Blake Moving and Rigging

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you typically lift and move a building?

Here’s how it works in a nutshell: We start by excavating down around the foundation until we have room to get our steel support beams under the house. While that is taking place we begin building crib-piles that will support the structure as we lift. We make holes through the foundation walls and begin inserting our steel main beams. Once those are in place and leveled, we begin putting in more steel cross beams until all of the supporting steel is in place. After that, the building is carefully blocked and wedged to the steel at every structural point. Lifting begins using a Unified Jacking System. Simply put, that means that every jack lifts at exactly the same rate using a single control. As the building is lifted, the crib piles are continually built up until it is at the proper elevation. If the building is being moved, at this point, the old foundation will be demolished, the basement or crawlspaces filled and dollies will be placed under the steel main beams supporting the house at key points. Most of our advanced hydraulic power dollies have the capability to lift, drive, steer and brake all by remote control. They are all linked together to drive as one unit, and the entire building is then driven by remote control to its new location.

Will the lift or move affect the structural integrity of my building?

Properly done, the lift or move will not negatively affect the structural integrity of your building. In many cases, it will actually improve it, since you will likely upgrade and improve your foundation in the process. We use the very latest in Unified Jacking and Power Dolly Moving technology. Our emphasis on using modern equipment and our experienced workmen continue to turn out job after job with very satisfied clients.

How much does it cost to lift or move a building?

The price varies widely, and depends on many factors including the size, type of construction and the height of the lift and length of the move. We are happy to take a look at your project and provide you with a free written proposal.

How long will it take?

Again, it varies depending on the job. A simple lift of a home could be a matter of days, while a large commercial or masonry building could take several weeks. We’ll be happy to discuss your situation and give you an idea of how long your job will take.

How will lifting or moving my home/building affect its resale value?

Lifting or moving should improve your home or building’s resale value. In the process of lifting, you can upgrade the foundation and fix weak or sagging floors. By moving, you get to choose a more suitable location. Either way, the same things that are causing you concern, once they are remedied will add value to your structure.

Does my building have to be emptied out before it can be moved?

Usually it does not. The majority of our buildings are moved with all contents in place and there is little or no disturbance of the contents. In addition, our insurance covers the contents of your building as well as the structure itself.

Do you handle excavation under my house and do foundation repair or replacement?

For insurance purposes, we typically do all excavation under the buildings that we lift or support. For foundation replacement and repair or for new basement walls, we will be happy to assist you with finding a qualified contractor to handle that aspect of your project.

My home/building is in a flood zone. What are the advantages of lifting or moving it?

Perhaps you’ve been flooded once too often and are faced with losing your flood insurance. We can help! We specialize in lifting or moving buildings out of flood zones. You will need to contact your local building department and determine the 100-year floodplane for your location. Once your building is elevated above that level, you will experience significantly lower flood insurance, and the occasional flood will become a minor disruption instead of a major event.

How far can a building be moved?

That depends largely on the size of the building. While theoretically there is no limit, practically speaking, the larger the building is, the more disruptive the move is and the more difficult it is to secure an adequate move route. The move route has to be wider than the structure being moved. Overhead wires and tree branches have to be trimmed. Traffic has to be stopped or re-routed. All of this can add significant cost to a project and needs to be taken into careful consideration.

What does it cost to remove overhead wires and utilities?

It varies greatly depending on your utility provider and whether you are in an urban or rural environment. You will need to contact your utilities directly to determine the cost. We can help you determine the loaded height of your building in order for them to know which wires will need to be handled.

Can my brick or stone building be moved?

Yes! We have years of experience moving brick and stone structures—even fragile historic buildings. We take great care in the support and handling of these buildings and will be happy to discuss your project with you.

My house is classified historic. Will lifting or moving it change that?

Probably not, but that is a question you don’t want to guess about so please contact your Historic Preservation Office before you make any changes.

Do I need to purchase additional insurance to cover the process?

We carry comprehensive insurance that covers everything related to lifting and moving, including structural damage to your building as well as damage to another person’s property when transporting the building to another site. That being said, it is also a good idea for you to also purchase short term insurance to cover unforeseen problems over which we have no control—such as hidden structural faults or inadequate insurance coverage by other contractors.

Do I need to notify my mortgage company prior to lifting or moving?

Yes. You will need your mortgage company’s written permission for any work that would change the address of the building, since they have not only financed the building, but also the land on which it is located.