spend days packing all your things in a box and unpacking them when you move to the new place.
However, you’ll need to ensure that this house moving makes financial and logistical sense. Hire a structural moving company and a general contractor to oversee the entire project, starting from the initial planning and all the details that goes into the house move to the overhead structures, site preparation, and cost to move. Suffice it to say, moving a house with a stone foundation requires intensive planning.
This complete guide to moving a house from one location to another comprises all you need to know about making this move and the steps involved. Let’s dig in!
Moving Your House From One Place to Another: How Possible Is It?
Suppose you’ve been wondering if it’s possible to move your entire house from its location to another place, the answer is yes. Yearly, some homeowners follow that option rather than go through the rigorous home selling and buying process.
Thus, if you’re thinking of relocating but want to hold on to your house, note that it’s possible.
Reasons to Move a Whole House
People want to hold on to their house for many reasons. For instance, an established family who might have invested lots of money and time in their homes might not want to part with it. Also, environmental conditions like floods might force someone to move out of a neighborhood to another further inland or up a hill to evade future destruction.
Another motivation for moving an entire house is preserving and safeguarding historic homes from possible demolition.
The truth is, you can’t move every type of home. Mobile homes are the most common type of property people move because they’re specially created to be portable and are inexpensive to move.
Besides the aforementioned reasons, moving home is a feasible solution if:
- You want to move your home further down the street
- You want to shift your house to accommodate the neighboring lot you just acquired
- You want to move your home far from the shoreline or waterfront
- You want to fix foundarional issues
- You’d rather stay in your house than spend money relocating and rebuilding or buying a new home
Factors to Consider When Moving Your House
Regardless of the reason for deciding to move your home, you’ll need to consider the following factors:
- Shape and Structure
Like we mentioned before, there are some houses you can’t move. For instance, it’s easier to move a single story house built with wood than masonry houses. Therefore, before thinking of moving your property, you need to decide if it’s something a relocation company can handle.
Even if the moving company can move that particular structure, the larger the home and its shape, the more expensive the house move. Homes with intricate chimneys and wrap-around patios add money and time to moving costs. Not to mention that materials like stone, logs, and bricks used in masonry houses will increase their fee.
- Weight and Size
The structure’s width, length, and square footage also matter in the amount it’ll take to move home. Moving a historic 7,500 square foot mansion will inevitably be costlier than moving a prefab house.
- Time and Labor
Moving a house isn’t one of those things you can do on your own. You’ll need to hire an expert moving service with the right high-tech machinery and equipment, high-premium insurance, and years of experience moving existing houses.
The home moving company you hire will need to visit your current home and the new location to get enough information before giving you a quote. Although a few moving services might give you a quote without an on-site visit by considering all the given numbers.
- Route Obstacles and Accessibility
Regardless of where you’re moving your home to, you might encounter one or more overhead obstacles, such as tree limbs, power lines, a mailbox, a pool, traffic lights, or uneven terrain.
Naturally, larger areas are easy to navigate than smaller lots. Similarly, cliff edges are harder than flat surfaces. Suppose you intend to move your home down the street; you’ll need to ensure the roads are wide and there aren’t any light posts, overhead utility lines, trees and power lines obstructing the way.
Don’t forget to secure all relevant permits. Whether you’re moving close to your current location or farther, multiple obstacles and accessibility are factors to consider.
- Crawl Space and Foundation
A house built on a concrete slab floor is different from one built near a waterfront or on a pier foundation. You’ll need to consider that crawl space will also influence the amount you spend on moving because the moving company will install lifting steel slats there to lift the house. Thus, houses with tall crawl spaces are easier to lift.
Is Moving Houses a Common Practice?
Surprisingly, moving a house from one location to another occurs more often than we think. Moving home isn’t the best solution for everyone, but many advantages abound if you’ve weighed the pros and cons and feel this is your best bet.
Homeowners can enjoy a new foundation and add a garage or more bedrooms if they wish when they move an entire house. They can move their home a bit back on their lot to lower road noise or save a historic structure or an old family house.
However, homeowners should make provisions for the small expenses that will come up while moving their entire house to a new location.
Steps to Moving Your Home From Its Location to Another
The following are the necessary steps to moving your home from its present location to another:
- Step One
Before moving your house to a new location, determine its feasibility and practicality. Besides, the house needs to be structurally sound to withstand the moving process; you’ll need to be sure it can fit onto a flatbed truck for easy transportation.
Check if structures, sheds, or large trees might obstruct the movement. If there are any, you might want to make plans to have them removed, especially if they’re close to the house’s foundation.
How far is the house from the new location? Besides sentimental value, is it more expensive to buy your dream home in the new place than the amount you’ll spend moving to your current home? These are all vital questions to ask before proceeding.
- Step Two
After answering the questions mentioned in step one, it’s time to set up meetings with a moving company. It’d be best to ask for recommendations from coworkers, family, or friends with some experience on home relocation rather than flipping through yellow pages.
You might want to check the Better Business Bureau before making an appointment with any moving company to ensure they’re in good standing in their community.
The moving company will assess the house’s complexity and provide the technical information on the move from uprooting the foundation to the rest of the relocation process.
- Step Three
Now is the time to make inquiries about the relocation cost. Try to get as many quotes as possible from different companies, besides the moving cost itself, including the cost of building a new foundation for the property and any other permit you’ll need.
Don’t forget to add insurance for the new place, for both the move itself and the transportation. The amount you’ll spend will depend on the home size, the distance, and the degree of difficulty involved.
- Step Four
Before you think of moving a house, ensure the property’s structural integrity is strong. Now is the time to call a structural engineer to determine if the home is in good condition enough to withstand being uprooted and moved.
Also, contact heating and plumbing professionals to disconnect the current home systems for the move. These professionals will help you decide if it’s best to reconnect them at the new place or change them completely. You might want to review your options and decide which one is best depending on your needs.
- Step Five
Now is time to sign a contract with a moving company, contact your insurance service for coverage for the house and its transportation, and get the necessary permit.
Suppose the house moving professionals don’t specialize in building foundations; you’ll need to hire professionals in advance. You might want to arrange for heating, electricity, and plumbing for the house once it reaches its new place.
If you’ve decided on moving a home from one location to another, there are some things to check, including your home’s square footage. That way, the relocation company will have a near correct estimate of the costs involved.
Ensure you ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs of moving your home from the relocation company. But if you change your mind and decide to sell your current home and buy another in your new place, you’ll need the services of a reputable and experienced real estate agent to find the best houses.