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  • Hey, don't you just move houses?"
    NO!!!! A lot of people just think of us as house movers but that is far from who we are. We have the ability to move any type of structure; it does not even need to be a building. "Building Movers" are contracted to move things like tanks, ships, locomotive engines, transformers and many other things that are not buildings but need to be moved over land. We have the ability to lift and transport things that are very heavy, very large and are not made to be moved.
  • How do I start?
    Contacting us (the contact info is just there on the left). Even if you are not sure about what you are doing or why you want to do it we want to help. We can answer questions, explain concepts, provide information, introduce you to resources, and even visit with you to help you understand what can be done and for how much. Even if you only have half of what you need, like you have a building but no where to put it, and empty lot and need a building or even neither but want both, we can help.
  • What is the process?
    The first step is to search for your building, a buyer and/or your new site. Also find out from your local municipality what their regulations are regarding the work you want done. You can then contact us and we can give you some preliminary information and pricing. With all this information you can then assess whether if this is a project you want to continue with. At this point we will do some site visits and discuss with you exactly what your needs are and quote a firm price. In the process of quoting we will also do some route checking. Once the contract to move has been complete we will establish the route, determine time line, obtain the permits, and complete the remainder of our responsibilities prior to move day while you complete yours.
  • I want to buy an RTM can you deliver it?
    As long as the seller agrees of course we can. Most RTM manufacturers don't care who delivers it as long as the mover is reputable. If you would prefer to have Bilsborrow Building Movers deliver your RTM to the foundation then please ask the seller if this is ok when them, then contact us. Or if you like contact us and we will ask for you.
  • What is an RTM?
    Its an industry buzz word short for "Ready To Move". Which basically means any new building that was built at a central location and designed to be moved to it's finial destination. RTM's can have several advantages such as cost savings, quality advantages, rapid build time or instant availability. RTMs are not the modular homes/offices/classrooms and trailers of old. Many RTM builders make a very high quality product on par with any foundation built structure and they don't look like or feel trailers any more either. Don't let one bad RTM memory deter you. Check around: there are some very high quality RTM builders around Edmonton now.
  • Why buy a used house that needs upgrading when I could buy a beautiful older mobile home that is upgraded?
    Most banks will not loan money on mobile homes that are older than 10 - 15 years. Most insurance companies will not insure a mobile home that is older than 20 years. Regardless of upgrades. These limitations are simply not there for used houses. Customers do not have any problems insuring or mortgaging a property with a used house on it once it has passed normal building/electrical/gas/plumbing inspections. In addition, due to our exceptional insurance program customers have been able to get financing on the structures and the project even before they are moved.
  • What responsibilities will I have prior to move?
    It depends if you are receiving the building, obtaining it, or selling it. Generally the seller arranges for all utility service to be disconnected and removed. Depending on what we have agreed to in the contract you may have other responsibilities such as basement development demolition, chimney/fireplace demolition, new site/old site grade work and clearing, new foundation construction and preparation, support beams & columns supply and install. In certain moves for commercial clients you may also have engineering responsibilities. Some of these items we can help with and some we cannot. All of your requirements will be listed on the contract and of course we will discuss them when we first meet.
  • How do I get the utilities services disconnected?
    The present property owner must contact each service provider in turn and make the arrangements. You must also follow up with the utility provider and insure the work gets done on time. It normally takes 2-6 weeks to get services disconnected. The most common utilities are Power, Gas, Water, Telephone, Cable. Power and Gas are the most critical as well as anything else that is overhead- the services MUST be disconnected and detached from the structure prior to move day. We can not carry out the move if they are still connected.
  • What kind of buildings can be moved?
    The limitations are generally not physical but financial. Every project is different and every customer's motivation is different. Some buildings lend themselves very well to moving and others may not be feasible. If you have an idea about a building move contact us and we will give you our best advice.
  • How long does it take to move the building?
    That can depend on a lot of things. An average single story 1200sq ft bungalow usually takes 2-3 days to move. RTMs can usually be delivered in 1.5 days. More complex structures can take longer.
  • What affects the price?
    The larger, the heaver, the more complex the structure the more expensive. Wood framed buildings cost a lot less to move then stone and brick. The distance the building moves does not always affect the price as much of the work is loading and unloading. Sometimes the route that must be taken and the challenges on the route will affect the price. Utilities fees and bridge crossings are two examples.
  • Does the building need to be moved directly from foundation to foundation?
    No, other things are possible. Moving from foundation to foundation is the least expensive model for the customer. However customers cannot always arrange to have their new foundations built in advanced of the requirement to remove the structure from its old foundation. In these cases the building can be temporarily set on blocks and stored for a period of time ultimately being moved on to the new foundation at a later date. These things are worked out as part of the move contract. The extra cost to intermediately block the building is only a moderate increase and usually won't deter you from your venture.
  • Does the landscaping get ruined?
    For the most part yes. Most of the landscaping will be extensively damaged before we have completed our work. We may even need to excavate or fill landscaping to complete the work. In many cases large trees which are in the way are cut down or uprooted. You may need to hire a land scrape contractor to restore the landscaping once we have completed our work. If you have landscaping you wish to save, please do ask. Some time we can easily work around landscaping and in other cases the extra work is not wroth it.
  • Are permits needed to remove trees?
    For boulevards or other areas around the house where trees are on town property you definitely need permits to remove them. In some cases you can get a permit to temporarily remove them and put them back after if you cannot get one to remove it permanently. Most municipalities allow you to remove trees from your own property without their permission but even some do not. Your municipality administration office will answer these questions. Warning: there can be very heavy fines for non-compliance, the City of Edmonton fine is $20,000 per tree for example.
  • What happens to unwanted objects and minor structures that may be in the way on the site?
    This is something that is usually discussed during the initial assessments and later planning stages of the move. Often the land owner will elect to move/remove any objects that they deem valuable on their own. For unwanted objects we usually push them out of the way using our loader/excavation equipment usually damaging or destroying them in the process. In some cases an item can be pushed aside and saved. A certain amount of this work is assumed in the job and there are not usually extra charges for this. The most important thing is that both the mover and land owner have a clear agreement upon what will happen to the items.
  • What about other items I need saved?
    Items normally located in the basement like furnaces, hot water tanks, stair cases can usually be carried into the house and moved that way. Some times we can attach beams to moving equipment and transport them with the building. If we can manage to safely bring other items along with the building like porches or steps we will as well. Let us know in advance what you would like help with and we will let you know what we can and cannot do.
  • What happens with attached and un-attached garages?
    We can move them as well. As long as we understand what it is you want moved, we can move it.
  • What happens if there is a ditch that needs to be crossed?
    Proper approaches should be constructed to provide access to a new yard site; this is normally done at the same time or before the foundation is created. If a special path has to be taken and crosses a ditch it many need to be temporarily filled in with either dirt or crib blocking to allow us to cross it. This will be included in your assessment and quotation.
  • Who arranges for the permits?
    We arrange for the necessary permits to move the building on the road ways. Some municipalities also require a demolition permit prior to building removal, this will be done by either you or us prior to move day depending on the municipality (a quick call to the administration office can determine this). If you are having a building moved onto your site, then you must have all development permits and any other permits relating to construction that you will require to build the foundation. You or your contractor will need to do this. The development and building permits needs to be obtained even before you commit to a move as your municipality may even restrict you from doing what you have set out to do.
  • Where do I get permits?
    Development permits are obtained from your local municipal office (county admin, town admin, city admin etc). They require a site plan of existing structures, property lines and roadways along with a ground plot of your intended structure along with all dimensions - they do not need to be scale, just free hand drawn but dimension lables must be correct. They usually also want photographs of the intended structure and comments about what cosmetic improvements you will agree to make (cosmetic improvements can help you get a structure in). You can draw the plot plan up yourself however if they approve it and the structure does not end up exactly where planned (to the fraction of an inch) there can be serious consequences not limited to moving the structure and foundation. In the end you will likely need a new real property report anyway and now would be a good time to contact a surveyor and have them develop the plot and site plans for you along with marking out your new foundation location by putting physical markers in. This can take a lot of stress out of the whole project and this usually needs to be done anyway. Surveyors will usually bundle the plot plan, mark out and real property report into a package. You do not need to hire the surveyer to talk to your administration office about what it is you want to try and do, remember they are there to help you as well. Other permits such as building, gas, electrical, plumbing, private sewage and others are either obtained from the municipality or a municipality approved third party permit office depending on the municipality (each one is different). The first place to ask is always the municipality. Foundation construction cannot start until you have at least the development and building permits in hand (not just the applications submitted).
  • What other costs are their to be considered that we will pass on to you?
    Utility line lifts are the most common and most expensive. Utility companies will not contract to the end user so we must contract them ahead of time on your behalf. In addition, utility companies also will NOT provide estimates so the final cost will not be known until the work is complete and we get the bill. Utility costs can very from a few thousand dollars for a simple move to tens of thousands for complex moves. Bilsborrow Building Movers always requires a significant deposit to cover utility fee's in advance of the move if utility lifts are anticipated. For some types of moves other contractors are required to complete a move. Some examples are carpenters, crane crews, escort crews (police and/or pilot), trucking crews, excavation contractors to name a few. If we have sub-contract on your behalf the sub-contracted fee's will be passed along to you if it was not included in the job pricing. If we arrange to intermediately store your building for you there may be storage fees.In cases where the building is blocked in your possession we charge a deposit for the blocking refunding it when we recover the blocks in good shape. In all cases you will have a clear understanding on what will be included and what won't be and what other things may or may not arise before you commit to a contract for the move.
  • How long does it take to arrange the move?
    Generally route planning takes about one week. Permits then take from 2-4 weeks to obtain. Normally a move must be planned for 1-2 months ahead of move day. This usually gives the new building owner time to construct their new foundation and do other prep work. In some cases we can plan for a move in a very short time (as little as a week) depending on the move and the municipalities involved. If you have a short notice move please contact us and we will see what we can do to help.
  • What do I need to know about new foundations and site prep?
    The most important thing to know is that concrete takes 21 days to cure to the point that it can handle the significant loads that we will place on it when moving the structure on to it and ultimately setting it down. This is different than new construction that can occur right away because the new construction weight is added over a period of weeks and not all at once.Generally after a foundation like a basement is constructed it is not backfilled for the first 14 days as it cannot even support the pressure of the soil. It is advisable to get it backfilled on the 14th day as it allows for a week or more of important soil settling before we arrive to do our work. We require backfilling to be complete before we can move a structure on to a foundation and the work site should be generally flat. Normally we ask that you do not have any utility connections made that require excavation as is normally the case with water and sewer (trenching is ok). This is because the resulting fill is very soft and our equipment and supports can sink into them leading to cost increases, safety issues and possible damage to your structure. If you do have areas excavated we ask that you also have them compacted with a hydraulic machine mounted compactor. Always advise us of any excavation work that has occurred on site.We need a certain amount of space around the foundation to get the building on to it, in some cases landscaping needs to be cleared away.
  • Why does my new foundation not match my building precisely?
    This is usually because the old building was built slightly out of square. You or your contractor measured your old building and there was an assumption that the building was in square. The difference is normally small enough to be covered with cosmetic finishing material. The only way to measure the building "squareness" is to either remove it from the foundation or hire a professional surveyor to measure it. This is because it is not possible to take this measurement internally. People that are having the building stored intermittently are wise to measure the foundations diagonal dimensions when the opportunity presents itself. Another aspect to watch out for and consider is where you are measuring from. There may have been layers of exterior siding added or removed that will have an effect on how you want the new foundation constructed. Always consider "water" infiltration and support issues. Remember that the underlying primary sheeting is usually what needs to be flush with the foundation. Rely on quality information, building code compliance, good building practices and a good contractor when deciding this. Take your time concrete is somewhat permanent.
  • Who does the cleanup of the site after the building is moved off?
    In some types of moves the building comes cleanly off the foundation with little left behind and possibility little else to do. In some types of moves, such as residential moves, a lot of debris and structural waste is left behind mostly in the basement but possibly also elsewhere. Usually the contractor that you higher to remove the old foundation will also clean up the waste. Recycling as much of the material as possible is encouraged. Other than removing what we bring to the site we do not do any type of clean up work for you.
  • What happens to my old unwanted foundation after a building is moved off?
    In cases where there is debris, basements or holes left behind the land owner will want to tend to them as there are safety and liability issues to consider if they are left. Usually the land owner hires an excavation contractor to break apart the foundation and remove it from the site, optionally filling holes in after clean up and do rough grade work. A landscape contractor can then be hired to do finish landscaping if the owner desires.
  • If I want upgrades made to the building when do I do it?
    In some cases this is up to you. Certain upgrades to not make sense before a move like repainting as there will likely be minor cracking that needs repair any way. Some times it's easier after the move, like pluming as it's easier to line up when its there. However customers generally take on upgrades to the structure before the move as their time table lets them. We have seen customers move partition walls, install new windows, move windows openings, replace entire kitchens and bathrooms, re-side, re-shingle, replace entry ways, move entry ways, upgrade wiring, replace fixtures, re-floor, and yes there have even been a few gamblers that repainted. One advantage of renovating before the move is that you can leave a lot of the unwanted building debris on the old site and not take it to the new site. For this reason, removing stucco and residing is common along with re-roofing. Just remember to also move/replace your doors and windows while you do it, as it's the best time.
  • What damage can I expect to the structure from the move?
    Older houses on foundations that have failed and significantly settled over the years have generally cracked or shifted and been cosmetically repaired. When we lift the house back to level it will shift back to it's initial state and cosmetic damages will appear. In some cases the structure needs repair from the damage it suffered due to a failed foundation.Aside from the above, generally speaking how well the structure does depends on the structure design and foundation, how well it was built, and how well it has been preserved. Generally the newer the structure the better it fairs. This is mostly because of the building materials and practices used not the age of the materials. Most structures do very well with an acceptable amount of cosmetic damages. People move structures a lot because in spite of these things overall it is still worth it to undertake even with very old ones (some times more so).Modern drywall does very well: in a good portion of the cases there is only minimal or no cracking. 60's to 70's plank style drywall does OK. Cracking on a fair portion of the seams is normal as well as "diagonal" cracking at windows and doors. These can be repaired with drywall tape and mud. Drywall planking is often covered with a thin coat of plaster and the plaster may have many micro fractures but they can be repaired by removing loose sections, filling with mud and using good quality primer. Lath and plaster does not do so well - this is also because plywood was not used for floor/wall sheeting either and a lot of movement occurs on both sides of the walls. Large chunks of plaster WILL fall out and there is quite a lot of cracking. However this too can be repaired. The common method is to fill the voids with cut to shape plywood, and mud, tape and mud (lots of mud).Thick exterior stucco, masonry and many layers of roofing all add additional weight to the building which results in stress. It’s a good idea to remove/replace them before the move if you won’t want them anyway. Some people will even go so far as to remove the boarding, re-insulate and sheet the exterior if it is an old house that was only boarded and badly insulated. Brick and stone don't always do well. Well there are things we can do to move your brick and stone intact it can add significant cost and there is always the risk you will get separation, cracking or damage in the masonry anyway.Some floor separation and bending can happen during jacking and lifting buildings off of foundations and return. This is where the floor hangs down a bit from the walls. When the structure is returned to a proper foundation it's weight compress the walls back on to the floor and everything returns to straight and level.Corner tearing on the inside of the outside corners can occur in some buildings where the corner framing was insufficient (happens on some homes) and/or the building had to travel over very un-even ground. The uneven ground is usually at the source or destination site not the roadway between. Steps can usually be taken to even the grading prior to move day. Older style windows that are fix mounted in frames can either break the glass or loose their seal. Sometimes you will not realize the seal has broken for a year. The larger the window the more it is at risk. Newer non fixed windows do very well.A few shingles blowing off does happen and can easily be repaired. As an added note: if you are re-roofing before move please allow adequate conditions (enough direct sunlight) to adhere the shingles prior to move. We cannot be responsible for an improperly adhered roof.Anything that is in the house and is not properly attached shifts or falls. Generally all items should be removed, however it is common to leave contents if they will travel well. It is the owners responsibility to place them accordingly usually in the center of the room laying down on a mat (securing does not work). Heavy light fixtures should be removed.Dust in the house can be a problem. One trip down a short gravel road can introduce a tremendous amount of dust through an open stair or chimney well. These things can and should be covered up. Some dust will always find it's way in through floor penetrations.
  • What kind of damage should I not expect?
    The long answer: Anything we have agreed on in contact that you are not to be responsible for. Our base contract includes many of the things we have already discussed and we will amend it while in discussion with you as we agree on terms. The short one: Basically any damage we do from hitting something or dropping something that we should have avoided. These are not the owners responsibility: they are ours. Our line of work carriers some risk and things can happen in spite of best practices. The damage to the structure is usually contained and repairable. We will always discuss any damage that has occurred with you, even minor damage. We will then negotiate reasonable compensation or arrangements to repair the damage.
  • What if my structure is too big?
    There is no such thing as too big only what can we do to get it to fit. It is very common for example to split large buildings. Splitting a building is a lot easier than it sounds, cutting it apart does not take very long and mending it back together can be planned to occur in concert with other renovations and the result will be perfectly satisfactory. While spits do add cost both to the renovation work and the move the larger building is usually attractive enough that it is still a compelling project. In addition buildings that require a split usually have a depreciated purchase price. Other measures have also been undertaken to effect a move such as removing or cutting back roofs, additions, components etc. Moving the building occurs in it's various parts and re-assembled. The cost of more drastic dismantling should always be carefully considered.
  • What kind of insurance is there?
    Your structure is insured while it is in transit on the road way up to our insurable amounts and can be increased if needed (listed on our contract). We carry general liability insurance, vehicle insurance and also employee insurance (WCB) to protect you from many liabilities.

If you cant find an answer here please contact us. Skim through or read in depth but please don't forget to read about us and check out our services and customers menus for information about how we can help you. We maintain a "vendor's area" with other services and supplies you may need to complete your project.

Note: Bilsborrow Building Movers Ltd. does not warranty or make claims about any of the information presented here.  This document is mealy meant as a guide to assist our customers with their projects.  Always check with appropriate parties about what must actually be done.

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