Now known as concrete masonry units, concrete blocks have been used as home building materials since the late 19th century. These days, CMUs are lauded for their stability, fire and pest resistance, and durability.
When lifting or moving your CMU home, there are a few things you need to know to ensure a successful project. In this article, we give you 5 tips for lifting or moving concrete masonry units home.
Know the Weight-Bearing Limits
CMU homes are much, much heavier than wood-framed structures. Should you lift your CMU home, you need to carefully plan according to the load-bearing limits of your structure.
Many homeowners choose to lift their homes to increase square footage and living space by adding another level. Should you choose to lift your CMU home to add a second story, you’ll need to ensure your bearing walls are built with blocks that can withstand the weight of your top floor. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development gives helpful guidelines for building concrete masonry homes with multiple stories. While your contractor should be aware of this, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with these guidelines and standards.
Secure Your New Foundation
Most homes constructed with concrete masonry units sit upon foundation blocks. These blocks are built specifically to serve as the foundation for concrete block homes. They’re solidly compacted to prevent collapse –– a necessity for these homes, as they often weigh more than houses built by other means of construction.
The foundation at your home’s new location will need to be specifically engineered to handle the weight of your CMU home. Ensure you use specialized foundation blocks to prevent structural damage. Once your home is resting at its new location, lifting it to repair foundation damage will be a task. The more thorough and careful you can be during the construction of your new foundation, the less likely you’ll face issues down the road.
Cable and Pipe Installation
Installing cables and pipes in a block home is a challenge. Upon construction, your contractor likely had to use special tools to install your lines. This is an important consideration when lifting or moving a CMU home.
Your general contractor will need to have a plan for new cable and pipe connections after you lift or relocate your home. They might need to extend wiring or rewire entirely based on the age of your home. This project could be costly and time-consuming, so you will need to meet with your contractor early in the planning stages to create a plan for reconnecting your home once the project is complete.
One downside of CMU homes is their appearance. CMUs have an industrial look that most people don’t want for their homes. To remedy this, most homeowners add stucco or other facings to improve the structure’s curb appeal.
When you lift or move your CMU home, you should prepare for some of the facings to crack or fall away. Anticipate that your home’s exterior will need retouching or repair. As you plan your budget for the project, include funds for exterior repair so your home remains aesthetically pleasing.
Rely on Expertise and Professional Equipment
Many older homes are built with concrete blocks, and oftentimes these older concrete block homes had small square footage. But even small structures should not be moved without professional help and equipment.
Any time you plan to raise or relocate your home, whether it’s a newer CMU home or a block structure that’s decades old, you should never do it yourself. DeVooght House Lifters has years of experience safely lifting and moving block homes. Our team has the wisdom and know-how that can only come from hands-on experience. At DeVooght, we boast an impressive inventory of state-of-the-art equipment that’s necessary to safely move your CMU house to its new location.
Because concrete blocks can grow brittle, you can cause irreparable damage to your home if you lift it or move it incorrectly. But when you put your home in the hands of our team here at DeVooght House Lifters, you can trust that we will put our experience and skills to work to move your home with as minimal damage as possible.
The DeVooght team prioritizes safety in every project. That’s why we urge our clients to leave the heavy lifting to us. By relying on our expertise and our specialized equipment, you take the necessary steps to promote safety for your family and our team.
The DeVooght team knows the value of a job well done, which is why we treat every CMU house lift or move as if it were our own home. Contact our office today, and one of our helpful staff will help you get started on your CMU project today!