You stop. You stare. You watch in awe. After all, it’s not every day that you see an entire house moving down a local road or major highway.
In Manitoba, purchasing a ready-to-move (RTM) house is a convenient and popular option for those who are building a new home or cottage. Luckily there are experienced and qualified movers like CNC Building Movers Ltd. who eliminate the stress of having a home, new or otherwise, transported to the home owner’s property.
Craig Penner has owned and operated CNC Building Movers Ltd., based in Southwestern Manitoba, for the past ten years.
“I started by purchasing some used equipment from another mover. I had previous experience hauling oversized loads but gathered as much information as I could and gained more and more experience as the years past. I have also added and improved our current line of equipment to stay competitive,” said Craig. ‘‘
As well, the International Association of Structural Movers (IASM) has become a valuable resource for Craig and his three employees as the business has grown in the last decade.
“There has been a steady growth in business. The cottage business in Manitoba is ongoing and moving RTM homes to locations outside of large centres is a big part of the work that we do. It is often easier and more cost-effective for home buyers to have a ready-built house brought in than it would be to bring in skilled tradespeople from long distances,” said Craig.
As you can imagine, the process of moving a building takes a lot of pre-planning and organization. When a move is scheduled, CNC has to plan routes, assess the property for where the building is being moved, take out permits and determine a timeline. It generally takes two to four weeks before the actual move is able to take place.
“When we arrive to load a house or other building, steel beams are placed underneath and these beams are then lifted using hydraulics on the truck and the air operated mat jacks under the beams. Moving dollies (wheels) with air ride are then placed under the beams. Loading and preparing a new home for a move generally takes two to three hours,” said Craig.
Once on the road, the travel speed can vary based on the size of the house. In addition, depending on the height of the load, power companies may need to be involved to raise power lines along the route. Some moves can be done in one day, however, depending on the project and the distance it could take as long as one week.
“When we arrive at the destination the unloading process begins. The dollies are removed from under the house and it is slid over top of the foundation; we may also use rollers depending on the situation. Hydraulic jacks are then used to take the load off the beams and the steel beams are removed and the house is then lowered onto the foundation. Of course, we take a lot of care to make sure it is square and centered. This process alone can take anywhere from four to ten hours depending on site conditions and the design of the house,” said Craig.
CNC has moved homes and other buildings throughout Manitoba, and into Saskatchewan, Alberta, and North Dakota. In addition to moving RTM homes for various local builders, CNC will move all types of buildings including those built entirely of brick; they also move other large scale items. Summer is by far their busiest season, but they do operate year round.
By Wanda Kurchaba