Below we cover some of our more frequently asked questions about housing projects, and in particular relocations. If you would like any further information, please feel free to contact us to discuss your query.

1. Why should I look at relocating my house?

Demolition is often the ‘go to’ for house removal when a site needs to be cleared for future development. This may be considered the easier or only option for many house owners who are not aware of alternatives such as house relocation. Demolition is however a costly option and one that has long term consequences that some do not consider. These include

Environmental Impacts

There is a shift in our communities towards reducing, re-using and recycling, and most people find it easy to make small changes in their day to day lives to minimise use of plastics and other non-recyclable materials. This conscious approach needs to be considered when demolishing a house, where 20-25 tonnes of debris can be created and dumped into landfill each time. At least a couple of tonnes of this material could be recycled, or in the case of Relocating a house salvaging the entire thing!

Social Impacts

The housing shortage in New Zealand continues to be a hot topic. Every house that is demolished makes space for a new house – meaning we are replacing 1 house with another. By relocating the house to a new site, we are increasing our housing stock.
It is often much more affordable to buy a relocatable home, have it shifted and complete some renovation work than buying or building a new home. This opens the possibility of home ownership to a lot more people, and we firmly believe more families owning the own home creates better families, better communities and better futures.

Economic Impacts

House demolition isn’t only bad for our environment, it is also a waste of money. A demolition will put you of pocket by thousands. This is money that could be better spent on your next housing project, your kids’ education or an emergency family fund. In many cases, relocation won’t only save you the demolition cost. It will increase your existing budget.

Emotional Impacts

Many home owners look back fondly on memories created within their homes and the house itself is a big part of this memory. Because of this, demolishing a house can be a heart-breaking experience for some. By relocating a house you are giving another family the opportunity to create their own story and memories – without feeling like you have lost yours.

The Solution is Relocation.

If you want to know more it is time to get our expert consultants to give you a FREE Appraisal on your house and get you into the next phase of house removal. You can also download our Seller’s Guide or give us a call on 0508 4 RELOCATE (473 562).

2. What is the process for relocating a house?

Relocating a house unfortunately is not as simple and moving it from one site to another! There are a number of steps that need to be taken to ensure the house is suitable for your new site, and that the site is suitable for the house! However it does not need to be complicated!

Understanding the process is a good first step. Our Definitive Guide to buying a house for Relocation details this process, and includes information about what steps need to be considered before browsing our listings. You can download the guide here.

If you’d like to have a chat about this process, feel free to give our team a call on 0508 4 RELOCATE (473 562) and they will be happy to answer your queries.

3. How much does is cost to shift a house?

The expenses involved in shifting a house can vary depending on the project’s unique characteristics, such as: the house size, level of complexity involved in removing it from the current site, access to the new site, distance to be transported, and whether any alterations to the roofline are necessary before shifting.

If you’re planning to relocate a house within a 100km radius of its original location and install it on standard pile foundations, you can use the following figures as a starting point:

  • For a single piece shift (where the house can be moved in one piece), the estimated cost ranges from $35,000 to $55,000 plus GST.
  • For a two-piece shift (where the house needs to be split into two parts for removal and reinstated at the new site), the estimated cost is between $55,000 and $85,000 plus GST.

The above information is assuming that it is a relatively standard move with good access and a level site. Additional factors that can affect the cost of relocating a house include:

  • High roofs that require lowering and reinstatement will add to the cost.
  • The size of the house will dictate the number of piles needed for the foundations, resulting in variations in cost due to extra concrete, timber and other materials required.
  • Wide loads may require the house to be cut into 2 or 3 pieces, depending on its shape, which can increase the cost and slow down transportation.
  • Site access obstacles such as telecom poles, trees, fences, and narrow driveways may require extra costs to clear the access (egress).
  • Time spent positioning the house if your site is at an awkward angle and needs the house to be positioned to fit can add to the cost.
  • Distance to the new site can impact the cost of the shift as houses can only be transported on the roads between certain hours, and it may take 2 or more nights to reach your site.
  • Brick cladding, concrete decks, verandahs and chimneys will require extra labour to remove the bricks and prepare the house for relocation.

We include an approximate removal cost for each of our listings, which can help you estimate the total expenses involved in relocating the house.

4. How long does the relocation process take?

When creating move timelines, we need to consider a number of factors as each project is unique. This includes the type and size of the house being shifted, having approved consents for the new site, infrastructure set up and more.

Once you own land and have found the right house, allow for the following time:

  • 6-8 weeks is feasible for floor plans, site plans, foundation plans, Geotech reports and drainage plans. It is important to remember that every day is crucial at this stage of the process.
  • 2 weeks to prepare for your Building Consent (gathering everything on the Building Consent Checklist from your Council). We have a team that will help you with this
  • 20 working days for the building consent process once you’ve submitted your forms to your Council.

Once building consent is granted, you can start connection of services and other trades that you might need to get your house ready for sign-off with council.

Our team can assist with all the steps and consents needed within this process, and are here to assist you right throughout the journey.

5. How much will a relocation project cost?

This cost can vary as every project in unique! However, overall it is a very cost effective way to create your new home vs. the cost of building new. You need to consider:

  • The cost of the house itself (incl. GST)
  • Transportation costs to your new site
  • Costs associated with preparing & consenting your new site
  • Any additional costs associated with renovating the house once its on its new site.

You may save between 20% and 50% off a new build if you plan and budget well.

Our Definitive guide to Buying a house for Relocation has a great Budget Checklist for you to fill out. This will give you an idea of everything you need to price up for the entire project. Contractors will give you free no-obligation quotes for things like connecting to services (power and telecom, sewer or septic tank, water and stormwater).

Download a copy of our buyers guide, or for any other questions feel free to give us a call on 0508 4 RELOCATE (473 562).

6. What is a Geotechnical report, what will it cost & how do I get one?

A Geo-techincal Report (or Geo-tech) looks at the ground conditions of your new site and checks what is underneath the surface. The soil may be unstable due to soft subsoil, or there may be boulders where you are wanting to dig your foundations, for example. The Geo-tech Report process usually involves the drilling of boreholes or the digging of test pits with samples and testing carried out at the site. Sometimes other laboratory tests may also be carried out on the samples.

The finished Geotech Report then recommends the most appropriate foundations and any stabilising measures that may be needed. Additionally, it will provide recommendations for soakage ie. storm water drainage requirements.

Your local council will be able to tell you if you need a Geo-technical Report or Soil Report before you apply for a Building Consent. This is often a part of the Building Consent process

Our team can assist with organising a Geo-tech report for you. Click HERE to find out more or give us a call on 0508 4 RELOCATE (473 562) to discuss.

7. How long does the actual house shift take?

For most single piece shifts, it takes 2 – 3 days for the house to be lifted off the old site onto a truck, transported to its new site and then positioned at your new section.

Read our BLOG post: “What Happens When Your House Arrives on Your Section“ for a detailed explanation of how it works.

8. Can I move a house within its existing section?

Moving a house from one place on your section to another, is called an On-site Shift. It is usually a relatively straightforward process, when using a professional house relocator.

There are several reasons as to why one would go through this process:

  • You have a large section that lends itself to subdivision
  • You would like to build new, but the existing house is in the way
  • You would like to make better use of your land by re-positioning the house

We can help you review these options and put together a plan that works best for your needs as well as your site. Click here to read more about On-site Shifts.

9. Can you shift a house that has a concrete pad?

Yes, it is possible to shift a  house that has a concrete pad. Because the house needs to be removed from the floor prior to shifting, any fittings i.e. Kitchen and bathroom will need to be removed prior to the shift and reinstated once the house is on a new floor. These extra steps need to be considered when planning your project budget, and are often reflected in the purchase price of houses with concrete floors.

10. Can you shift a house that has brick cladding?

Yes, a house that has been clad in brick can be relocated. The bricks are removed (demolished so not reusable) prior to the shift and once re-sited the house can be re-clad in any material. It also allows easy access for re-wiring, insulation and adding in extra power points.

We love relocating brick clad houses, as it gives the re-locator a completely blank canvas to renovate the house into something they love.

11. What are the maximum measurements to relocate a house on a truck?

The rough dimensions we work off are as follows:

Width – 9.2m – 9.5m
Length – 19m – 24m
Height – On truck from bottom of bearers to top of ridge is 4.2m

Driveway width for a trucks access is 3.5m -3.8m

Houses can be cut into pieces if they exceed those maximum sizes. This is not unusual and once the house is re-instated at its new site, you will not be able to tell that it was once cut into pieces.

12. Does my house need to be craned?

Access to your site determines whether your house will need to be craned or not. Here are some things to consider:

  • How narrow is the driveway access?
  • Is there a house on the site in front of mine? Or on the front of my own site?
  • Are there trees that are not allowed to be cut down (i.e. protected, or that belong to neighbours)?
  • Is there good access to my site for the truck to load a house onto it?
  • Is there good maneuverability on my section for the truck and trailer?

If you are unsure, please call us with your site address and we can help you out – 0508 4 RELOCATE (473 562).

For more information about cranes and house relocation, have a read of our Blog post: “Cranes – A Helping Hand with a Very Long Arm”.

13. How to Finance your first home

Core to our company values is finding solutions to help get more kiwi families into their own homes. Getting more families into homes means supporting first home buyers. We understand how hard it is to buy your first home, having helped a number of first home buyers before.

There are a number of factors to consider when setting up finance for a relocatable house, but if you are well prepared it doesn’t need to be a difficult process.

When people think about relocation they often assume they will not be able to use their KiwiSaver or get a KiwiSaver Homestart grant. However, for many cases you are able to apply and get both approved. Kainga Ora (previously Housing New Zealand) has a bit of advice on their website about components of the Homestart Grant you will be eligible for if relocating a house. Have a look at their checklist here.

To source advice or assistance with your finance requirements, or to find out what the next best step to take is, give us a call on 0508 4 RELOCATE and we can put you in touch with a specialist who can assist.

14. What insurance will I need to relocate a house?

Relocating a house should not be a stressful time, therefore it is important to protect your relocatable house in case of a worst-case-scenario occurring. We want to help you make this an as smooth and as stress-free experience as possible.

Please see our External Services page for more information about Insurance.

15. What council requirements do I need to consider?

No matter your removal project; whether you are buying, selling or moving, we can help you understand any council requirements needing to be completed for your project.

If selling a house for relocation, it might seem like it would have nothing to do with council but depending on region, you will need to provide a few items and possible consents. These may include:

  • A Demolition or Removal consent.
  • An asbestos survey might have to be conducted before moving the house and all access to site (egress) needs to be approved. This may involve removing council trees, power lines and fences.

If you are buying a relocatable house:

  • You may need to source a Geo-technical report for your site. The Geotech report will determine what kind of foundations and drainage is required, among other essential building details. Some councils require this prior to submitting a building consent.
  • Whether you are buying a primary or secondary dwelling, you will need to apply for a Building Consent.
  • Additionally, many Councils require a Resource Consent to be completed as well as possible development fees

Our team has experience with a number of councils across the North Island. We can prepare and submit all of these requirements on your behalf.

If you would like to do some prior research, check out your local council website, most information will be available under the Building and Planning sections.

Give us a call on 0508 4 RELOCATE to discuss any of these requirements.

16. Asbestos? Sounds scary but it’s ok!

Many of the houses built in the 1980s & early 90’s contain ACM (Asbestos Containing Materials). It was a popular building material due to its good sound absorption qualities, strength, plus resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage. Some of these materials include fibrolite, vinyl products and textured ceilings.

The best rule of thumb to follow is to assume that there is more than likely asbestos present if you have a house, or are looking at buying a house, built or altered before the year 2000.

Many people are unaware that ACMs do not actually pose any danger unless they are damaged. However the process of relocating a house means that damage to ACM’s can be hard to avoid. The good news is that there are a number of experts who are able to test for ACM’s and then remove any materials prior to relocating a house.

We always recommend for our Sellers to complete ACM testing prior to listing a house for sale. It does not prohibit the house from being sold, but ensures any buyers are well aware of any contamination prior to purchasing the house and reduces the likelihood of sales falling through.

We can connect you with a reputable ACM tester or removalist – just give us a call on 0508 4 RELOCATE (473 562).

17. How do I know if my house is contaminated with methamphetamine?

A simple test can show whether a house has meth contamination. We recommend for our Sellers to complete this test, particularly if the house has been rented out. A positive test does not prohibit the house from being sold, but ensures any buyers are well aware of any contamination prior to purchasing the house and reduces the likelihood of sales falling through.

18. Are all your houses tested for methamphetamine?

No, not all our houses have been P-tested. Whilst every endeavor is made to ensure a house is not contaminated, we recommend that potential buyers get a laboratory level methamphetamine test done as part of their due diligence prior to purchase for ultimate peace of mind.

19. What if I have more questions?

We welcome your questions and are always happy to assist. To touch base with us, either fill out our Contact Form  or give the team a call on 0508 4 RELOCATE (473 562).

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