Moving an old house
We take you through the steps of transporting an older house to a new location, including likely costs and objections from neighbours.
What will it cost?
The cost of buying an old house for removal can range from a few thousand dollars for a two-room bach, to over $100,000 for a large home.
The cost of moving the house will depend mainly on the time it takes, which depends in turn on the route to be travelled, the size of the house and the degree of difficulty. It can range from a few thousand dollars to move a single-piece house, with the price increasing for the number of pieces, location and difficulty.
The house moving company will generally be responsible for the moving permits, i.e. the costs of moving the house over public roads, but the homeowner is responsible for building and resource consents.
The cost of placing the house on the new site, the foundations, connections to services, repairs, alterations and renovations will be a large part of your total budget. Note that some house moving companies can have the foundations built for you at the new site.
Objections to the removal of some houses
If you see an old house for sale for removal, there is always a chance the neighbours will object to it moving away from the neighbourhood.
Conversely, neighbours may have objections to an old house moving into a newer development. In this case resource consent will be required.
Steps to moving old houses
These are the steps in a house moving project:
- Choose the house – it may be on an existing site or for sale in a building removal company’s yard.
- Check the house - have the house checked by a plumber, electrician and builder. It pays to take care when choosing an old house for relocation. While it might seem cheap, the cost of restoring it could negate any savings you make and cost you far more than buying or building new.
- Choose the building removal company - talk to people who have done it before and find out who they would recommend. Choose a firm with a good reputation. You can find building removal companies in the Yellow Pages.
- Contact the building consent authority - find out what you need in the way of building and resource consents.
- Organise insurance – you’ll need cover for the house while it is being moved and while the renovation work is being done.
- Moving the house - the building removal company moves it from its yard or its existing site onto the new site and places it onto the foundations.
- Connecting to services and upgrading the house - you will have to organise for services to be connected, i.e. telephone, electrical, and plumbing. Then you can begin the necessary alterations, renovations and decorating, making sure you obtain the right consents from the council and your building consent authority.
Getting ready for removal
Talk with the removal company and consider the following:
- What is needed to get the house off the existing section - trees and other structures may have to be removed.
- If you haven’t already done so, have the building structurally assessed before it is moved to ensure it can be safely transported.
- An Overdimension Permit will be needed to transport the house by road. These are issued by the Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA). The permit will normally be taken care of by the building removal company, but make sure this has been done. For more information about these contact the LTSA Helpdesk on 0800 699 000 or visit their .
Issues with older homes
Some of the issues associated with older houses, which will come up when they are to be transported, include:
- The bearers are often undersized and inconsistent for floor layout, usually because older homes have had many alterations done over the years without any attention given to the bearers.
- Brick claddings will have to be removed for relocation and new claddings installed - this is an opportunity to install insulation.
- Foundations don’t always match up with what’s on the plan.
- Plumbing and wiring will often require replacement.