Rob Trenary signals that the alignment is just right as the former Calvary Presbyterian Church arrives at its new site near Barnum, Iowa. (AP/The Messenger, Hans Madsen)

Rob Trenary signals that the alignment is just right as the former Calvary Presbyterian Church arrives at its new site near Barnum, Iowa. (AP/The Messenger, Hans Madsen)

A 1929 four-bedroom brick Colonial house is slowly moved onto its lot in suburban Chatham, New Jersey. (AP/Mike Derer)

A 1929 four-bedroom brick Colonial house is slowly moved onto its lot in suburban Chatham, New Jersey. (AP/Mike Derer)

Workers move a section of a 1924 home in Miami Beach, Florida. Using giant remote controlled dollies, it took about two hours to move a section of the building 120 feet. (AP/J Pat Carter)

Workers move a section of a 1924 home in Miami Beach, Florida. Using giant remote controlled dollies, it took about two hours to move a section of the building 120 feet. (AP/J Pat Carter)

Bob Singleton of Consumers Energy, top left, lifts power lines to allow a 4,000 square foot, one-story home to be moved. (AP/The Muskegon Chronicle, Andraya Croft)

Bob Singleton of Consumers Energy, top left, lifts power lines to allow a 4,000 square foot, one-story home to be moved. (AP/The Muskegon Chronicle, Andraya Croft)

People move a traditional Malay house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. House moving is a Malaysian tradition of uniting to help carry and transport an old house to its new location. (AP)

People move a traditional Malay house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. House moving is a Malaysian tradition of uniting to help carry and transport an old house to its new location. (AP)

How (and Why) To Move a House

Posted: May 1, 2021

Believe it or not, people lift and move big houses all the time. Movers dig down around a house’s foundation. They cut openings in the foundation walls and stick steel beams into the holes. Jacks are placed under the beams. These machines lift a house off its old foundation. All the jacks move at the exact same time, keeping the home level. There goes the house, up, up, up! Now see? Enough space appears underneath to stick in sliding beams. These beams pull the house onto dollies, and a powerful truck hauls it all away.

Why go to all that trouble?

Some people move a house because they want to preserve a historic building. They move it out of a busy part of town full of businesses and apartments. (That’s what happened with the San Francisco house. It sat on an extremely valuable piece of land for development.) Sometimes people move their house because it becomes flooded and needs a drier spot. Some houses are moved farther away from busy roads.

House movers need more than machine power. They need science too. People prepare a house to move by making sure the structure will hold together. Gravity is a good thing—very good. It keeps us from floating away! But it also makes it hard to lift a gigantic, heavy structure. Movers work carefully. Walls need to stay at the proper angles. If the angles change, the house could collapse. Movers check floor joists to make sure they’ll keep doing their jobs—holding up the house.

But there’s one thing people don’t have to do while moving a house. They don’t have to take the furniture out. Most houses are moved with all the stuff still inside. House movers even tell stories of napping cats that move inside their houses . . . and don’t even wake up till they’ve arrived in their new neighborhood!

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  Matthew 7:24