Sunday, December 19, 2010

Step 1. Loading house on trailer

A few years ago I was driving to Matamata when I saw this scene on a farm at the side of HWY 27. I stopped my car to take this photo. It was a house being loaded onto a trailer for moving. The actual move usually happens after midnight when there is less traffic on the highway. I actually met another house on the highway once. I was working the afternoon shift at Inghams which finished at midnight. While driving home from Morrinsville, I saw some flashing amber lights coming towards me on highway 27. It was a front scout car. The driver told me to pulled over to the side of the road and drive into a farm entrance driveway to wait. Sure enough, within 10 minutes, I saw coming towards me was a great big house coming towards me at 60 kph! That was my first encounter with a moving house on the NZ road. Since then I have met two other houses on the highway.

The biggest house was coming down highway 1 very slowly along Kahikatea Drive. Workmen ahead were busy removing all the road signs along the side of the road to allow it to pass through. They came back the next day to put them all back again.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Step 2. Arriving at Location

Silverdale Road
The trailer with the house on board can move just a few yards or hundreds of km to a new location. All this will happen in the dead of night when there is little traffic on the main highways. There is usually a scout car with flashing amber lights going in front of the trailer and another one behind. This warn motorists that there is a wide load on the road. They can pull into the side of the road where there is a farm access road, to wait and make way for the approaching house.

I saw this house arriving at location near my house at Sheridan Street and quickly went home to take my camera. The owner told me that they have moved from Taranaki, a couple of hundreds km away. I have seen workmen at a vacant lot preparing the foundation footing just a few days earlier. If you look again next week the house will be completed and occupied. Imagine going away on holidays and coming back home to find a new neighbour living next door on the vacant lot!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Step 3. release the trailer

The house is jacked up to release the trailer. Hydraulic jacks are used for doing this. A few weeks before this, contractors would have prepared and laid the concrete footing to exact measurements to fit this house, including all the toilets, kitchen sink outlets etc.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Step 4. Connecting waste water outlets

Stilts are fitted all around the house to hold it safely there The trailer is no longer required and has left the location for some other jobs. Workmen continue to work under the house for the next few days, making sure that all the waste water outlets are connected to the sewer and storm drains.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Step 5. House on stilts

Another house seen on Grandview Road, near where I stay. It has just arrived on location yesterday. The trailer unit has been removed. Workmen will spend a few more days here. They will use hydraulic jacks to release the stilts and lower the house slowly onto its concrete pad. Care will be taken to reconnect the toilets to the sewer lines. The roof gutter down pipes will also be connected to the storm water drains under ground. In most suburbs in Hamilton, the storm water drains are laid under the pedestrian walkway at the side of the road.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Step 6. House on ground level

The hydraulic jacks are removed and the house sits exactly on its piles on location. The utility lines like water, gas, electricity and telephones are connected to the house once more at the new location. Landscapers will soon arrive to lay the instant lawn. The whole job will cost around 30K. Some Kiwis prefer to bring their house with them when they move.
If the house is too wide to sit on the trailer, it is first cut down into two smaller pieces for moving on 2 separate trailers. On location it will be reconnected again. The occupants would not know the difference if the job has been done well.