House being pulled by truck

A Guide To Moving A House: Tips, Cost & More

Sean Bryant6-Minute Read
February 22, 2021

Have you ever lived in a home that you absolutely loved but realized you didn’t care so much for the neighborhood? If so, that was probably the moment you knew it was time to move. But what if you didn’t have to leave your dream home? What if you could just pick it up and take it with you? While it might sound a little crazy, it can be done and people do it all the time.

While moving a house is possible, it takes a lot of planning to actually accomplish. Not only will you need to hire a foundation company, but all the plumbing, gas and electric hookups will need to be disconnected. Then you’ll need structural movers to actually take the house from point A to point B. 

Keep reading as we dive into exactly what it takes to move a house.

What Types of Houses Can Be Moved?

Typically, when you think about moving a home from one area of town to another, mobile homes come to mind. These manufactured homes are built to be moved. However, moving a house isn’t limited to just a mobile home. Most homes can be moved, but there could be challenges along the way. For example, older neighborhoods typically have above-ground power lines. This means you’ll need to navigate your way around these, as well as any mature trees that might be in your path.

Just because a home can be moved doesn’t mean it’s always going to be a good idea. Below are a few times when it might make sense to move your home instead of finding or building a new one.

 

  • Your home is located in a floodplain.
  • Developers want to use your land for commercial purposes.
  • You acquired more land adjacent to your property and want to move your home to the middle of both.

Get the right home loan for you.

How Much Does It Cost To Move A House?

If you’ve decided that moving your house is the best option, you’re probably curious how much it will cost. According to Angie’s List, industry experts say the cost will be $12 – $16 per square foot, on average. That means the cost to move a 1,500-square-foot home could be anywhere from $20,000 to $24,000.

The fees a moving company will charge will fluctuate depending on a few different factors. The size of your home and the distance you’re moving it are two of the biggest variables. Let’s dig into these two cost factors as well as a few others.

Size And Weight

The overall size and weight are going to be the biggest factors in price when moving a home. It probably goes without saying that a mobile home is going to cost a lot less to move than a 2,000-square-foot house. The wider and taller the house, the more planning involved.

Distance And Route Obstacles

Just like there’s more planning for larger homes, there’s also a lot more planning for longer moves. Moving your home down the street or to a different part of your neighborhood is much more straightforward than if you were moving to the other side of town. For longer moves, you’ll need to have additional moving permits in place, account for road obstacles like roundabouts or power lines, and you’ll most likely need to work with the city on possible street closures.

If your move is even longer and you’re going to a different part of the state or country, they’ll most likely want to try and disassemble your house if possible. All of this will add to the overall cost.

Labor

Companies that specialize in moving houses have employees who are experienced and knowledgeable about everything that needs to be done. After all, you don’t want to put your house in the hands of someone who won’t be able to take care of it. This experience comes with a price tag. As we mentioned earlier, the average price to move a house is approximately $12 – $16 per square foot. However, moves that are of a longer distance will require more man hours and a higher price tag.

Foundation And Crawl Space

Depending on where you live, your home could be built on several different types of foundations. Two of the more common are a basement foundation and concrete slab. However, in coastal areas, it’s common to build on a pier foundation. Different foundation types can also affect the overall price of the move. If you’re moving a house built on a pier foundation, the crew can simply slide the steel support beams under the house and use a unified hydraulic jacking system to lift the house. But if the house is built on a slab or with a basement foundation, they will need to dig around the outside and cut holes into the foundation before inserting the steel posts. This will lead to a higher cost.

Disconnect and Reconnect

Before you even start the process of moving, you need to make sure everything is disconnected. You’ll need a plumber to make sure the plumbing to the different areas of the house is disconnected from the main line. The same is going to be true for the electrical system and gas line. Then once you get the house to the new location, it will all need to be hooked back up again.

The Process Of Moving A House, Explained

Moving a house is an expensive, multistep process, but for many people, it’s well worth the cost to be able to stay in the home they love. If you’ve considered moving your house, here’s how the process will work.

1. Plans And Permits

Before any work can be done, you’ll need to apply for the permits needed. To get these, you can sit down with a general contractor, architect and engineer to draw up the plans for how the house will be moved. Once the plans have been finished, you can submit them to the city for approval.

2. Clear The Driving Route

Before moving day, the general contractor will need to determine the best possible route to take with the home. Ideally, this will be a way that has the fewest obstacles. They’ll want to do their best to avoid streets that might have power lines and trees close to the road. If there are obstructions that can’t be avoided, the contractor will need to discuss options with the property owners or the city.

3. Disconnect The House

Once all the planning is done, the physical work can begin. A plumber and electrician will need to disconnect the plumbing and electrical leading into the house. At this point, the moving company will also start the process of detaching the house from its foundation. If there’s a basement, holes will need to be drilled in the foundation to provide access for the steel beams used to lift the house.

4. Lift Up The House

Once the house has been disconnected from the foundation, the moving company will slide metal beams and use a unified hydraulic jacking system to lift the house. With this system, they’ll be able to lift all sides of the house at the same time so that it’s completely level.

5. Move The House To Its New Location

Next, the company will begin moving the house to its new location. However, there is a little work that needs to be done at the new site before this can happen. There needs to be a new foundation prepared and ready for the house to sit on. Once this is done, the moving company will move the house and slide it down a ramp system so that it’s placed on its new foundation. They will then jack the house back up so the wheels can be removed.

6. Reconnect And Move In

Finally, a mason will come in and build the foundation up to the house and at that point the moving company will be able to lower the home onto the foundation and remove their equipment. The plumber and electrician will then be able to come back in the house and reconnect everything. At that point, it will be time to move back into the home.

Is It Worth It To Move A House?

If you live in a historic home or only need to move a short distance, it might be hard to leave a house that has sentimental value. However, it’s also important to understand everything that goes into a move like this, including the cost. Is it going to be worth staying in your current home, or would it make more sense to purchase something completely new? There isn’t a right or wrong answer, it will come down to what is best for you.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve been thinking about moving a house, we just gave you a lot to consider. We broke down the different parts of the move that affect the overall cost. We also described what the whole process looks like. If you live in a house that you love, and the move isn’t too far or too complicated, then this might be a great solution. You’ll just need to weigh the pros and cons and figure out what’s best for you. Whatever you end up deciding, make sure you check out our homeowner’s guide as well as some packing tips to help you get ready for your move.

Get the right home loan for you.

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    Sean Bryant

    Sean Bryant is a Denver based freelance writer specializing in travel, credit cards, and personal finance. With more than 10 years of writing experience, his work has appeared in many of the industries’ top publications.