Once you’ve determined that you’re going to either raise or move your house, you’ve got your work cut out for you. It’s a big undertaking, for sure, but if you know what to expect and what needs to be done in preparation, your lift will go off without a hitch. We’ve compiled a guide on how to prepare your home to be raised or moved, so when the day comes, you’ll have everything in place for a safe, successful move.
Hire a Pro
First thing is first: hire a professional. Lifting and moving a structure as big as your home is a massive project. If done correctly, you’ll have a great experience and your home will be safely and securely in its new location. But if you hire an unqualified contractor or try to do it yourself, you’re asking for trouble, and the risks for injury or damage are multiplied.
Find a house lifting or moving contractor who is experienced, has moved homes similar to yours, has modern equipment, and who will address all of your questions and concerns. The more transparent and knowledgeable your contractor, the better.
Don’t Forget a General Contractor
You don’t want to cut corners when securing a moving contractor, but you don’t want to skimp on a general contractor, either. Lifting or moving your home involves a lot of construction both at the original site and the new site. Hiring a general contractor will ensure you’ve got an authority on the ground who can make sure your home is in perfect condition after all is said and done. They bring specialized skills to the table: excavating, construction, permit acquisition, and anything else that needs to be done that you might not think of—or that you can’t do yourself.
Securing and Moving Your Belongings
Meet with your contractors to determine what kind of cleaning and moving prep needs to take place. If you’re doing a lift, most of the time, your belongings won’t need to be secured, because the home is raised inch-by-inch, very slowly.
However, if you’ve got a basement or crawlspace, those areas will need to be cleared of your belongings. Additionally, if you’re having your home relocated, you will need to secure your things so they don’t shift during the move. You can consult with your contractor about what they recommend.
You’ll want to clear the outdoor décor, furniture, plants, etc., from the perimeter of your home. In some cases, your shrubs and trees will be damaged by the machinery needed to get close for excavation and lifting. If you want to preserve your flowers and plants, make plans to transplant before the project begins.
This seems like an obvious step, but in all the excitement of the day, it’s easy to forget to disconnect your utilities. You’ll want to disconnect your plumbing, gas, electrical wiring, your water heater, duct work, and furnace. It’s in this step of the preparation where your general contractor may help. If not, you might need to hire an electrician or plumber to ensure everything is disconnected safely and that you’re at zero risk for a leak or electric shock.
Plan for A/C Pads
Unlike your other utilities, your air conditioning units need to be lifted. The concrete pad they sit on will need to be raised along with your home’s foundation.
Notify Your Mortgage Company
If you are moving your home from the address that is currently listed with your mortgage company, you’ll will need to notify them of your relocation. You want to make sure you have their written approval before you schedule your move. If you make changes that alter the address on your deed—like moving your home—your mortgage company might impose penalties on you, including requiring you to pay the remainder of your mortgage in full.
Different states have different permit requirements for home lifting and moving. You’ll want to check with your local governing body to determine what permits you’ll need. If you’re pouring a new foundation, you’ll almost certainly need a building permit.
Notify Utility Companies
If you’re going to be relocating your home across town—or farther—then you’ll want to make sure electric and telephone wires will be safely out of the way. It’s your job to notify utility companies of your move and the route your home will take, and it’s your responsibility to pay the fees that the companies require to ensure the lines are safely lifted.
Finalize Your Plans
Before the day of your lift or move, you’ll want to go over your plans with your lifting contractor and your general contractor to make sure everyone is on the same page. Gather all necessary permits and paperwork. Ensure your deposits and fees are paid and that all of the moving parts are scheduled to work together when the big day comes.
Lifting or moving your house is a big event no matter how you look at it. But, if you can make all possible preparations, your project has a better chance of being safe and successful. Invest your time and energy in following the steps above, and when the day comes, you’ll be at ease knowing that all bases are covered, and the only thing left to do is move.