Rolling Houses

Holland Housemoving Inc.

Holland Housemoving Inc.

Last week, as the Cedar Rapids City Council approved a resolution promising to spend local option tax money on housing, housing, housing, council member Brian Fagan spoke up.

He wanted to make sure that everybody remembers that rehabilitation and demolition are not the only options for flooded homes. They can also be moved from the buyout zone to new locations on higher ground. That’s especially true of historic homes.

I talked with Fagan Monday. He’s not sure exactly how many homes could be moved, anywhere from a handful to dozens, he says. It’s a fascinating  idea, with details to come.

It also appeals to that part of me that used to drive heavy equipment in my sandbox. But is it feasible?

Sure, according to Ron Holland, who’s been running Holland Housemoving Inc., since the 1960s. Just jack ’em up, put ’em on wheels and drive away.

The Forest City Company has done multiple house moves before. Holland moved 30 houses in Webster City to accommodate a factory project and roughly 40 in Mason City to make room for hospital expansion.

No sweat.

Moving a single House can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $35,000, Holland said, depending on its size. There’s also work that must be done to prepare a moving route, trimming trees, moving overhead wires, removing signs and checking for low overpasses etc.

But Holland moves 30 to 50 houses every year.

“It’s a good, green option. Otherwise, you smash them and send them to the landfill,” Holland said.

The company also move bridges, silos, barns, office buildings, you name it. Be sure to check out the photos by clicking the picture above.

So will we see a Time Check convoy? Stay tuned.

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4 Comments

Filed under Cedar Rapids City Council, Iowa Flood, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Rolling Houses

  1. Brad and Jennifer

    Or better yet, get a skilled local company to do it for you:

    http://www.jeremypattersonhousemoving.com/

    They have been moving houses around in this area for years.

  2. tdorman

    Thanks for the heads up on the local firm. I’ve used Holland for a source at previous jobs, so they were on my phone list.

  3. Mike

    Great story, homeowners with flood insurance have up to $30,000 in Increased Cost of Compliance included in their policy. Now they just need a place to move it to, maybe the city could do a lot swap with them: Have the house moved to a vacant parcel and get the old lot?

  4. Martha Not-Stewart

    What an interesting idea!

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