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What are the techniques to lift and move a house?

Last modified: 2020-01-09 | Approximate reading time 5 mins

Amanda Harvey

You may have found your dream home, one that ticks all the boxes regarding what you’re looking for. But what if this home rests in a place that you’re not drawn to? The only option would be moving the house itself!

House moving requires picking the house up from its foundation and transferring it to another spot. House moving is an environmentally-friendly method in contrast to destroying the structure and moving the pieces to a landfill.

But, as you’ve probably guessed, moving a house from one place to the next isn’t as simple as it sounds. There are plenty of reasons you may choose to move your house, including having to relocate due to flooding or other environmental dangers. Whatever the case, if this is something you’ve been considering, read on for all the techniques.  

Here are the techniques to lift and move a house!

Planning to move a house

moving a

source: Flickr

Most of the work involved in moving a house happens before the actual day of the move. The planning stage involved in moving a house from one location to another is intense and rigorous. The first step to moving your house is considering any local or municipal permits that may be in place. It is recommended that you work with a local planning department to ensure that the move is even a possibility.

Once this has been established, building permits will have to be obtained for both the old site and the new site. You may require a professional to come in and inspect the structure of your home, as this will determine whether the house can be moved at all. Also, you may need to hire contractors to build a foundation on the site of your new home.

Lastly, the city or municipality where you live will have to work with local authorities and departments of transportation to approve the route you plan to take to move your home. All of this work will need to be done before the day of the move, so bear this in mind as you move forward. 

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Getting started

A person who moves houses professionally may be necessary in working out the details of this project. Most of the time, professional house movers should be the only people moving your home, as they will have the proper equipment as well as structural understanding to allow this project to move forward without a hitch. Further, their expertise will keep your house safe! A professional house mover will understand the engineering calculations necessary for deciding on the best method for moving your home.

A professional home mover will be able to move almost any structure, no matter the size. However, the main variable of moving a house will be the cost. Price wise, moving a brick home is going to cost you more than a wooden one, and larger homes are obviously going to be more expensive than tiny ones.

To move your home, and choose the best method, you will need blueprints or planning documents that detail the layout of your home. These documents will offer specifics regarding the foundation as well as support beams running through your house. Further, this will offer the professionals moving your home access to your home's inner workings, and therefore, they will be able to determine what structural support is needed during the process.

The person you’re working with should know if you require them to also move additions, garages, attachments or porches. Take into account that any brick structures in and around your home may be very difficult to move, and some professionals may recommend rebuilding them when you are settled on the site of your new home. 

Moving your home

house being

source: Flickr

One of the most important aspects of moving a home is deciding how you are going to get it from one point to another. The path to the new location needs to be clear of obstructions, including trees, street lamps, mailboxes and importantly if your house is tall, overpasses. Further, the route taken to get your home from A to B should not include curvy or winding roads, as well as railroad crossings or utility lines. If your house is taller then 1-story, it will likely get caught in these lines.

Also, the longer the journey, the more obstacles you may come across. Certain areas will have restrictions in place, and therefore, moving your home may only be completed during specific hours. In most cases, the smaller your house, and the shorter the route, the cheaper it will be to move. Cross country moves can be quite difficult, in both a financial and logistical sense. In some cases, you may have to disassemble parts of your home to travel with it.

Once you have gathered all the necessary permits, mapped out your route and determined the finer details, you will need to begin preparing your house. Firstly, all your utilities must be disconnected. In some cases, you will need the help of a plumber as well as an electrician. Further, depending on the size of your property, as well as the surrounding terrain, professional house movers will require at least 10 feet of space to properly evacuate the house. For this reason, any trees or plants in the surrounding area will need to be dug out.


When it comes to down to the nitty-gritty of the actual move, there are a few logistical details that must be followed. Openings will need to be cut into the walls of the foundation, and steel beams will need to be inserted into these openings. The beams work to bear the weight of the house during the moving process and will need to be sized correctly.

Next, professional house movers will place large hydraulic jacks underneath the steel beams, as this will be the method for lifting the house. Unlike car jacks, these will be linked together as the jacks will need to raise and lower at the same time regardless of the amount of weight each individual jack is supporting.

Once the house has been lifted, the house movers will place sliding beams underneath the steel ones, and these will work to pull the home from its place, moving them onto special dollies. These dollies are then attached to a vehicle which will pull your house to a new location. Not only will there be a vehicle pulling your house, but workers will need to be present always and travel alongside to move any obstructions. Once your home finds its way to its new location, a new foundation will need to be in place before the home can be lowered into place. 

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