The Decision to Move A House

What is involved in moving a house and how much would it usually cost to move my home?

1 Answer

Have property, but don't want to build? Do you need to preserve a historic structure? Or maybe zoning requirements are changing, but you'd prefer to move a house rather than lose it? Then maybe it's time to consider moving your house.

The Preparation

The average home weighs between dozens to several hundreds of tons-and so it's safe to say that moving the structure of a house is a huge undertaking. First, a structural specialist will need to come in and make sure the house is safe to move. If so, a moving company will come in with jacks, timbers and other equipment to lift and support the house as its being towed, to ensure that it survives the journey.

And that's just the house itself-keep in mind that you'll likely need to hire contractors to remove wiring, plumbing, drywall and foundation supports for before the move, as well as to set it all back up at the new location.

The Money

The costs involved in moving your house varies based on the size of the home and distance of the move. Here are some particulars to keep in mind:

  • How big is your home? Generally speaking, small one-story homes will be the easiest, and therefore cheapest, to move.

  • Bigger structures are possible to move-nearly anything is-but you need to make sure that the structure is sound. It's a big undertaking and will place a lot of strain on the floor joists and frame of the house. And if anything goes wrong in the move structurally, then the costs will be higher to make sure that the home makes the journey in one piece.

  • How far are you moving the house? What is the commute like? Is it long and straight or curvy and bumpy? Are the roads along the way wide enough to accommodate your home? Your answers will determine how involved and costly the move might be.

  • Utility companies will likely be involved, to move power lines and other public utilities out of your way as the house is being moved. Map and measure your route, determine which power lines or other hindrances will need to be moved, and then contact your local utility companies to find out how much this will cost.

  • Also, if you're not doing the work yourself, don't forget the contractors who will need to come in and take down the wiring, plumbing, drywall and other home systems-as well as put it all back up once the house has been moved. This includes preparing the foundation and support systems at the new site.

  • Lastly, make sure you talk with your insurance professional, as well as city representatives who can help you with permits, planning and building and insurance requirements.

The Decision

The easiest way to move a home, and to determine the cost to move a house, is to contact a professional moving specialist. They will come in with a crew, take a look at the house's structure and the proposed moving spot, and will provide all of the necessary equipment for the job. They should be able to come out and give you an estimate for the job and, in many cases, can recommend contractors who can help you coordinate the move. Generally speaking, you should expect a cost of moving your house (not including the take-down and set up of home utilities, foundations and other home systems) to be between $8,000 and $40,000.