Tuesday, January 27, 2015

House Moved

It appears my readers from the British Isles particularly enjoy the house-moving event. Without further ado, here are a series of pictures from the move this morning. I stayed as long as my frozen fingers and toes would allow.
Adam called this morning from his bike ride to report that the house was already at the corner. I zipped over. Here's what met me on the street:
 The house is riding on steel girders, mounted on three sets of hydraulic wheels. One end tried to clear the trees on the corner.
 But they're having trouble with one set of back wheels. There's too much torque turning the corner. See the wheels in the back?
 One pair is actually lifted off the asphalt from the pressure of taking the curve.
 They studied the problem, backed up, and corrected it.
 After some serious study though. This fellow operated the little Bobcat.
 Adam (in helmet, for warmth!) and his friend Mark were among many observers.
 Wheels all back on asphalt:
 I stood in a friend's yard, with this immense view before me,
 ... and right behind me, because this is Oriental ...
 Here's the empty lot across which it would have been so much easier to move the house, but the owners of this land would not allow it. I don't blame them for worrying about their lot and its dead grass.
 Clearly they are highly invested in the property and visit often. Alright, alright, that was a bit harsh!
 The electric company, at the same time, was letting down one last line inhibiting the house's progress.
 The fellow in the brown overalls, leaning over, studying the house and wheels, is the head honcho. In his hand is a yellow control box with which he adjusts all the hydraulics, and makes the machine go that's moving the house. It's basically a very fancy remote control.

(At this point I took a short video of the move, which I'm having NO END of trouble importing into this post. Sigh. Maybe later.)
Soon the house moved down the street to its new location. The home-owner observes.
 The back wheels came across a sandy spot concealing a hole. The wheels went in the hole, so they backed up, filled the hole with lumber, put those metal plates across the top, and successfully got over the hole.
It was so cold, and some of the men didn't wear gloves.
 A long flat-bed came to the new site with big lumber and flat steel plates.
 Then I dashed home to make sure Julia was on task for school. She didn't want to come stand in 37º windy weather (20º real feel). Here's the street upon my return:
 People brought dogs. It was a community event.

 Tillman came. He's another "Billy, the Sailor Dog" pup, here in town. He carries his own leash.
 Crossing the little ditch onto the property was tricky.
 Finally! Out of the road!
 Quite a bit of lumber and metal was put into the ditch for a smooth ride over it. Then a fellow wedged a block behind this wheel. I couldn't help feeling that was wishful thinking.
 This is the hydraulic pump, placed in the house's garage. It's the brain of the machine, connected to the remote control and the wheels.
 They'll rotate the house slowly as they move it over the cement foundation that's been poured already.
 The back of the house will look over that grass, and the broad ditch in it, a quite low spot that becomes a creek in high water. But in Oriental they carefully gauge the height of a house to avoid water.
 The Bobcat driver was amazing; he zipped here and there, moving lumber, and moving large and small steel panels to form a flat road in front of those wheels. He was a surgeon with a forklift.

 The assistants were crouching under the house, dashing around, moving timbers, adding plumb lines. At this point, the remote control man was very attentive to placing the house exactly where it belongs. He got out his measuring tape.

 Guys with shovels scraped mud off of the cement foundation that ran in a square around the spot.
 Head honcho (in brown), guy in charge of the foundation (in white hood), old home-owner (in blue jacket):
 You can almost get a picture of the house in its new spot.
 This was a slushy, muddy mess, a difficult area to drive a house.
 These workers trust their machinery so much they place their drinks on one girder that sticks out from the house. In fact, the lady home-owner left everything in the house -- furniture, even dishes! Oh yeah -- there's very little bashing around involved.

 They inserted rebar in the foundation corners, and those metal straps on the ground run into the cement and will attach to the house.
At this point, cell phones were whipped out, and evidently someone essential to the final stages was not yet present. So they had to wait. I don't mind standing in the cold and wind if things are happening, but at this point I drove back home. Adam says the house is now in place with big stacks of lumber underneath, keeping it off the foundation. The wheels and movers are gone. Success!


  1. Hoorah! :) I love all the windows in this house. I crave sunlight! Thanks for the details! :)

  2. So Cool! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    1. You're welcome! Such excitement in our little village :)

  3. Phew! The home owners must really love their house to go to all that trouble. I had to laugh at the 2 old chairs guarding the dead grass!

    1. Una, the previous owners (who were watching) have sold the house for $1 (so I heard) to the new owner, upon whose property it is now sitting. The new owner is paying for the move, the installation, the set up, the prep work. The old owners will get to live in the house on its new location (for free, I think?) for a year, while their new home is being built on the old site. At least that's my impression of the arrangement, which must please everyone.

  4. That was so exciting! Thanks for these photos.


  5. Wow, always something exciting happening in the town of Oriental! You could work for the local newspaper, M.K.! Great pics.


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