|Carradice Family Farm House on hydraulic jacks|
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| At the age of 5, Laurie McCulloch first saw a building moved. That day, he discovered his calling. |
In 1973, he packed in his industry job and said, "I'm going and moving buildings".
Today, Laurie moves buildings as heavy as 525 tons. When speaking with him, some obvious questions came to mind. We figured a guy who's been in business for 35 years would have the answers.
Why move a building?
For the HistoryLaurie specializes in historic buildings. They often obstruct new developments and need to be moved in order to avoid demolishing a piece of history.
For the EnvironmentAccording to Laurie house moving saves more tonnage, including lumber and landfill, than any other industry in the world. Laurie's company moves the equivalent of a town a year.
For the FamilyYou can move an old home to a vacant lot and use it as a cottage, or to farmland to work as a second home. This way, you can keep your home in the family.
You can also raise your cottage and convert it into a permanent home like Laurie did back in 1990. By adding a new foundation and service set up to code, he turned an old cottage into a new home.
For the CostLaurie says, "Make sure it makes economical sense. If it doesn't work on paper and there isn't a decent saving, then it's not worth it. " If done right, you can save up to 50 percent of the cost of building new.
What should you consider?
Consider the BudgetBe sure to consider the cost of the foundation, new windows, everything involved in transportation, service connection, the lot, and the moving expenses. Once you do have a lot picked out, contact your mover to make sure they can access it.
Consider Size and WeightHaving moved buildings across highways, through downtown Toronto, and even over ice, Laurie knows, "your biggest concern is size and weight". Building dimensions shouldn't exceed 30 feet in width, 60-70 feet in length, or 18 feet in height, as you have to consider telephone wires, road widths, traffic lights, and cables.
If you're moving a building that exceeds these dimensions, then you may have to cut the building in half, or remove the roof entirely. Weather then becomes a major factor, so you'd better move quickly, use a lot of tarp and pray for good weather.
Consider the AreaIf you're moving within the city, it's harder to bring in large equipment. You'll also need more permits, and police will have to shut down streets, so you'll be stopping traffic in more ways than one.
Consider PrecautionsAs Laurie points out, "This is the type of business where if you make any serious mistakes that are critical, that's your first and last shot at it. You don't become a professional by making mistakes." His success relies heavily on impeccable timing, planning, precision and the right equipment.
Consider ChevroletReliability is crucial. Whenever Laurie's on a project, his Chevy Silverados are always onsite. Since purchasing his '76 Silverado, he says, "all I've ever ran are Chevs. Chev was my personal truck of choice." He describes his 2004 Silverado as a "...beautiful, beautiful truck, nicest one I've ever had". For him, Chevy trucks are ideal because they're "...very reliable vehicles and very easy to work on".
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