How Much Does it Cost to Move a House

Full article 13 min read
woman calculating long distance moving costs

Ever wondered, How much does it cost to move your home to a new location? Movers are trained to handle this type of work and do it almost all of the time. So, how do you begin calculating the overall cost? Moving companies estimate that you should budget $14 to $16 per square foot of your home for the actual move. But what factors influence this pricing? Continue reading!

We have all seen that driving down the highway, we see “wide load” vehicles, followed by a house (or half a home) on the back of a large tractor-trailer. While prefabricated homes and trailers are more common, you may occasionally come across a traditional house.

Moving an entire house used to seem insane, but more and more people choose to take their home with them every year. Your standard moving cost calculator won’t be able to tell you the costs of this type of move, but some companies specialize in this type of work.

How Much Do They Charge to relocate a Whole House?

As you might expect, moving a house is not a “flat fee” service. Numerous factors influence the cost of a home move, but the industry average appears to be between $12 and $16 per square foot.

It is a mashup of logistics and expenses, usually costing between 50% and 75% of the cost of a new project of equal size, and sometimes even more. According to reports, the labor and transportation costs range from $15,000 to $200,000.

Below mentioned are some of the criteria a mover will use to provide you with an estimate are as follows:

Also Read: How Much Does it Cost to Move a 2000 Sq Ft House?


Structure and form

A meandering ranch-style single-story with lots of nooks and crannies may require a higher cost than to move a boxy, industrial tri-level, regardless of square footage, due to the equipment necessary.

Wrap-around patios and intricate chimneys (along with other accessories) increase the time and cost of moving. Furthermore, the materials used to construct the house are important—brick, logs, and stone. No material is necessarily more expensive or more difficult to transport, but all contribute to overall costs.

See Also: Hidden Moving Costs and Expenses

Crawl space and foundation

A house built on a pier foundation (such as near a body of water) is very different from a house built directly on a concrete slab floor. The crawl space is an important factor in pricing because it is where the steel slats are installed to lift and move the house.

Obstacles to access and routes

  • If you’re moving house a few yards away from the main street, there may be a few obstacles—a mailbox or tree limbs, uneven terrain that needs to be smoothed out, or a pool that the pros will have a workaround.
  • Larger areas are generally easier to work in than smaller lots, and flat surfaces are easier than homes on the cliff’s edge.
  • If you want to move house down the street, you and your contractor must consider a few additional factors (and more homework to do).
  • They must ensure that the roads are wide enough for the house’s transportation, that there are no powerlines or trees, and that all necessary permits have been obtained.

Work and time

Everyone who wants to relocate their home must hire the big guns. You’re paying for experts with years of experience and cutting-edge equipment and machinery (and solid high-premium insurance if anything goes wrong).

Home movers typically visit both the current and future home locations to gather all of this information before calculating a quote. However, some can produce a selection with given numbers without an on-site visit.

See Also: How To Organize A Garage Sale Before Moving


What kinds of houses can you relocate to?

There aren’t so many restrictions on the types of homes you can move to. However, the most common are mobile homes, literally built to be portable (and thus less expensive to move), and historic homes. So, why do people bother if it’s costly and requires an army of professionals?

Moving is a viable option if and only if the following conditions are met:

  • You want to move your current home away from the street. 
  • You want to move your existing home away from the waterfront or shoreline.
  • You’ve just bought the lot next to your house and want to move your house to use both lots. 
  • You don’t need to move it; instead, you need to lift it to fix foundational issues or build a basement.
  • You live in a historic home and don’t want to demolish it. You’d rather spend the money to stay in your current home rather than rebuild or relocate. 

See Also: What Salary Do You Need to Live in Oklahoma City

Your home is not a good candidate for relocation if:

  • You’re looking for an excellent bargain.
  • Your home has major structural flaws.
  • You have strong feelings for your home but must relocate to a new city.

How does the process of moving a house look?

The homeowner will need to consult with a general contractor, an architect, and an engineer to get started. They will collaborate to create a plan, have drawings created, and apply for permits. They can begin physical work once they have obtained the necessary licenses.

The general contractor will come in and clear out the crawlspace and disconnect the house from the foundation and all outside utilities.

The general contractor is in charge of route planning. They’ll have planned the best path to the new place, taking into account the width of the roads and any potential obstructions, and will have made strategies to overcome any hurdles before moving day.

This means they will ensure that trees in the way are trimmed, traffic control is maintained, and, more broadly, they will arrange for the relocation of power lines, utility poles, and traffic lights as needed. They may have also set for escort vehicles, depending on the distance. The contractor considers terrain quality and sharp corners when making these arrangements.

A transporting company arrives, drills holes in the foundation, install lifting steel and a jacking system, raises the house, and drives away. This makes it appear simple, but experts are navigating some heavy-duty machinery to make it happen. They take the route recommended by the contractor to the new location.

The general contractor will excavate the new foundation and pour the new footings at the new location. The house will be driven into the new site, down a ramp, and over the new footers by the moving company. They’ll raise the structure (a little higher than it needs to be permanent), remove the wheels and leave the house supported by the steel structure beneath.

The general contractor completes backfills, interior work, utility hookups, etc. A mason will be called in to lay the foundation for the house. The moving company will then return to place the home on the foundation and remove all their equipment and materials.

See Also: Moving to a Bigger House

How common is the practice of relocating?

Relocation is not a good solution for everyone, but it does have advantages. Homeowners can get a new solid foundation, lift their house to add more headroom, or build a garage. They can easily save an old family home or a historic structure and relocate their home to a quieter location away from the road.

Additional Works to Consider

The following items are both the responsibility of the owner and the contractor, and they will cause an impact on the overall cost of your project:

Initial planning and the permits: Most areas require architectural and structural drawings to install a new foundation beneath a house.

Preparing the house: You must disconnect all utilities from home, including water, gas (it must be switched off and disconnected at the street), electric, sewer, cable, and telephone. Ensure that all plumbing, ductwork, and pipes in the basement or crawl space are removed from beneath the floor joists. Before beginning the project, demolish and remove all skirting, fences, shrubbery, exterior steps, outdoor showers, and other accessories.

Move route: Move route clearing is a crucial price determinant. Moves on the site are not an issue at all, even though they may sometimes be required for the excavation; however, there can be several obstacles immediately when you begin the project.

If the home is taller on the road, you will have to contend with telephone poles, trees, bridge railings, and even other buildings in some cases. If the width is ideal, you can determine whether or not you will be bothered by the overhead obstacles.

Even when moving a single-story home, overhead structures and utility lines are common obstacles. On the Midwest and East Coast, the cost of having utility lines lifted so you can easily pass limits most moves to no more than two miles.

Texas, Oklahoma, and other states in the United States have more dimensions (width and height) clearance before encountering obstacles. The Other obstacles include sign and light posts, tree trimming, traffic control, and traffic signals, all of which must be considered, particularly in terms of cost.


Excavation and Building a New Foundation

You will need to excavate the new foundation and install it in the new location. Many houses will require at least a 4′ crawlspace, and only a few masonry houses may require a full basement. Beam pockets are typically needed on the top of the new foundation to provide a place for lifting steel to rest while the house is gently released.


Before researching how to plan for the move, determine whether moving your house on a long-distance tow is a worthwhile task. Will your home meet the requirements of your destination city, or will you need to renovate it? Will the move be easier, or will you have to pack many of your belongings for special transportation? What is the state of the roads between your current and desired residences? In some cases, where transportation logistics are largely impractical, make sure you conduct your research before moving on to the planning stage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you figure out how much it will cost to relocate?

To estimate the relocation costs, take the estimated time to complete the move and multiply it by the hourly rate of the moving company. Add the cost of packing materials, travel time, and tips if you work with movers to the amount you received.

Is it expensive to relocate?

Moving has always been costly; property prices are at an all-time high, and many homes are getting sold for more than their asking price. Recent consumer research found that more than half of home movers believe the process is more expensive than anticipated.


How much should you ask for in terms of relocation expenses?

Relocation packages can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $100,000. When negotiating moving expenses, keep in mind that the more you are willing to give, the more difficult it may be for a candidate to refuse your offer! It is up to you and your company to decide which services to cover and how much money to spend.

Written by

Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.