Delivery and Set Up | April 13th, 2023

Moving a Mobile Home: What Will It Cost?

Have you ever driven down the highway and wondered if you’re seeing what you really think you’re seeing? That’s how most people describe the unique experience of passing a fully built home being transported to its final destination.

Moving modular homes through Western Canada’s unique landscape is a mixture of skill, experience and precision planning. In this blog, we’ll bring you behind the scenes of our mobile home moving process. You’ll to learn exactly how we prepare for transporting modular homes and how you can have yours moved as well.

Can you move an old mobile home?

The short answer is yes! Before any modular or mobile home is moved, it’s crucial to determine the correct method of transport.  The transporting of modular or prefab structures can be done in one of the following ways. It can also be a combination of them, depending on the overall complexity.
The styles are:

  • Trombone Trailer. Use a trombone trailer to haul truss floor modules (as pictured above). This type of trailer extends to meet different lengths of modules. If the home is being placed on a basement, a crane may be required. Trombone trailers require more space than other trailers, mainly due to their larger turning radius. Because of this, they also require more room at the client’s approach to gain access to the site. Trombone trailers also require more room so they can easily clear the length of the trailer from the home once it is on its foundation.
  • Dolly System. Using a “dolly” system (pictured below).  A dolly is a tridem assembly of three axles and twelve wheels. The entire assembly is slid underneath the module with a deformation-resistant steel frame. The transporter will also attach a removable hitch which will be used to haul the module.
  • Ferries and floats. While this is unusual in Alberta, we have ferried homes to the Territories. Both truss floor and framed modules can be ferried.

Now that we know how mobile homes are moved, let’s answer the next big question.

How much does it cost to move a modular home?

The cost of moving a trailer or modular home depends on several factors, including the destination location and the necessary transportation equipment. Below are some other variables that play into the total cost of moving your home.

  • The size of the home (total number of modules) can contribute to the overall transportation costs. Extra requirements such as additional pilot vehicles may be required. The cost for these vehicles can vary depending on the time of year and from company to company. For example, some transport companies will charge a flat rate for the move. Others may charge by the mile and then loading and unloading charges. 
  • Labor costs may increase if the home that needs to be moved is a sectional. This is because it may require disassembly before transportation and reassembly on site.
  • Don’t rely on price alone. It is natural to look for the best deal. However, we must consider non-financial elements such as trust, experience and professionalism when weighing all the factors. Make sure the company moving one of your biggest assets is committed to getting the job done safely. It is important to not solely focus on the cost alone when making this decision.
  • Can you move a mobile home on permanent foundation? You bet! But it will impact the cost. For example, homes sitting on blocking are the easiest option. If the home is on a permanent foundation, such as pilings or a basement, more work may be needed. This can include things like removing the welds from the pilings that hold them to the frame. 

    If the home has a basement, then the home will typically need to be craned or rolled off the foundation. When moving an existing home off a permanent foundation, it’s always a good idea to have the house moving company complete an estimate in advance.

Companies that move mobile homes

Despite the precise coordination required, if you are working with a professional builder, they should coordinate the move on your behalf. Throughout the process, they should guide you through required permits, site preparation and everything in between. If you choose to do it on your own, we would highly recommend you do your research and ensure your transporter is well-insured, bonded and licensed.

If you’re considering factory construction, we’ve prepared a few important notes about transporting your home or commercial building to its final resting site.

  • Transportation falls under provincial jurisdiction. In Saskatchewan, for instance, a second pilot truck will likely be required for any size over 16’ wide. Transporting a home into BC requires a completely different set of regulations, including some very specific width restrictions. In Alberta, we are very lucky to have nice wide open highways (for the most part!). Here, we can ship up to 30’ wide in one section on many of our highways. 
  • There will be restrictions. 100% of the time our transporters will run into restrictions. This could involve when and where they can move the home. Some roads and highways are restricted and the transporters will face load dimension and weight restrictions.
  • Some months are better than others. Buildings are very heavy so a basic understanding of your soil conditions is beneficial. Most professionals will come to do a site inspection to help you assess things. As you can imagine, many people want their homes delivered in spring. Something to keep in mind is that this is often the time of year when there are delays due to soil conditions. The best time of year to deliver is often in the winter when the ground is hard and frozen. 
  • The most challenging part of the journey is often on the owner’s site. Factory-built homes and buildings can be transported hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles to their final destination. 

    The most challenging bit is usually from the road to the placement on the lot. It is a journey that can be marked with narrow driveways and ditches, overhanging trees and landscaping, outbuildings, and nowhere to turn around. Most home buyers underestimate the amount of room that is required until the building actually arrives.

Moving a home you currently own.

If you are looking to sell your existing home and purchase a new one, then you’ll want to check out our Retire Your Home program. 

One of our team members will go through the requirements in order to qualify for this program. If met, then you’ll be able to trade in your old home! Contact us to learn more about if that could be the right fit for you. 

Learn More About This Program

Transporting modular homes is a meticulous process and one that we’ve been doing for nearly 50 years. The transportation method of our homes is dictated by the style of structure, location and site conditions of the final destination. 

You can have peace of mind knowing we’ve never encountered a location that we couldn’t get to. Some are just a little more complicated than others and we’re always up for the challenge! Read more about our delivery process here.

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