Homeowners Sally Vongsathorn and Jeff Warner are moving a turn-of-the-century, arts-and-crafts-style house from downtown Seattle to the remote San Juan Islands. To do that, the house will have to be lowered off a 20-foot cliff, cross Seattle's third-busiest intersection in the dark and then be loaded onto a barge to sail 60 miles to the island, where it will be off-loaded in the dead of night. Knowing it's a very dangerous and difficult move the couple worries that their dream house might not get there in one piece. House mover Jeremy Nickel calls this the "Super Bowl" of all house moves.
Meg and Marty O'Connell lost their home to Hurricane Katrina. The quickest way for them to get out of their Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer and back into a new house is to move one in. But, the 100-mile route through post-Katrina New Orleans could destroy their new house. Abandoned cars, debris piles, bridges and low underpasses will force the mover to raise, lower and tilt the house to avoid every obstacle. A special one-of-a-kind hydraulic trailer is called in for the job, but will it deliver Meg & Marty's future home safely?
To move this fragile, 170-year-old farmhouse, Donna and Barry Jensen are taking a huge gamble. The house will take a winding route through the tight streets of Grosse Ile, Mich., dodging menacing tree limbs and squeezing under dangerous utility lines. But the biggest challenge comes at the end. A tight left turn over a guardrail and past a telephone pole could reduce this house-of-cards to toothpicks. It's an emotional journey for the Jensen family who can't give up on their dream of living in an historic home.
Newlyweds Jennifer and Michael Wood are excited about the purchase of their first home in Orange Beach, Ala. But before they can move in, they'll have to haul the 4,000-square-foot house upriver 25 miles to a new location. Luckily, Jennifer's dad owns a barge. But first, this 100-ton house must be dragged through sand, cross a four-lane highway at night and be loaded onto the barge in time for high tide. Even if they set sail, there's no guarantee this young couple's dream house will fit beneath the bridge that stands between them and their new property.
Sheree and Mitchell Sanders and their three children have outgrown their old home. but they don't want to leave their six acres of riverside paradise in Krotz Springs, La. But the new 1,900-square-foot house is a dilapidated fixer-upper that's 40 miles away. The solution seems simple--move the new place onto their land. In order to do that, the house must be hauled across rural Louisiana. Before it even gets on the road, it might fall apart crossing a deep ditch. Plus, the metal roof makes the miles of power lines a constant electrical threat for the house-moving crew.
Dena and Tim Jensen's dream is to move a gigantic, 100-year-old Victorian Foursquare house from the small town of Oxford Junction, Iowa onto their farmland seven miles away. But moving this house isn't a drive in the country. First, it is estimated to weigh between 80 and 100 tons. It also must be navigated out of the small town, up a steep hill, over a weight-restricted bridge and then down a slippery, muddy off-road slope to its final destination.
Jerry Irons plans to convert a massive 40-ton barn into a summer home for his four boys. But first, he's got to move it 37 miles to his farmland in Saunders County, Neb., a trip that will take two full days. To get the barn home, the house-moving team will have to disconnect nearly 30 power lines, make it through a series of 90-degree turns, cross over two bridges and then over an empty field to its new home.
Melissa Massingill and Jim Fiero are planning their wedding, and they've found the perfect place to hold the ceremony. It's a 100-year-old four-square home in Lampasas, Texas, that they bought for the bargain price of just $25,000. They fell in love with the home's vintage charm, and Melissa can't wait to walk down its winding wooden staircase on her wedding day. Now all they have to do is move the house so they can get married in it and live happily ever after! The reason for the move?Making way for new development. Melissa and Jim plan to haul it 65 miles through Texas Hill Country to their seven acres of rural land. To move the house, they will literally have to cut it in two because it is too tall to make it in one piece. The top story will have to be sliced off of the bottom, according to Melissa, "just like you were taking the top layer off a cake." Doing so does not guarantee a successful move, and the long journey could be especially hard on the fragile and detached top floor. But it's a risk this couple is willing to take to get the wedding and home of their dreams.
Gail and Jim Stafford of Gates Mills, Ohio, are in jeopardy of losing their home. The 2,300-square-foot log and stone house sits at the edge of cliff above a 120-foot ravine. And now, because of record rainfall, the cliff is eroding and their house could slide off at any time. They now must pull their house back 70 feet from the edge. But that's easier said than done. The home weighs an estimated 180 tons! What's worse, the eroding cliff and heavily wooded terrain make it impossible to pull the home with a truck. The only hope of saving it is to move it to safer ground with a winch. It is a difficult, nearly impossible move, and there's no guarantee the home will survive intact. With everything they own and their life savings on the line, the Staffords battle the odds to pull their home back from the brink of disaster.
Three friends decide to buy a two-story Victorian duplex for a dollar with plans to renovate it into three separate apartments, but only if they successfully move it first. The trick will be pulling the 120-year-old house out from between two modern buildings with less than three inches of clearance on each side and moving it two miles through downtown Oakland, Calif., including the busy Chinatown district. They will have to navigate 90-degree turns, make it around stoplights, over weight-restricted overpasses and deal with inclement weather, before finally depositing it (after dark) onto the new site.
In Covington, La., Arlo Guthrie and his daughter, Jenny, are moving a "model home" that a developer built for a new subdivision in 1988 because the developer now wants to tear the house down to make way for a new model. The house is only moving 500 feet, but it was built on a concrete foundation and it is estimated to weigh a massive 200 tons. Mover Warren Davie's crew must lift the entire house up and out of the ground without cracking the concrete foundation. Rain and mud are a constant threat to the team's deadline. By the time they actually get the house on the road, a new set of problems set in, and the team fights to get the house onto the new lot before dark.
Joyce and Ron Brewster are saving a Victorian farmhouse in Yale, Iowa, and they're doing it in the dead of winter. The 2,700-square-foot house must travel 20 miles to its new home in Redfield, Iowa, and it has to be done on the tail end of a blizzard. Mover Rick Goodwin signs on to fight below-freezing temperatures to get this house off its foundation, as a winter storm moves into the area. Then it's a race to Redfield, as the team combats icy weather, including slick roads, slippery hills, a weight-restricted Highway Bridge and a frozen field on the road to the final destination.
In Denver, Colo., Cristine and Chad Arnold set out to move an 80-foot-long ranch-style house 100 miles so they can raise their two boys in the country. They need to move the house soon, before the developer destroys it. As the clock ticks and house mover Gary DeJohn rushes to load the house on wheels, a Denver blizzard arrives. The team must wait to move the house until the roads are safe, but the journey is long, and the snow banks are not melting fast enough. The developer delivers a deadline to the Arnolds: Move this house by the morning, or it will be crushed. Can they get the job done in time?