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How Much Does It Cost to Move a House to a New Location?

What's the cost of moving a house to a new location? Movers are experts in this field and do it regularly. So, how do you calculate the cost? Moving companies estimate around $14 to $16 per square foot for the move itself. Wondering what factors influence this price? Keep reading!
How Much Does It Cost to Move a House to a New Location

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We’ve all seen it – we’re driving down the highway and we spot the “wide load” vehicles, followed by a home (or half a home) on the back of a large tractor-trailer.

While more common for pre-fabricated homes and trailers, you may see a traditional home on a trailer from time to time. Moving an entire house used to sound crazy, but more people are opting to take their home with them every single year.

Your traditional moving cost calculator isn’t going to be able to tell you the costs associated with this sort of move, but there are some companies that specialize in this sort of work.

So, what does a home relocation involve, how much does it cost, and is it worth your time and effort? Are there ways to make this process less difficult, and how can you be sure that you’ve got everything ready to go? 

In this article, we’re going to take a look at all of these questions (and more!) so you can decide whether or not moving your house is a good idea.

Cost Breakdown: Per Square Foot Estimates

It depends on multiple factors. How many square feet is your home, in total? This is the primary metric that house moving companies use to determine the cost of house relocation.

On average, you’ll spend between $12 and $16 per square foot for the actual process of moving your home. But, there are some other factors that could accrue additional costs during the process.

For example, if you are moving to a more rural area, or you need to take very curvy roads in order to reach your destination, your moving company is going to need to take some extra precautions when loading your home. These extra precautions could end up costing you some more money, in the long run.

Aside from square foot, the distance you’re traveling also plays a big part in finding your final price. There’s a big difference between moving your home across town and moving your home across the entire country.

There are a lot of specific details related to distance, and your moving company will need to be able to work these details out properly. In some cases, you could end up paying more than expected, so always take the time to talk over the details with your movers.

Local House Moving Cost

The size of your home can be used to estimate a local move.

Property sizeAverage weightNumber of hoursEstimated cost
Moving a one- bedroom home3,500 pounds3-5 hours$200 to $500
Moving a two-bedroom home5,000 pounds5-7 hours$400 to $700
Moving a three-bedroom home10,000 pounds7-10 hours$600 to $1,000
Moving a four-bedroom home12,000+ poundsAbove 10 hours$800 to $2,000

Long-distance House Moving Cost

Unlike a local move, the price of a long-distance move is determined based on the weight of your shipment, the distance to move the items, and the cost of additional services and extra insurance on your shipments.

Although prices will be different from one moving company to another, the table below will give you an idea of your standard price range.

3-bedroom house (8,000 pounds)100 miles500 miles1,000 miles3,000 miles
Standard cost$2,400$3,400$4,600$9,400
Including packing$3,000$4,000$5,200$10,000
Including mover’s insurance$3,200$4,100$5,300$10,000
Including insurance & packing services$3,800$4,800$6,600$10,800

Note that the amount listed above is based on estimates, so your exact cost will vary. The weight of your home may be more or less based on the amount of furniture and other belongings you need to move.

You’ll get a much more accurate price when you obtain multiple on-site moving estimates from long distance moving companies.

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      How Does a Home Relocation Work?

      As you can imagine, moving an entire house is quite an undertaking. It’s expensive and time-consuming, and you’ll need to let your moving company handle the majority of the details to make sure everything goes smoothly. Let’s take a look at some of the main steps of home relocation.

      1. Site preparation

      A home relocation requires a lot of preparation, both at your home’s new destination, and the current lot.

      Your movers will have to check the topography of your lot and map out your new property boundaries. They’ll also need to manage any challenges and delays that may prevent access to and from the origin and destination locations. And of course, they’ll need to make sure they can get in and out of the house when needed.

      A home relocation will require tree trimming, plant moving, normal excavation, and other site-personalized conditions. It will also really help if you disconnected power, telephone, and other relevant utilities.

      2. Building preparation

      Before your home is transported, the new lot needs to be made ready. When a building is relocated to a new site, it needs to be placed onto a new foundation – whether it was already waiting or was recently constructed to accommodate your home.

      Beam pockets will need to be dug out and secured to accommodate your foundation, and they’ll have to be mapped out strategically to match up with certain parts of your house. Jacks will also need to be placed carefully after beam placement so they can raise and lower the structure as needed.

      Keep in mind, your movers may need to use dollies or track beams to move the building based on your property’s distance and terrain. It’s a lengthy and delicate process, and one slip-up can cause major damage to your home, your lot, or both.

      3. Moving the building

      Every house is different, and every home relocation is different, too. Your home will have its own needs and requirements when you’re transporting it from point A to point B, and these requirements will determine the method of transport and your next steps.

      Your movers may have to use transportation dollies or a track beam to transport your house to the new or temporary site. The building will then be placed over the newly-built foundation or moved over an excavated foundation and supported while a new foundation is being constructed under it.

      4. Settling down

      Now for the grand finale! After the foundation is prepared and your lot is all cleared, your home will be lowered onto its new foundation.

      Your movers will lower those hydraulic jacks until your house is settled onto the foundation, and once it’s in place, the beams and other equipment can be easily removed. You can then proceed with the reconnection of all the necessary utilities and other home improvements.

      It’s a long process, but for good reason: It’s literally picking up and relocating an entire house! Thankfully, with the right moving team, you can pick up your home and set down roots in a totally new location.

      Factors Behind the Cost of a House Relocation

      Below are some of the most important factors that affect the relocation process – as well as how much money you’ll spend to move a house to a totally new location.

      1. The Size, Shape, and Type

      • Size: The size of your house really makes a difference. You’ll need much less time to relocate a 500 sq ft cottage, but if you’re moving a 5,000 sq ft house, it’s going to take a lot longer. Find your square footage, and get the dimensions of your building.
      • Shape: Pricing can also be affected by different structure shapes. It takes less time to move a simple, rectangular 2-story building rather than a single-story building that has wings at unexpected angles and long lengths.
      • Type: Masonry veneer, triple brick, wood frame, concrete, steel, double brick, stone, post, terra-cotta tile… every home is built differently, and they all have their unique challenges that will affect the relocation cost.

      2. The Type and Height of the Foundation

      There are several types of structural foundations too. The latest standards for structural foundations include poured concrete and CMU. A rubble or stone foundation is usually used as bedding for older homes.

      Shoreline or beach homes are often placed on wood pilings and piers. Homes located in the Southeast are often built on concrete slab floors or brick piers.

      The basement height or crawl space is also an important factor since the steel beam platform that holds the entire house is installed there. If the height below the first-floor system is lesser than 3 feet, it can add more time to the entire project to dig out the necessary dirt to install the lifting steel. It is easier to work with tall crawl spaces as well as full basements, but everything is possible.

      When it comes to lifting and moving your home from your old location, it can be complicated as well. Steel can be installed through the walls (or linked directly to the walls) to lift a building off of a slab foundation. Or, if possible, your movers can just lift and move the whole slab foundation together with the house.

      3. Accessories

      Decks, fireplaces, garages, porches, chimneys, additions, balconies, and other home accessories can usually be moved together with the house, but this requires more time and increases the cost of the project.

      Usually, if a house is movable without touching the accessories, it’s much cheaper than removing all the add-ons and rebuilding them later. However, if you’re using this opportunity to remove or demolish the accessories, then you’ll save some money by doing so before moving.

      4. Working Space

      Time is money: Limited working space in the home can greatly increase the time taken on a job, as well as the price of the lifting and moving.

      If there’s not enough space for a team to work with their standard equipment in and around the house, they may have to improvise and use smaller equipment that can be easily installed with smaller machines or by hand. This doesn’t stop them from moving your house, but it can affect the entire cost.

      5. New Foundation

      There are various ways to install a new foundation. The most popular way is to pour only footers in advance. This enables a house to gently release down a ramp and on the footers. Then the building will be raised up and supported as the new foundation is constructed under it.

      If there is no space for a ramp, the other alternative is to install the new foundation before the house reaches the location. Then, the building can be slowly lowered onto the waiting foundation. This option is more costly, but sometimes there’s just no alternative.

      Pro Tips

      Pro Tip

      If you’re thinking about moving your home, be sure to have a contractor come in and take a look at everything. Depending on the age of your house and how the house was built, you may or may not be able to actually move it to a new location very easily.

      A contractor who focuses on moving homes can give you a good idea as to whether or not you can do so. This way you can weigh whether it would just be cheaper to build a re-creation of your old house in a new space.

      Other Factors to Consider

      The items below are a shared responsibility between you and your contractors, so they’ll also affect your project’s entire cost:

      1. Initial planning and permits

      Most areas require architectural and structural drawings for new foundation installation under a house. Be sure to talk to the local authorities about any procedures you need to stay on top of before you commit to a home relocation.

      2. Getting the house ready

      You’re moving your house, so you still need to disconnect it from your old utilities. You must turn off and disconnect your water, gas (which needs to be turned off and disconnected at the street), electricity, sewer, cable, telephone, and so on.

      Make sure all your plumbing, ductwork, and pipes in the basement or crawl space have been removed from under your floor joists. Also, take this time to demolish and remove skirting, fences, shrubbery, exterior steps, outdoor showers, and any other accessories before your relocation project starts.

      3. Know the Move route

      Move route clearing is a very important price determinant. Moves within the same lot are not a problem at all, even though there may sometimes be a need for excavation. However, if you’re transporting your home to a new location, there are several obstacles to be aware of.

      You and your movers will have to avoid telephone poles, bridge railings, trees, and even other buildings. Don’t get too excited if the width of your home is nice and narrow: you’ll still need to keep an eye out for overhead obstacles.

      Usually, obstacles include overhead structures and utility lines, even when you’re moving a single-story home. The cost of having utility lines lifted so you can easily pass restricts most moves to no more than two miles on the East Coast and the Midwest.

      Texas, Oklahoma, and other areas in the United States generally have more dimensional clearance. Just look out for sign and light posts, tree trimming services, traffic control, traffic signals, and more – and be prepared to pay extra.

      4. Excavation and New Foundation

      Your contractor will need to excavate your new foundation to accommodate your home at the new location. Many houses will need at least a 4’ crawlspace, and some houses need a complete basement.

      Usually, beam pockets are needed on the top of your new foundation. These create a space for the steel beam supports as your house is gently lowered.

      Is Moving a Home Really Worth it?

      How attached are you to your home? Moving a home is a huge process, and it takes a lot of planning engineering, and even brand-new construction. It’s expensive and time-consuming, and you may find yourself overwhelmed from the planning alone.

      But, if you’re really attached to your home – or your home has some historical significance – moving a home is really worth it. We recommend running a cost-benefit analysis of the whole situation: Check and see what will be the most expensive and aspects of a relocation, and weight whether it’s worth the price, effort, and extra time.

      It’s always important to do your research when you’re thinking of a big project like this. Get all the facts, run some numbers, and think about the whole process objectively.

      Home Relocation FAQ​​

      How Much Does it Cost to Move a House 20 Miles?

      Moving a house 20 miles can cost between $1,000 to $30,000 or more, depending on the house’s size and method of moving, whether it’s DIY towing or hiring professional house movers. Additional expenses may apply for permits, utilities, and site preparation. To get an exact estimate, obtain quotes from local moving companies, considering specific circumstances and regulations.

      How to Reduce House Moving Cost?

      To reduce house moving costs, plan ahead, declutter, get multiple quotes, choose off-peak times, consider DIY options, use free packing supplies, negotiate with movers, explore tax deductions, ship items separately for long-distance moves, and use tech tools for efficient planning. These strategies can help you minimize expenses effectively.

      What permits and permissions do you need to move home?

      The local building department at your new residence is going to get involved in some way. Some places will consider your home as a new build; others will consider it to just be a remodel. In both cases, you’re going to have to pass inspection after your house has been laid on its new foundation. On top of that, you also need to have the permits and signage in order to move wide loads on the highway.

      What risks are associated with moving home?

      The cost of the move is always a risk – it may cost more than you realize. Aside from the money, damages are always a concern. Since your house will be on the road with other drivers, there are always risks of accidents and other issues. Bad weather may also cause structural problems. Look into insurance to be extra safe.

      What happens if your home is damaged during a move?

      If your home is damaged in transit, you’ll need to file an insurance claim in order to get things repaired as needed. In many cases, there may be some minor damages (cracks, etc.), but your contractor can fix those when securing the home onto its new foundation. Larger damages may require an outside professional to make the repairs.

      How long does it take to move a house?

      The majority of smaller buildings can be moved in just a few days, but you’ll still need to take some time to build the new foundation. There are other factors you should consider when moving a building, such as the distance of your move, the terrain from the origin to the destination, any obstructions on the route, and the overall size of your house.

      It will take approximately a week to prepare an average house, an additional two days to relocate the building, and an additional three days to one week to lower the building onto the foundation before removing the equipment holding the building.

      Can you move a two-story house?

      A two-story relocation is possible, but utility lines need their proper consideration. Homeowners must notify all local utility companies before moving a building, and in the event of raising any lines, any fees incurred by the process will be paid by the homeowner. In some situations, having a contractor remove the top of a building and replace it as soon as you get to your new location is the best option.

      Are there any houses that home relocation services cannot move?

      With enough money, anything is possible. Generally, moving a wood frame house on a basement or crawlspace that was designed according to contemporary building codes (and is still in perfect condition) is completely reasonable. Movers can also transport wood-framed houses built on brick pilings, slabs, steel buildings, and so on, but they will have to consider the possibilities of each building.

      Cities and metropolitan areas usually ask that specific heritage buildings be removed and restored as part of growth policies. These projects usually go beyond new construction, but the cities and municipalities do give developers some concessions like reduced obstructions, and fewer restrictions on parking to name a few.

      How do I estimate the cost of a home relocation?

      First, take measurements of your house in feet and inches. Moving companies also need to know the approximate distance that you’re planning on transporting your house. They can give you an estimate with this information.

      For a more in-depth estimate, your contractors may also meet with you on the site and check out the destination property to get you a more exact figure. They’ll charge you extra for an on-site moving estimate, but it’s much easier to plan your budget when you’re working with exact numbers.

      How do I prep my house before transport?

      You need to remove everything from your basement. Normally, you won’t need to disconnect your overhead services. However, you will need to disconnect your sewer, water, furnace, gas, and hot water tank. You’ll also need to remove any brickwork that will not be raised, as well as any lean-tos or porches. Once your house is completely freestanding, your movers can start raising it up and transporting it to your new property.

      Ready to Haul Your Home?​

      Moving an entire house is a big undertaking. Fortunately, with proper prep and planning, you can do a lot of work ahead of time to make moving day a little easier.

      If you’re thinking of transporting your home, start researching companies and take some time to weight the cost of the whole process. The time and effort you put into planning everything can help you to save a lot of headaches, and your home can get relocated smoothly.

      Best of luck with your relocation, and don’t forget to check back in with the team at Moving APT for more information on how to make moving day even easier!

      Harrison Gough

      Harrison Gough

      Harrison has spent the last three years writing for real estate and moving companies, but his moving experience goes beyond sitting behind a keyboard. He’s had to move more than a dozen times (sometimes with pros, and sometimes DIY) and he’s learned the hard way about what makes a move easy, and what makes a move stressful. When he’s not writing, he’s researching how to make his next move easier.
      Green Group

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