Frequently Asked Questions
Wisconsin’s Oldest & Largest Moving Company
GENERAL INFORMATION QUESTIONS
General Logistics, Cost, Time Frames, General Questions, etc.
Q: What should I consider when deciding whether or not a move is feasible?
A: Is it physically possible to move the house to the area you are considering? Are there narrow or busy roads, bridges, utility lines, large trees, traffic lights or any other obstructions that would physically prohibit the move? Although it is possible to have some of these things temporarily removed, it may not be financially feasible. Some of our customers have had some utility companies offer to raise lines for free while others have given bids of $50,000 or more. Remember too, that the house will be higher once it is on the beams and ready for relocation. You should also check with your local authorities and find out what permits may be required.
Q:How much does it cost to get an estimate for raising or moving my building?
A: Nothing. We provide estimation services for free. If your job is quite a distance from us however, we may request that you e-mail or send us pictures of the site and building so that we can give you a general estimate first.
Q:How much does it cost to raise or move a house?
A: There is no set price that covers all houses. Every house is unique in size, shape and weight.
We must also take into consideration the following:
- Is the house presently built on a full foundation, piers or a crawl space?
- If it’s built on a crawl space, then how high is it?
- What type of material was used for the original foundation?
- Does the house have additions, porches or fireplaces?
- How much exterior working space is available?
- If the house is being moved, what is the terrain between the place it now rests and its intended resting place?
Q: Can fireplaces, porches and additions be saved?
A: Generally yes. We use a unified hydraulic jacking system to raise our buildings. This insures that all parts of the building are raised in a totally unified fashion. It should be considered whether or not fireplaces, porches and additions are worth the extra cost that will be incurred however, since they will add to the price of the move. If it is determined that they should be removed prior to the move, it is the customer’s responsibility and removal must be.
Q: How far can a house be moved?
A: In some states, it is possible to move a house for miles. On the east coast however, due to narrow roads, bridges, utility lines, trees and traffic control issues, most buildings are normally only moved a few blocks away, across the road, on the same lot or across a field. We have been fortunate enough to move a few houses 1 to 3 miles away, but this is very unusual in this area.
Q:What is the customer expected to do prior to the home being moved or raised?
A: Generally speaking, you must have all services disconnected and the basement or crawlspace totally cleaned and stripped down. If fireplaces, chimneys or porches are being removed, this must also be completed. Some excavation may also be required beforehand. Local building code requirements should be looked into and permits should be obtained before work commences. You should also make certain that you have permission from neighbors or owners of any surrounding property that may become at all involved in the process.
Q:Does Schuette Movers dig the hole for the new basement?
A: Yes, we can provide this service.
Q: Does Schuette Movers construct foundations under the houses they raise or move?
A: We used to provide this service but no longer do due to a lack of time. Since we work in many different areas, it is also difficult for us to recommend contractors who provide this service. We suggest that you find a reputable, fully insured, local masonry contractor who is comfortable building a foundation under the lifted structure. We like to work closely with your masonry contractor to make certain that they understand all that is involved in the process. We welcome their calls if there are ever any questions.
Q:Have you ever damaged or dropped a building?
A: No. We have been putting safety first for over 60 years now. We have never, and will never, cut corners or hurry a job just to save a dollar. We are fully insured with the highest blanket coverage available. We are happy to provide our customers with a certificate of both liability and worker’s compensation insurance if they so desire.
Q:Will the house develop cracks in the interior walls?
A: We have moved stone, block, brick and wood frame homes even up and down hills and can honestly say that nearly all of our homes end up virtually crack free after the process. On occasion, a hair line crack may develop over a door or window. It is possible that some cracks may appear after the house is set on its new foundation however. This is because the old foundation may not have been as level as the new one and has nothing to do with the house moving process at all. At times it is possible to foresee this as a potential problem ahead of time though and take steps to prevent it from happening. Please note that although we are fully insured, we have not ever had an insurance claim filed. Although minor cracking is not covered, any major developments would be covered however. Our track record is clean and we can supply you with references if you would like.
Q:How long will it be before my house is finished?
A: Generally the entire process of moving or raising the home and building the new foundation is completed in one month or less. Weather conditions, our schedule and the masonry contractor’s schedule must be taken into consideration however
STRUCTURE MOVING QUESTIONS
Moving Buildings/Structures: Who, What, When, Where & Why
Q:What is a lot move?
A: A lot move is a building that needs to be moved around on its existing property.
Q:Why do people do them?
A:The most common reason is when a property is large enough to subdivide, and the house is situated inappropriately to execute the subdivision. Other reasons may include the property has been rezoned, or a building is to close to property lines and due to the desire to renovate the home the building authorities require the building to be made to conform to property setback regulations.
Q:What do we need to do before we get started?
A:Your first step is to investigate your local by-laws and building restrictions to see if it is possible. Have a plan drawn up showing the new location of the building, and the desired renovations and elevations. Then call us to do a site analysis and quotation on the move. At this time we would be happy to provide you with a list of qualified contractors who have had experience in this area.
Q: Is it possible to get a budget/ball park price prior to agreeing to do it?
A: Yes. If you can provide us with some details about the building and the property such as, building square footage, height of crawlspace or basement, perimeter dimensions, site accessibility and slope of the property.
Q:Does it matter what time of year it is?
A: Generally, weather conditions must be extreme to hinder a move, but certainly good weather is preferable.
Q: Can you move the porches as well?
A: In most cases, yes.
Q:What about the front porch that is supported by columns, can they be moved in tact?
Q:How do you know what can be moved and what can't?
A: There are really no physical limitations to what can be moved, only financial.
Q:Will our architect know this when he draws up our new plans?
A: Not necessarily, but he may call us to confirm any information he needs.
Q:Can the house be moved with the chimney & fireplace?
A: Yes, we move houses with fireplaces and chimneys.
Q:What if it's a gas insert?
Q:Do we need a moving or building permit?
A: A moving permit for a lot move is not required, but a building permit is. Contact your local building dept. to acquire their procedures.
Q:Can we use part of the existing foundation for new construction?
A: It is possible in some cases to do this, but we do not recommend it. Differences in the age of sections of the foundation will cause future settling to be un-equal. As well the cost and hassles of tying the old foundation to the new can be prohibitive.
Q:Can the house be turned without removing the foundation?
A: The moving of the house can be done while the existing foundation is intact, but this is not always the best method. It depends on site conditions and future accessibility to remove the old foundation.
Q:Does the landscaping get ruined?
A: For most lot moves, the majority of landscaping is excavated out of the way.
Q:Do we need to point out to you what gardens we would like to see undamaged?
A: Yes. If there are some plants you would like to be saved, they can be transplanted prior to the move or in some cases we can work around them.
Q:Do you have to put the house on a trailer to move it, or do you slide it over on steel?
A: Every job is different, but the determining factor is the distance the building needs to be moved. If it is being moved less than 30′, we will usually move it on skates (not steel to steel). If more than 30′, usually on wheels.
Q:Can we have the new foundation ready before the move?
A: If there is not an overlap between the existing location of the house and the proposed location, it is possible. This method is suggested for moves where the distance from our yard to the job, is more than 2 hours away. The increased travel cost makes it more economical for you to pre build the foundation.
Q:How long does it take to move the house?
A: An average building of 1200 square feet, will usually take 1 – 2 days. A 3rd day is required to come back and lower onto the new foundation.
Q:What kind of prep work is required to do prior to it being moved?
A: Generally speaking, you must have all services disconnected, clean and strip out the basement/ crawlspace of the house, including the fireplace/ chimney, and have the new excavation completed. There are many other requirements that are more job specific. After viewing your project, we provide you with a written quotation, and list all of your requirements.
Q:Do we need permits to remove trees?
A: Check with your local building department.
Q:Is it possible to move the house if there is a ditch between the original location and the new location?
A: When you are excavating and preparing the new site, at that time you would also prepare the access from where the building is situated now.
Q:What do we do with all the debris leftover from the original location?
A: We recommend that you recycle as much of the material as you can, disposing of the rest. Concrete can now be recycled as well as many other materials. The Excavation Company you chose will be able to help you out in this area.
Q:Is there much cracking when the house is moved?
A: The majority of cracking in a house is caused by settling over the years of it’s current foundation, and when we begin to lift it back to level it shifts back to its original state. If your house has not settled, the amount of cracking will be minor.
Q:Is there much cracking when the house is moved?
A: We do not require you to for moving purposes, but you may want to check with your insurance company to insure they will still cover your contents while the house is being moved.
Q:Does the distance of the move affect the cost?
A: Not necessarily. The majority of the work is in the preparation for the move. The distance becomes relative to the cost when site conditions are difficult.
Q:What are some of the variables that increase the estimate for the cost of the move?
A: Site conditions, size, weight and the geometry of the building.
Q:Can you move anything?
A:We maintain that the only restrictions to moving any building are economic. If men can build it, we can move it.
Q:What about the attached garage, can that be moved with the house?
Q:What about detached garages, does that cost a lot more to have it moved as well?
A: An average double car garage is usually between $2-3,000 to move, if we are on the site already doing other work.
Q:What about a glass sunroom. Can that be moved with the house?
STRUCTURE RAISING QUESTIONS
Foundations, Basements, Chimneys, Decks, Insurance, etc.
Q: Does Schuette Movers build the foundation?
A: Schuette Movers does not do any construction for raised houses but would be happy to recommend some qualified builders to you. We suggest that you only choose contractors with experience in working under raised buildings.
Q: How do you dig a basement once the house is blocked up?
A: If excavation beneath the building is required, the method of raising the building is somewhat different. Schuette Movers would need to know this up front for quoting purposes. In these scenarios there is usually an additional site visit required with our equipment to re-locate support cribs. In choosing an excavating company, they would need to have small enough equipment for digging under the building and have experience in this field. It is important that the excavation company chosen for the job has proper insurance coverage.
Q: Can you live in the house when it is up on blocks?
A: We do not recommend it, although many of our customers do.
Q: How high can you block up a building?
A: There are no physical restrictions to height, but there will most likely be economic and aesthetic restrictions. The higher you go the more costly it becomes.
Q: How do you know how much weight the blocks can hold? Are these engineered?
A: The blocking and design of the support cribs are engineered and may support various levels of weightdepending on the layout of the blocking.
Q: Does weather play a factor in raising a house?
A: If there is no excavation involved, it generally does not become a factor. If there is excavation to be done, and or a new foundation to be installed, then it is wise to plan the project for a time of better weather if possible.
Q: Can you raise the house with the chimney & fireplace?
A: Yes, we move houses with fireplaces and chimneys.
Q: Does the façade of the fireplace have to come down too?
A: The interior façade can sometimes be saved if tremendous care is taken in the demolition of the chimney.
Q:Can the additions be raised as well?
A:The hydraulic jacking systems that Schuette Movers use are the most advanced in the industry. This allows us to raise any wing or addition of a building symmetrically with the main building.
Q: What about porches?
Q: Who is responsible for removing the fireplace/stairs etc?
A: We require that all building preparation such as these be done by the customer or their contractor. At the customer’s request we can provide the names of people experienced in these type of preparations.
Q: Does the landscaping get damaged?
A: For the majority of buildings that are raised, we do no damage to perimeter landscaping.
Q: Is there much damage to the house when it is raised: cracking etc. Will our insurance cover this?
A: The amount of cracking in the house is directly proportionate to the degree of settling that has already occurred to the existing foundation. Many houses we raise are done so without any cracking. Minor cracking is not covered by our insurance. There should be no other forms of damage to the building structurally or aesthetically caused by our work. If there is, it would be covered by our insurance.
Q: What kind of insurance does Schuette Movers carry?
A: NB carries the most comprehensive insurance policy in BC for raising and moving buildings. It would be truly negligent to have your building raised without adequate insurance this applies not only to the building mover, but to all of the contractors involved in the lift. Our policy in general terms covers up to $2,000,000 worth of cargo/ liability.
Q: What if our house falls down?
A: The building is fully insured.
Q: What if someone is hurt on the site when it is up on blocks?
A: If the incident is relative to Schuette Movers being on site, our liability covers up to $5,000,000.
Q: Do we need to hire a contractor that has worked on a raised house?
A: Although it is not a Schuette Movers requirement, we would not recommend the customer using a contractor who cannot provide references for other projects he has worked on where the building was lifted.
Q: Do contractors hire Schuette Movers as subcontractors normally?
A: This happens on occasion, but the safest method insurance wise is for the customer to contract directly with Schuette Movers.
Q: Are there any restrictions with the size of house to be raised?
A: We maintain that the only restrictions to raising any building are economic. If men can build it, we can move it.
Q: How does Schuette Movers get their equipment out once the foundation is completed?
A: Some holes are required to be made, in the new walls for the removal of our equipment.
Q: How long does it usually take to raise a house?
A: An average 1200 square foot house can generally be raised in one day.
Q: Do you need a copy of our house plans prior to raising?
A: Having a set of plans is helpful in determining a firm price for raising any building. It is normally required of the local building authority to provide them with a set of plans for the project and a copy of the plans are all that we need.
Q: Do you need a building permit?
A: A building permit is required for all new construction to take place beneath the building, although it is not required to have a building permit prior to raising the building, we do not recommend doing this without your building permit approval.
Q: Are there any added costs that are usually associated with raising a house that we wouldn't think of?
A: It is important at the outset to determine whether the foundation will need to be replaced we recommend that you contact your local building inspector to view the foundation prior to setting your budget. Research your local building and zoning by-laws to make sure there are no surprises. Ensure the contractor you have chosen is competent and qualified. If any excavation is required, we recommend you acquire a firm price this can be the biggest grey area for budgeting. Schuette Movers price to the customer is firm and final, provided the customer meets the requirements of the contract.
Q: How much does it cost to raise a house?
A: Prices begin at $5,000 for a basic 1000 square foot house and escalate from there depending on the size, difficulty, and height to be raised.