choosing a removal home

Top 10 hints for choosing the right removal home

It can be a mine field choosing a removal home. With so many types, styles, shapes, sizes and so on to consider, how do you make sure you buy a house that can be relocated easily and is economically viable? To make it a little easier we have put together a top 10 list of things to consider.

1. Avoid concrete slabs

Now it may seem obvious to avoid concrete slabs, but sometimes slabs are not all that obvious themselves. We avoid slabs because they do not transport very well, (i.e. they can damage easily) and can be very expensive to transport. Houses built entirely on concrete slabs became popular in the 1970’s, and they are used for the majority of new homes built today. Be careful of slabs that may be concealed in older homes, sometimes incorporated into the timber floor structure. Its usually better to have a slab removed and install a new floor section than try to transport a suspended slab. Stick to a house built entirely on a timber platform floor for best results.

2. Check the height and pitch of the roof

We look at the roof because nearly all houses that are relocated need to have the roof lowered for transport. Dismantling and lowering a roof for transport is commonplace and not something to be overly concerned about. Relocation contractors routinely remove and reinstall roof structures using an engineering system called “cleats” when main structural components are cut and rejoined. To avoid a roof being cut and lowered for transport, choose a house with a shallow or flatter roof pitch low enough to allow the house to come under the regulation transport height with the roof intact. Transport costs will be lower for a house with a roof that does not require lowering and the roof can remain on reducing the risk of water penetration during transport and re-siting. An experienced removal home consultant can advise you which houses may be able to avoid a roof lower.

3. How wide is the house?

Many houses are cut into sections for transport because they are too wide for the planned route, or wider than the regulations will allow for on road transport. Again, it is commonplace to separate and rejoin houses when relocating them and it does not affect the structural integrity of the house when done properly. However many people consider a “single shift” a good option, particularly when it has a roof that is low enough to stay on for transport. These homes can be placed on a house trailer and transported entirely intact which is quicker, easier and cheaper than separating a house and transporting in sections.

4. Consider the size

Choice is limited if you stick to single shift houses. Most will be of a shape or size that requires separation for transport. Most houses up to about 200 square meters in size will be relocated in one or two sections. Much larger and you could be looking at 3 sections or more. The first 100kms is usually at a fixed relocation price. So if your site is more than 100kms from where the house is located, additional transport costs (worked on a per km per section rate) can add up due to the number of sections being transported.

5. Consider the shape

The shape of a house can affect the number of sections needed for transport as well. Sometimes a “wing” protruding from the side of a house requires separate transport to avoid the load being unbalanced or too wide. Unusual shapes can complicate a relocation project making it difficult to load and carry a house. Some buildings due to their shape are simply not viable to transport. Choosing a removal home that is the right shape for your site will enhance sale ability.

6. What roof type is best?

A light weight sheet roof is best for a house being relocated. Corrugated iron, or colorbond roof sheeting is easily removed and reinstalled, and there is no reason to replace a good roof with plenty of life left in it. Concrete or terracotta tiles are heavy and more difficult to transport, adding to cost. Most houses with a tiled roof will need to have the roof replaced rather than relocated with the house, so a good sheet iron roof will save you money. Some houses have light weight metal tiles, but these are not ideal either as they are harder to remove and replace than sheets and will often need to be replaced.

7. Be careful with bricks

Different types of cladding (external skin of a house) have different properties and behave differently when being transported. Timber cladding including weatherboard and chamferboard can absorb a lot of movement without being damaged so are the best. Flat sheeting such as fibro and blueboard don’t travel quite as well. If your house has flat sheet cladding, allow to replace some sheets after relocation as it is normal to expect some cracking. Any brick veneer (bricks on the outside fixed to the frame) needs to be removed before relocation. Be careful of houses with cavity brick (internal and external skin of brick with a cavity in the middle and no frame) as these homes cannot be transported economically.

8. Check for asbestos

Some councils (not all) will insist on any asbestos being removed before a house can be approved to be relocated into their council area. So get it checked out. Most of the time asbestos can be economically removed and a clearance certificate issued to satisfy council. Approved asbestos removal companies can inspect and provide quotes. Asbestos in a house is common and not normally a problem, but you need to know if its there in case it needs to be removed.

9. How much renovation is required?

Not all removal homes need a lot of work. Often the best value for money homes are those that have already had significant renovation work carried out. If you are into the older more original homes then you will want to carefully consider the cost of renovations. Consider whether you intend to carry out work on the house yourself or employ a builder. Employing trades yourself to carry out work can save you money, but it helps to have had some prior experience or get some good advice. Choosing a removal home that requires little work can save you a lot of time and money, even if you have to pay a bit more upfront for the right house.

10. Does the house suit its new surroundings?

Choosing a removal home that is right for your site is very important. In some areas council approval will include an assessment of how the house fits in with the surrounding streetscape. Its very rare for a house to be knocked back by council but it can happen if the house is in “extreme conflict” with its surroundings. Choice of house can affect the resale value of your property too if it looks out of place. Take time to check out the neighboring properties and choose a house that will be compatible with your site and the ones nearby for best results. For related information on choosing the right house site, see our blog article here

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