We’ve all experienced it – we’re driving down the highway and we see the “wide load” vehicles, followed by 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 from time to time.
Moving an entire house used to sound crazy, but there are more people that 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 this 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 we be sure that we’ve got everything ready to go? In this article, we’re going to take a look at all of these questions and more so that you can decide whether or not moving your house is a good idea.
Why Would You Move an Entire House in the First Place?
There are a lot of reasons why people would make the choice to move their entire home instead of moving to a new location and buying a new home. One of the biggest reasons is due to the housing market – if you’re moving to an area that has high home costs, you may actually save money if you opt to bring your home with you.
Another reason is because of attachment or customization. For many people, they don’t want to leave their homes because it’s what they’ve always known. Or, if you’re looking at a home that has been adapted for the special needs and concerns that your family may have, then it may be easier and cheaper to go ahead and bring it with you instead of completely re-customizing a new home.
Lastly, there are a number of companies that offer custom homes or prefabricated homes that you can personalize. Basically, these companies will have the “shell” of the house, and a basic interior set up, but you can make adjustments and add things to it as you wish. In order for these homes to be completed, they will need to be moved to wherever you have land.
You’ll want to check with your homeowners’ insurance about insurance options. In some cases, they’ll cover whatever sorts of things may happen. In other instances, you may want to go ahead and buy some extra, temporary coverage that will take care of additional expenses that may arise if there’s a problem. Either way, be sure that your entire house, inside and out, is covered for the entirety of the relocation process.
Can You Even Move an Entire House?
Absolutely! It takes a lot of planning and organization, but houses are moved all of the time. For example, people who specialize in renovating historic homes and other buildings may need to move a historical building for one reason or another. Or, if a home is too close to the coast and the coast is starting to reduce due to rising ocean levels, a home can get moved. So, the same technology is utilized when moving any other building or home.
In many cases, these professionals use a variety of lifts, beams, and other heavy-duty items in order to stabilize the home, even after you’ve removed it from its foundation. And, because of the tools that they are using – specifically, the beams that are holding the house in place during transport – the entire home will maintain its structural integrity throughout the move.
Do You Have to Pack Up the Items in Your Home Before Moving the House?
There are some people who have cited that they have been able to move an entire home without taking any of the items out of it. Because of how careful that the movers have to be while getting the home prepared for the move, the inside of the home is very rarely affected. The items in your home may be moved around slightly, but you’re not going to see everything fallen over or sliding to one side of your house.
For most families, they feel a lot better at least preparing their items for a move, even if they know that everything is going to be safe. You may want to put away any fragile items and tie-down things that may move around, just in case an error is made during the loading or unloading process. But, those boxes can stay in your home with little to no issue if you don’t want to rent a moving van. At the very least, furniture can stay in the home and you won’t need to be concerned about it going anywhere.
Of course, accidents happen, no matter how careful that your moving company may be, and if you have items of value or that you don’t want to get lost or damaged, you may be better off taking them with you in whatever mode of transportation that you’re utilizing to reach your destination. Some families feel better packing a moving van with their items and then having that van follow the home to its new location.
How Much Does it Cost to Move an Entire Home?
It depends on multiple factors. How many square feet is your home, total? That’s the primary way that house moving companies are going to be able to determine the cost of your house move. On average, you are spending 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.
The distance is also a big part of your cost. 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 that out properly. So, in some cases, you could end.
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; or if it would be cheaper to just build a re-creation of your house in the new space.
What Other Costs are Associated with Moving an Entire House?
If you’re looking for assistance with packing and unpacking the items that are inside your home, then you want to be sure that you include that in your costs. Some companies that relocate homes will offer packing services as a part of what they do, or they will give you resources that can help you to determine your best next steps. Or, you can just hire a local mover for packing and unpacking your stuff.
Of course, you will need to buy or rent a plot of land so that your home has somewhere to be located when the moving process is over. And, before you move to that location, you will need to be sure that you have a new foundation poured and ready to go. This will prevent a lot of damages and allow you to adhere to local zoning rules that you may be concerned with. The foundation is also essential in regards to your home’s stability – otherwise, it may have some big issues when you arrive to your new home.
Depending on the locality and such, you will also need to pay any sorts of permits and inspections related to moving your home to a new municipality. In some cases, you may also need to pay for renovations that bring your home up to code in its new location. You will need to look into the laws and connect with the local municipality to see what their requirements are before you even consider buying land or pouring foundation.
Lastly, you’ll need to pay for plumbers, electricians, and other professionals to come in and disconnect all of the utilities that your home is currently connected to. Your home is currently connected to multiple grids, and it takes specific experts, who will likely charge you fees to do so. You will also need those same types of experts to come and reconnect everything to your home once it has been placed upon its new foundation.
Overall, you’re looking at spending anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000 in order to move your actual house, all things considered. In some areas, this is significantly more than it would be to buy a similar home in the area that you’re moving in. In other areas, you could actually end up saving money on a home of similar size and style. It’s up to you to research what is most essential to you and whether or not you feel it’s worth it.
While it may seem strange to consider, there are a lot of people who make the choice to go ahead and move their entire home to a new location. It’s much simpler than it ever has been in the past, but the cost is still quite high for the process as a whole. It will take some research and considerations to determine if this process is right for your home, but it’s worth taking a look.
What permits and permissions do you need to move a home?
The local building department at your new residence is going to need to be involved in some way. Some places will consider the 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 the 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 a home?
The cost of the move is always a risk – it may cost more than you realize. Damages are always a concern; since the house will be on the road with other people, there are always risks of accidents and other issues. Bad weather may also cause problems. These risks are why insurance is essential.
What happens if your home is damaged during a move?
You will 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 person to make the repairs.
Moving the entire house is a big undertaking. But, with preparation and logistical planning, you can do a lot of work ahead of time to ensure that you’re minimizing your risk. Look into the options that you have and research the background of the company that will be moving the house. The time and effort you put into planning everything can help you to save a lot of headache, and your home can get relocated smoothly.