Blog Cabin 2014: Preparing for the Move

Build and design manager Dylan Eastman sheds light on the preparations behind Blog Cabin 2014's eight mile, cross-county move to its new lakeside lot in Winter Haven, Fla.

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Photo By: Dylan Eastman

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

In preparing for the big move, pockets are knocked out of the foundation and steel beams are placed under the house. The home can then be jacked up enough to remove the rest of the foundation.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

The steel beams act as the "trailer" for the dollies. By keeping the dollies in from the edge of the house, it increases the maneuverability of the house once on the road.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

The same style of hydraulic jacks used in the past two Blog Cabins lift the house up so the remaining foundation can be cleaned out and the dollies installed.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

When the new foundation is built, pockets will be left out of the wall until the house is lowered and the cross beams can be removed.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Matching new brick to the old brick will be difficult. So, in the case of the new foundation versus the existing chimney, there are three options: try to find a close match, use a totally different but complimentary color, or construct a faux brick painting. I have tried to collect intact bricks to at least repair selective portions of the base.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

The former pilasters at the sunroom were built as a single wythe box capped for a wood column above. This enclosed sunroom may have been part of an original open porch that wrapped all the way around from the front porch, as the walls were only one wood panel thick and had no studs.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Because the depth of the joists and griders vary, wood is used to shim everything down to one consistent level.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

In the lower left quadrant you can see the house floor, in the upper quadrants the sunroom floor, and the lower right quadrant the front porch floor. I still have not entirely reconstructed the chronology of these rooms and the history of the house.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

I rummaged around the crawl space looking for forgotten time capsules and didn't find too much. One of the movers did find a newspaper from 1939. Though falling apart with every touch, it is still legible.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Basements are highly atypical in this area so we will not have one, especially given the sandy soil and our proximity to the lake.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

There was something striking and beautiful about the root cellar's exterior steps. I'm disappointed the space could no longer be of use to the home's future owner.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

I saved the most important piece from this furnace and it will make up at least two new projects in the home's renovation.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

The former basement door will be removed and the floor infilled for the new plans. You can see the importance of lake life here in central Florida by the two life jackets still hanging on the wall.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Most of the original floor joists are in pretty good shape. We will augment them in certain places, but overall they will remain intact. Cross bracing (seen here) is a traditional method to prevent "roll" under load. It helps strengthen the load capacity of the floor.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

You've seen this shot before! 2013 DIY Network Blog Cabin had all the same work done for the vertical in-place lift. See more from Blog Cabin 2013.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Hydraulic controls allow the mover to move and equalize lift to all the jacks so differential weight along the house can be compensated. If each jack was not valved separately, the lighter parts of the house would rise farther than the heavier parts and we would break or topple the house.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Unfortunately, the top of the chimney had to be removed as the eave of the roof would encounter the most obstacles on each side of the house during the move.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Wood blocks and shims are used everywhere to compensate for differing planes along the bottom of the house.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

The original chimney base was built with a double wythe brick course for strength.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Part of the Blog Cabin adventure is mentally identifying possible projects prior to a complete plan. These unrusted door hangers and track were worth the time to take down and save.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

The on-site shed was a mix of clapboards, two-by-fours and termite damage.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

We saved as many of the original corbels as possible for reuse in the rebuilt eaves. Since they are simply four-by-four wood construction without curves, damaged ones will be easy to rebuild.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

This is going to make an appearance in the new house, too.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Two feet was removed from the sunroom for the move. Because it appeared to be porch infill and not originally an enclosed space, new stud walls had to be built anyway. I salvaged some of the joist cutoffs, which I'm pretty sure are heart pine.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

The roof in the widow's walk needed to be reframed, the walls leaked and the new window layout meant new studs and headers. So, to expedite the move and lower complications, the widow's walk was dismantled entirely.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Temporary studs hold the tarps up so water will drain off.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

I've got a plan to make this none-code compliant rail work for the new second floor design.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

The brick pilasters are gone and we will not need the window air conditioning unit anymore. This house is uninsulated ... for now.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

For the new porch's designs, I'm keeping the same eave detail and corbels since they speak to the history and original architectural style of the home. Florida has always been a mix of style, and this one reminds me of an adapted bungalow with Craftsman elements.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

These porch columns sat on the removed brick columns.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Notice something missing? Someone took the black cats from the front of the home. Discuss on the blog: "Black Cats Crossing Paths"

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Here, you can see where the rear porch was removed.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Because we have lost our chimneys on the previous two Blog Cabin lifts, I really want to move this one since it is in much better shape.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

Compare this picture to elevation photos from People's Choice Round One. Can you see the transformation?

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

The original floor system is roughly 2x8s 20" O.C. Since they don't fully meet current code, we will augment them in selective areas.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

These C-clamps are all that holds the house to the main beams.

Blog Cabin 2014 Move

The sun sets on preparation day. The home will be moved before sunrise with the help of local officials.