Moving A House: Tips, Cost And More
Scott Steinberg6-Minute Read
December 23, 2021
Thinking of moving a house from one location to another? On the bright side, it’s doable – in fact, thousands of satisfied homeowners and home buyers do it every year. At the same time, doing so also often requires a great deal of planning … and a great deal of cash.
That’s because while moving houses is a fairly routine endeavor, it can take significant preparation, scheduling and logistical wrangling to ensure that you have the best possible experience.
For those planning on moving houses, wondering how much it costs to move a mobile home or traditional dwelling and generally considering how to proceed, a little upfront plotting can work wonders here. Let’s take a closer look at the costs and process of moving a house – and explore a few expert tips to keep in mind when strategizing a local or long-distance move. We’ll also discuss what to know when thinking about removal costs, packing materials, and how to work with a moving company. Simply read on to find out more.
What Types of Houses Can Be Moved?
If you’re considering moving a house from one area of town (or one area of the country) to another, odds are mobile homes are the first type of dwelling that spring to mind. After all, these types of manufactured homes are specifically designed to be picked up and moved virtually at-will. However, it’s important to know that several other different types of houses can be moved, including single-family residences and duplexes. In fact, most homes can be moved as a rule of thumb – it’s just a question of logistics, and any unexpected challenges that you might encounter along the way.
For instance, older neighborhoods typically operate using above-ground power lines – power lines that you’ll have to navigate if you’re looking to put a house on a truck. Likewise, established neighborhoods are often home to mature trees, which may present other obstacles in your path. As you think about the logistics of moving a house, remember – it may be more advisable and practical to consider building a house or buying a house in your preferred destination instead. Then again, in addition to hanging onto a property for sentimental reasons, the following examples also represent times when it just might make sense to consider moving houses instead of finding or constructing new properties as well:
- Your home is located within 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?
Wondering how much it costs to move a house? You’ve come to the right place. In general, the cost to move a house will typically average $12 – $16 per square foot. This means that for a 1,500-square-foot home, you should expect to pay around $20,000 – $24,000 to move the home to a new location. This does not include any permit fees or the lot price for the location you’re considering moving it to. There are several factors that could increase the cost.
Factors That Influence The Cost To Move A House
The fees a moving company may propose to charge you for the trip will vary and depend on multiple factors. For example, the size of your home and the distance that you’re looking to travel with the property are two of the biggest variables that will impact this figure. Let’s take a closer look at these and other factors that may impact the total cost of moving your house in the end.
Size And Weight
Unsurprisingly, the size of your home and its weight are among the biggest factors that will influence the price that a moving company will charge you to move your residence. In effect, the smaller the size of the property, and lower its weight, the less you can expect to pay here – meaning that the cost to move a mobile home should be far less than to move a 2,000-square-foot house. Likewise, the wider and taller the house, the more planning and potential costs that you will find are involved with transporting it to another destination.
Just as planning to move a larger home requires more legwork, so too will planning for a long-distance move require more plotting and resources. As you might imagine, moving your home around the corner involves far less logistical wrangling than moving to another city or even another part of town. Longer moves will require you to have additional moving permits in place and account for road obstacles like roundabouts or power lines. In addition, you may also need to work with the city to address any possible street closures or issues related to construction or public events. Note that if you’re planning an extensive long-distance move (like to a different part of the state or country), your moving company may seek to disassemble your house to make transport simpler if possible. This may add to overall costs as well.
Companies that specialize in moving houses generally tend to be staffed by employees who have extensive experience and knowledge with moving homes over short- or long-haul intervals. After all, a home is one of your most prized possessions – and like you, trusted movers take the process of handling it seriously. Of course, all this tender loving care and attention comes with a considerable price tag attached – specifically, around $12 – 16 per square foot, as described earlier. But keep in mind that longer distance moves require more man hours, more logistics, more planning, and more money to facilitate, and naturally come with a higher price tag to boot.
Foundation And Crawl Space
Depending on where you reside, your home may have been built on several different types of foundations. Two of the more common types of foundation that you may encounter are a basement foundation and concrete slab. However, in coastal areas of the country, it’s common to build on a pier foundation as well. It’s important to keep in mind that different foundation types can also affect the overall price of your move. If you’re moving a house built on a pier foundation, for instance, your moving crew can simply slide steel support beams under the house and use a unified hydraulic jacking system to lift the home. But if your property 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 steel posts, which can lead to higher costs.
Disconnect And Reconnect
Pro tip: Before you begin the moving process, you’ll need to make sure that all utilities are disconnected. This means having to hire a plumber to make sure that the plumbing that runs to different areas of your house is disconnected from the main line. Note that the same will also hold true for the electrical system and gas line. As you might imagine, once you’ve successfully moved and relocated your house to its new location, all of these systems and connections will then need to be hooked back up again at your final destination. This labor comes at additional cost.
Pros Of Moving A House
As much work and planning as is involved in moving a house, there are many upsides that you may recognize by doing so. For example:
- Ability to keep a treasured or sentimental family dwelling
- Lets you take a beloved property with you wherever you travel
- No need to shop around or hunt for alternate residences
- Opportunity to enjoy the benefits of any upgrades or enhancements previously made
- No need to abandon preexisting property customizations or personalization
Cons Of Moving A House
At the same time, there are also several downsides to moving a home that you may wish to keep in mind as well:
- Need for extensive upfront planning, saving and research
- May encounter unexpected hiccups, obstacles and costs as you travel
- Possibility of move and land costing more than the price of a new house
- Home may need to be disassembled and reassembled for transport
- Requires you to disconnect and reconnect utilities at added cost
How To Move A House: The Process In 6 Steps
Moving a house can be rewarding, but it’s also an expensive and often highly involved process. That said, thousands of homeowners consider it a small price to pay to be able to retain and continue to dwell in a property that they love. If you’re contemplating the idea of moving your house, here’s what to keep in mind about how the process works.
1. Plans And Permits
Prior to performing any work on moving your home, it’s critical to apply for any and all official permits needed. To obtain these, you’ll start by sitting down with a general contractor, architect, and engineer to draw up plans for how the house will be transported and moved. Once these plans have been finalized, you’ll then submit them to the city for approval.
2. Clear The Driving Route
Before moving the home, your hired contractor will need to determine the best possible way to go about moving your house and route to take with the home. Ideally, the route that they will choose to take will be the way that involves the fewest obstacles and potential points of uncertainty. Noting this, they should look to do their best to avoid streets that might have power lines and trees close to the road, as well as narrow or winding roadways that are more difficult to traverse. If there are obstructions that can’t be avoided, the contractor will also need to discuss options with the property owners or the city to come with possible workarounds or alternative options.
3. Disconnect The House
Having finished the planning process, actual physical work on transporting (and/or disassembling) the home can begin. A plumber and electrician will need to be hired to help you disconnect the plumbing and electrical systems leading into the house. At this point in the home moving process, your moving company will also begin the process of detaching the house from its foundation. If there’s a basement on your property, holes will also need to be drilled in the foundation to provide access for the steel beams used to lift the house and make it ready for transport.
4. Lift Up The House
Once your home has been disconnected from its foundation, your moving company will then slide metal beams underneath it and utilize a unified hydraulic jacking system to lift the house. By leveraging this system to raise the property up and off of the land where it currently sits, 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
Following this process, your moving company will begin transporting your house to its new location. But as you’ll soon discover, there is a little work that also needs to be done at the new site before this can happen. Put simply, a new foundation needs to be prepared and made ready for the house to comfortably sit on at its final destination. Once this has been done, the moving company will then move the house and slide it down a ramp system so that it’s placed soundly on its new foundation. They will then jack the house back up so the wheels can be removed.
6. Reconnect And Move In
Finished moving your home from Point A to Point B? There’s still one more step to take, in which a mason will come in and build the foundation up to the house. At this point, the moving company will then be able to lower your home onto its new foundation and remove their equipment. A plumber and electrician will then be able to swing by your house and reconnect plumbing and electrical systems. At this point, tired but no doubt elated, it will finally be time for you to move back into your home – and admire your new surroundings.
The Bottom Line
Contemplating moving a house nearby or cross-country? Given all the upfront planning and action steps described above, you’ve no doubt got a lot to chew on and consider.
As you’ve noticed, there are a number of specific activities involved in transporting a property to another destination, and factors that can influence the price of such a move. Naturally, this means that picking up and moving a house tends to be more expensive and time-consuming that simply building or buying a property at another destination.
That said, if you live in a house that you love or have put countless hours into inhabiting or fixing up (like a treasured family property), and the move isn’t too far or too complicated, moving a house might be right for you. You’ll just have to consider your individual household situation, weigh the pros and cons, and decide which solution makes the most sense for you.
Feeling stressed about taking the leap? It may help to ease your mind by reading our handy guide to navigating the ups and downs of moving – and remembering that thousands of satisfied homeowners do it every year. While moving a home won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s still a handy solution that many families look to. Whichever route you decide to go, best of luck in your move!