We are attempting to embark on a home addition. Based on the layout of our
property and the architecture of the current house, we have no choice but to
go straight back. The problem is that the garage/shop is in the way. Local
building codes dictate that there must be 10 feet minimum of clearance
between structures. If we leave it where it is, we will have to a) cut back
on the expansion plan somewhat and b) remove a 4 foot overhang on the front
of the garage. Even then, it will be very difficult to access with a car
(not that ours go in there anyway). One of the builders we spoke to talked
about moving the existing garage. He gave us the name of a company that
deals with this sort of thing, but they must not need the work too badly
because it's been three days with no response.
So, I'm curious exactly how one would go about moving a garage? The
existing structure is 24 feet square. I'd like to move it straight back
about 12 feet. Obviously, a new section of concrete would have to be poured
and tied into the existing slab. I'm more curious how one does the physical
moving. I've Googled for it and can't locate anything except garage sales
and moving sales when I look for "garage moving". Any ideas?
Jack it up - gently, a little bit at a time as you go around the garage and
block it up, then jack a little more, and keep going around until you get it
as high as you need. If you can get 4 jacks going at once, it's better.
You can keep the building pretty much level as it goes up. Brace the
corners and brace the overhead door openings. Put rollers under the side
walls (trees will work if you've got access to some pretty nice small trees
without a lot of limbs, and pull it straight back onto the new area. Lower
it in reverse order. Not a bad undertaking all in all. Easily done on a
Well you can't just walk up to it and start jacking, you can't get a jack
under a building that's sitting on the ground. You must create a beam system
inside to jack on, then you have to decide where you're going to pull from
without twisting the structure, more work. The only way it's "easily done on
a Saturday" is if you spent the last three days getting everything ready. A
building mover will do it in a day but not an inexperienced home owner.
All of which really goes pretty quickly if you've set your mind to getting
the job done. Half the battle is getting over the sense of being
overwhelmed by the thought of moving a building. Once you get to the task
at hand, it's really quite a straightforward project, even for the
inexperienced homeowner. Creating the initial lift is simple - as simple as
throwing diagonal braces into corners and jacking under them. No
complicated beam system involved. Of course, one would have to address such
things as (potentially) removing nuts from tie down bolts that may be in
place in the sill plates. That takes only a short time, perhaps up to an
hour if it's early in the morning and you're not up to full speed yet.
Deciding where to pull from, securing jacks, securing some sort of roller,
etc. are all things one can easily do the day before, or even that same day
depending on the availability of things. Point being - the actual work can
easily be done on a Saturday even by the inexperienced homeowner. I really
don't factor in the days of "thinking" about a project, or planning it as
part of the work effort. If I did, all of my projects would be considered
decades of effort...
If you can pour the new floor slab up against the old slab you can
simply jack up the wall about 1 - 2 inches and stick a section of water
pipe under the wall. When you have enough rollers in place you (and a
few helpers should be able to roll the structure. As a roller drops
out one end pick it up and run around to the front and put it under the
A couple of pipes run lengthwise will act as slides to keep the cross
frame from dragging.
I would nail in a few cross braces to keep the walls square when you
disconnect from the slab.
Jack it up, support it on steel beams, lift the entire structure with a
crane to the new location. Helicopters can do it also, but tend to be more
expensive. It may be moved on rollers too. Weight is minimal in the
scheme of life, but it has to be kept square.
A cell phone tower is being installed right next to where I work. this
morning they delivered the component building, about the size of a one car
garage. Took them an hour to take it off the trailer, lift it above our
loading dock (about 15 feet) and set it on a pad. Most of the time was
getting the crane in position as it was a tight spot. The move took ten
minutes from lift to drop.
A friend of mine moved his garage all by himself, to a completely different
neighbourhood. Mind you he had a tractor and a flatbed trailer (like the
kind you might carry hay on), but here's what he did: He unfastened the
garage from its base and jacked it up all the way around (I'm sure you can
think of many ways to do that), then backed the trailer in. Next he let
most of the air out of the tires, and put some beams across the width of the
trailer, extending right to the walls. He secured the beams to the walls,
then put the air back in the tires. That lifted it off the jacks and he was
on his way, repeating the process in reverse at his destination.
Since you're not going very far you could probably dispense with the jacks
altogether; the tires do that job. 24' is kinda wide, much wider than his.
But maybe you can do something with the concept. Good luck.
- Owen -
Yup... you got some good ones from the other guys already. 2" pipe.
Scrap... you're only going half of the distance the thing is wide
anyway... you won't have to empty the place either...cool.
Any big trees in the line of travel? If you do..a winch can drag a whole
garage on grease.. 12-feet?? No prob... it's not that you're taking it
with you on vacation :)
Renting a big CFM compressor and airpucks will work nice as well. Make
sure you vacuum all the dust first.... and that the new 12' slab is nice
Don't know if you can get away with it where you live, but in Eastern
PA, people have gotten around the 10 foot limit with a 2x4.
They just 'connect' the two structures with a horizontal 2x4. Looks
stupid, but passes code because it is now one structure. Go figure.
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