Ask the Experts

Here are a few quick questions that most people ask. Prices vary from house to house. This list of guidelines, by owner and expert Jerry Webb, is intended to be a beginning reference for your structural moving needs.

What should I know about my House Mover?
1. Are they bonded & insured, do they carry workman's comp?
2. Is their cargo insured?
3. Do they have any pics of past work?
4. How long have they been in business?
5. What equipment do they use and what condition it is in? (is it tagged and insured)
6. Ask for list of previous customers.

Does the type of house make a difference?
In general, ranking the type of houses and the cost to move them would look something like this: a One story, Story and a Half, or Two story (higher ranking is a higher cost to move). Other things to consider would be:

1. Wood frame
2. Stucco
3. Brick veneer (assuming the mover takes the brick with them)
4. Brick

The above is a broad generalization and is not always accurate. It could be that you may have a one story brick veneer house that would cost more to move than a two story wood frame house. In general brick adds a significant cost to the move.

What other foundation issues can occur during a house move?
Circumstances that require more work than normal to get the house off of the original lot and foundation will increase the cost of the house move. Examples of this might be: Very little room to work for the house mover. A house might require resetting the roll beams in order to clear some obstacles. The same can be said for getting the house on the new lot and foundation.

How far can a house be moved reasonably?
Most, if not all, of the work in house moving is preparing the house for the move. Hence, a large portion of the mover's cost is in preparing the house for the move. This not necessarily true for the owner. Anything over a one story house will get into the overhead utilities. Moving in the city is more expensive than moving in the country due to the density of overhead utilities. You are probably asking, "Well, how far can a house be moved reasonably?" Moving a one story house 70 miles across country isn't really unreasonable. However, moving a two story house over 15 to 20 miles might be too expensive. This is just a rough estimation. It will vary depending on your possible routes.

What is a rough price range for moving a house.
This is a difficult question and requires stepping out on a limb. So here goes...Houses that don't fall into one extreme or the other may run from $8,000 to $30,000 to move. I should qualify the type of home also: wood frame, single layer brick, and stucco. Now, don't take this as Gospel. As stated before, there are many things that influence the cost of moving a house.

What about overhead utilities?
Anything over a one story house will get into the overhead utilities.

How far can I move a house with overhead utilities in the way?
Moving a one story house 70 miles across country isn't really unreasonable. However, moving a two story house over 15 to 20 miles might be too expensive. These statements are just a rough estimation. It will vary depending on your possible routes.

Who pays for the cost of moving the overhead utilities?
Typically, the home owner is responsible for the overhead utility costs. This includes but is not limited to: power lines, telephone lines, and cable TV.

How much damage is done to the plaster/sheetrock during the course of a move?
In general you shouldn't get much more than hair line cracks in the plaster/sheetrock, but cracks bigger than a hair line can occur during a good move. Sometimes no cracks show up during the move. Ultimately, the house should get to it's destination in good shape.

What about structural damage?
I cannot think of any circumstance where structural damage will be done to a house during a normal move. Structural damage is defined as failure of a structural member.

When you set a house down, do cracks appear?
Cracks might appear after the house is set down on its new foundation. The mover will pick up the house as it was on the old foundation. When the house is set down on the new foundation, it may not match the old foundation exactly. Hence, the cracks. This is a minor annoyance at best.

Will a move damage the brick on the house?
A move may cause minimal damage to the brick on the house. You will probably get cracks, but nothing too severe. A few bricks may not make the whole trip. However, large portions of the wall will NOT fall off.

Should we remove the brick from the house before moving it?
It depends. If you don't want any brick on the house, take it off before the move. Otherwise, ask the mover to price the move with and with out the brick. Then get an estimate on rebricking the house. Choose whichever is easier on your pocket book.

Are railroad crossings a problem?
They can add to the cost of a move. Railroad crossings aren’t necessarily a problem. Depending on the dimensions of the house, you can steer between the signs and go under the overhead signals (if there are any). The signals and/or signs can be moved by the railroad company if necessary. To be perfectly honest, the railroad companies can make a move much more difficult. At least this has been our experience. Don’t get discouraged if you have to deal with them. Just as a heads up, the railroad companies charge plenty for the services they render.

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