Cranes – a helping hand with a very long arm

July 12, 2019

When helping plan for house relocations with our clients, it’s not uncommon to receive queries or concerns about the perceived inability of accessing a section of land…

“the section is behind another house, will access even be possible?”
“we have a narrow driveway… surely, there is no way of getting a house down here!”

The simple solution: Cranes

In short, involving a crane company allows for the house to be lifted and moved aerially in order to navigate local hazards or constraints – such as trees, fences, other houses, and width of entry to trucks – that would otherwise impact the feasibility of the overall project.

We expect that Crane Hire and Operator companies will feature more in relocation projects in areas where there are smaller sections and subdivisions in place.

Is it necessary for your project?

We help assess and work with physical house relocators and crane hire/operators to evaluate the project requirements and fairly estimate the costs involved.

Below is a list of key considerations when establishing whether a crane will be necessary and determining the full scope of the exercise for the best outcome;

  • Address of the section and in what position the house will be sited.
  • Size of the house (square metre footprint), as an indication for weight, which will dictate the size of the crane required and maximum arm radius reach for clearing obstacles.
  • Single piece versus split piece house move.  For considering the length of time for hireage of crane and operators.
  • Ingress rights, meaning your authorisation to enter the property (and adjacent properties), as part of relocation actions. Can be verbal or written.
  • Ability to conduct the craning process away from the road, mitigating any need to schedule road closures with the council and involve traffic management.
  • Services that may be affected, namely underground pipelines or overhead lines along with any need for disconnection.

Providing your council and design plans, and the relocatable house you may be interested in is a great start.

If you need help with this and other preparation for the purchase of our relocatable houses, the Relocatable House Co. recommend discussing the project requirements with us and liaising on your behalf.  This includes co-ordination with our design experts, council, house relocators and crane operators to prepare a plan for completing a project based on above.

As a result, you will know the feasibility and budget estimates as part of the overall project investment.

Example scenario

In review with a prospective client, we established:

  • Shifting a house from Greerton to Papamoa
  • Two-bedroom, 1-bathroom (85sqm) single piece shift
  • Moving to the rear of a flat section, with a house already at the front (owned by the client)
  • Some underground services, requiring addition cushion pads beneath the crane vehicle
  • Permission to access driveway – no road closure required
  • No unforeseen obstacles such as trees or fences

As a result, a robust price estimate was included for a shift using a 100-tonne machine allowing a 19-metre radius for pick-up and lowering. 

How long it takes to crane your house onto your site

Lifting the house itself takes a relatively short time. Normally around 20 minutes. But it can take from 2 to 3 hours to set the crane and rigging up and the same to breakdown after the house lift. On average most crane hire companies will allow 6 hours.

Part of this is ensuring measures are taken for accurately positioning as per design plans and navigating any hazards in the vicinity.  The focus then is on lowering carefully for the house relocator to finish securing to foundations.


Information for this article was supplied by McLeod Cranes, Mt Maunganui.


Next steps

Experience, utmost health and safety, and quality workmanship is paramount to houses bought and sold with The Relocatable House Co.  As such, we work with a range of partners who meet high industry standards; including our Crane Hire and Operator affiliate companies.

Feel free to contact us about understanding how utilising Crane Hire and Operators, for either removal or adding a house on a section, can work for you.


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