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How House Moving Works

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Author's Note: How House Moving Works

There used to be a feature in American History magazine called "Save this Old Barn." The magazine would include a photo of the barn, which was usually beautiful, and a bit about the history of the structure. The price was usually a dollar, but the buyer was responsible for moving the barn. I thought these barns were great deals and I wondered why more people weren't snapping up one-dollar barns -- and then I wrote this article.

Turns out that the dollar price tag is the only thing that will come cheap and easy in the course of moving a building. There's a ton of logistical planning to do, and the move itself can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, forcing me to abandon my plan of bringing a historic old silo from Nebraska to Atlanta in my quest to have the coolest house on the block. Still, there are plenty of people out there who might need to move a building, and it's not as if buying a house and keeping it in its current location is very cheap, either. If you're looking to move a home, this article is a good place to start.

House Moving: Cheat Sheet

  • House moving is the process of picking a house up from the foundation, taking it to another spot and installing it there.
  • House moving requires extensive planning with local movers, planning departments, departments of transportation, banks and inspectors, not to mention the professional house mover.
  • Costs vary depending upon the size of the house and the difficulty and length of the route.
  • To move the house, house movers use steel beams and wooden cribs to bear the weight of the dwelling, hydraulic jacks to lift the house and dollies to wheel the house to its new location.

For further reading, see these articles!

Sources

  • Burstein, Laurie. "Trading Spaces: Historic Homes are Rescued through Relocation or Raising." St. Louis Commerce Magazine. November 2003. (March 18, 2008)http://www.stlcommercemagazine.com/archives/november2003/trends.html
  • Ermann, Lynn. "The House was a Steal, but Moving it Wasn't." The New York Times. Feb. 24, 2000. (March 18, 2008) http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0DE0DD1030F937A15751C0A9669C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all
  • Expert House Movers. "Frequently Asked Questions." (March 18, 2008)http://www.experthousemovers.com/faq.html
  • Fetters, Eric. "Give an old house new life: Move it." Everett Herald. Nov. 5, 2007. (March 18, 2008)http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20071105/BIZ/711050013
  • Johnson, Keith W. "Move a House and Move In." Mother Earth News. September/October 1973. (March 18, 2008) http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/1973-09-01/Move-a-House-and-Move-In.aspx
  • Lewis, Marilyn. "Why build? Move an older house instead." MSN Real Estate. (March 18, 2008) http://realestate.msn.com/Buying/Article2.aspx?cp-documentid=6077219
  • Mammoth Movers. "Building Moving." (March 18, 2008)http://www.mammothmovers.com/building_moving
  • McLinden, Steve. "Relocating a house rarely a smooth move." BankRate.com. July 2, 2005. (March 18, 2008)http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/real-estate/20050702a1.asp
  • Rolfe, Frank and Dave Reynolds. "How to Move Your Mobile Home." MobileHomeParkStore.com. (March 18, 2008)http://www.mobilehomeparkstore.com/books/mobile-home-park-mover-book.htm
  • Romano, Jay. "Moving the Little House 8 Miles Across the Prairie." The New York Times. May 25, 1997. (March 18, 2008)http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE1D7133BF936A15756C0A961958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all
  • Siegal, Ann Cameron. "Picking Up and Moving (the House)." The Washington Post. April 28, 2007. (March 18, 2008) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/27/AR2007042700960.html
  • Wolfe House & Building Movers. "Frequently Asked Questions." (March 18, 2008)http://www.wolfehousebuildingmovers.com/faq.html

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