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Average Cost of Moving a House

Published by Chris Townsend

Average Cost of Moving a House

Are you wondering how much it costs to move a house to a new location? You’ve come to the right place. As you might imagine, moving an entire house is a major endeavor – not to mention pricey. To clarify, we aren’t simply speaking about packing up all the belongings in your home and relocating them to a new location. Although this process can also be arduous, we are talking about the physical process of moving the house itself.

The notion of moving an entire house may sound insane, but, in some cases, it is a solution that homeowners choose. Unfortunately, a traditional moving cost calculator will be of little help to determine the costs involved in these types of moves. However, there are many companies that specialize in these jobs.

That said, what does moving a whole house involve, what’s the average cost, and is it worth all the time and effort? Let’s take a look at all of these questions, and more, to determine whether or not moving your house is the right choice for your situation.

Why Move a Whole House?

There are a number of reasons why someone might choose to move their whole house, instead of just moving their belongings to a new location and purchasing a new home. One of the main reasons to move a whole house has to do with the housing market. More specifically, if you’re moving to an area where the housing costs are high, you may actually be able to save money if you choose to bring your current home with you.

Another reason why a homeowner may opt to move their entire home is because of customization and comfortability. If you’ve lived in your home for many years, you may simply not want to leave it because it’s where you’re most comfortable and where you’ve made all your memories with your family.

Or, if your home has been modified to accommodate special needs or specific family concerns, it may be both cheaper and easier to just take your home with you instead of having to customize a new one.

Can You Move a Whole House?

Is it even possible to move a whole house? Yes, it certainly is. While it takes a significant amount of planning, organization, and logistics to successfully execute, houses get moved all the time. For instance, it’s very common for historic homes or buildings to be moved for one reason or another. Or, perhaps a home is located too close to a coastline that is experiencing rising ocean levels.

The same process and technology are used, regardless of the building or home that is being moved. In most cases, professionals utilize hydraulic jacking to raise the structure and limit the risk of damage. With these types of moves, the home will uphold its structural integrity throughout the process.

How Do You Move a Whole House?

The process of moving an entire home can be broken down into four major steps:

  1. Site preparation
  2. Structure preparation
  3. The physical transport
  4. Erecting the house at its new location

When moving a house, they are typically lifted from underneath the sills using hydraulic jacking systems. The jacks are reinforced by cribbing and a system of beams to help keep the house in place. For short moves on the same lot, the house can be positioned on rollers and pulled or pushed into position. For longer moves, the house is loaded onto an appropriate vehicle for transport.

Arguably, one of the most important parts of moving a house is reviewing your local zoning regulations and obtaining the proper permits. The permits required for moving a house can be rather expensive. For example, the permits that allow you to use state roads in Vermont range from as little as $2,500 to well over $10,000.

Average Cost of Moving a House

The cost of having an entire house moved varies considerably depending on a number of factors, including the size of the house, how it’s moved, where it’s moved to, and the overall distance. Though, just the labor cost alone of moving a house ranges from $12 to $16 per square foot on average. These numbers do not factor in additional expenses, such a permitting or constructing a new foundation.

With that said, the total cost to move a house could be as low as $15,000 or as much as $200,000, or more. To obtain a greater understanding of where you might land on this cost spectrum, it’s important to know all the factors involved.

Factors That Influence Cost of Moving a House

The following are some of the key factors that impact the cost of moving a whole house.

  • Type of structure. Homes can be constructed in a number of different ways, whether they have frames with steel, concrete, masonry veneer, terra-cotta tile, and more. Although all building types can be removed, they each require their own individual proves that can impact the moving cost.
  • Size of the house. As you might expect, the size of the home is one the most significant factors that impacts cost. More specifically, the larger the home, the more time it will take to move. So, a house that’s about 500 square feet will have a very different time frame than a 5000 square foot house.
  • Shapes of the house. Moving cost can also be impacted by the shape of the structure. Generally speaking, it’ll take less time to move a building that is simple and rectangular in shape than one that is long and has wings at awkward angles – even if they’re the same square footage.
  • Foundation type and height. While most homes nowadays have foundations that are made of poured concrete and CMU, stone or rubble foundations are more common on older homes, and beach-style homes are typically placed on wood pilings and piers. Or, your home may feature a basement or crawl space that will play a role in how the house is moved. Generally speaking, if the height below the first floor is less than three feet, it’ll add more time to the moving process. Believe it or not, it’s typically easier to work with full basements and crawl spaces with higher ceilings.
  • Additional home accessories. Your garage, porch, chimney, balconies, decks, and fireplaces can all be moved alongside your house, but will add time and costs to the entire project.
  • Available working space. If your property has limited working space, this will complicate the project and increase the time that the job takes, while also increasing costs. While this won’t stop the move from taking place, it’ll require your moving team to be a little more creative and possibly use different (and less efficient) equipment.

Additional Considerations

Aside from the primary factors that influence the average cost of moving a house, there are a number of additional considerations to keep in mind when you’re deciding whether or not this is the right move for you and your family.

  • Planning and permits. There are a number of different permits that you’ll need to acquire for a project like this. Though, if you hire a professional, they will do the work for you and just add it to the overall cost of the move.
  • Preparing the house. The process of preparing the house for the move is extensive. It involves shutting off and disconnecting all the pertinent utilities, ensuring that ductwork, plumbing, and pipes are removed, and demolishing exterior steps, fences, and any other accessories before the project can even begin.
  • Clearing the move route. While on-site moves are usually very simple, clearing a move route for a longer-distance move takes a lot of planning. You and your contractor will have to consider trees, bridges, telephone poles, utility lines, and other obstacles along the way. In some cases, you may have to pay to have utility lines lifted, which is incredibly expensive.

Is Moving a House Worth It?

At this point, you may find yourself wondering if all the time, effort, and expenses involved in moving a whole house is worth it. Ultimately, this comes down to your individual situation. Will your current home match the specifications in your new city, or will you be required to do some renovations? Does moving your entire house simplify your move as a whole? Can you afford all the costs involved, or would it be cheaper to pack up your belongings and buy a new house?

In some cases, the transport logistics involved in moving your house may literally be impossible. So, make sure that you do plenty of research before you make any decisions on moving your entire house to a new location.

Have more questions about what it takes to move a house, what the project costs, and whether or not it’s the right choice for you and your family? Contact Three Movers today!

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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