Blog Cabin 2014: Moving the Home to Winter Haven

Build and design manager Dylan Eastman shares the details and drama behind moving this year's DIY Network Blog Cabin eight miles from Dundee, Fla. to its lakeside lot in Winter Haven.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

In preparation for the move, the house is jacked, loaded onto steel beams and has steerable dollies installed. We also have to remove three feet of the dining room, two feet of the sunroom, the overhangs, and the second floor in order to make it to the new location in one day and without disrupting the community's power.

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At the rear of the trailer you can see the former front of the house. Since we removed the brick columns, a steel column is installed to the left of the house number to temporarily hold the porch roof.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

When you have a house rolling around on tires, you need a lot of steel plates in that soft Florida sand. These plates are also necessary to ensure we don't break sidewalks or other infrastructure along the way.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

We prepare for the big move by headlight. Because of the rain, sunlight is slow to appear. We take the extra hour to mount tons of cameras, double-check the furniture inside, and fine-tune our game plan.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

The first start of the trip is a hill. We don't have to go down the hill and turn around. Instead, the mover uses the loader to pull the house up the hill. Here, one of the crew is choking the wheels so the truck can pull ahead and hook up for the rest of the journey.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

The first leg of the trip is easy compared to the last.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

We make it out of downtown Dundee in approximately 20 minutes.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

An older power line is not quite to road height, so the area's utility company provides two helping hands to keep the home moving.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Even with the second floor removed, we are precariously close to snagging overhead power lines. Notice the two small circles on top of the roof? These are insulated poles that run the length of the roof and are sloped down at the front. This helps guide any low wires up and over the house during travel.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

The mover pushes up a low cable line with an insulated fiberglass "push stick". Also, on the left, is the local utility company on hand to help in the event we need a higher lift.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

One thing not lacking in Winter Haven, Fla. are groves. You can literally make fresh-squeezed orange juice any day of the year.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Removing the second floor of the houes was a smart move. The route is covered with an array of power, cable and telephone lines. This is certainly a consideration if you want to move a multistory house in a similar area.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Even though we theoretically fit in between every obstacle, it's still quite an order to navigate a house down a street with four inches on either side. Since the house is so long and the power poles are not in a perfectly straight line, this means we need to snake through them and often stop to steer the rear dollies in order to make it through unscathed.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Sometimes an extra inch is all it takes.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

We scraped the edge off one pole while trying to dolly over the other direction. This road was a dead end until 1964, so there was no planning for truck traffic in the original pole layout.

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Here, the home pulls onto the Lake Hamilton lot. The home received no damage except a snagged gutter (top, left).

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A portion of the fence had to be removed to get the house onto the property. One of the movers pulls the house forward with the loader.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Our beloved little gem is finally home on its stunning home in Winter Haven, Fla. surrounded by live oaks and water views. You can see from the People's Choice Round One elevation pictures how we plan on better adapting the existing house shape to the new lot. Large window expanses enjoy the views and the chimney and front door face the street.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

The house is not quite in its final location but it's close. It still needs to move slightly left to center on the lot and make room for the new addition. Welcome to your new home, Blog Cabin 2014!