Petoskey's Adam Richie moves about 75 houses a year, 10 months of the year, all over Northern Michigan and the U.P. It's a job that takes three or four days, between loading, moving and setting the house onto a new site. The longest move he's done so far was 57 miles.
"It took like 15 hours, long day," Richie chuckles. His biggest worries are delays with overhead wires or traffic.
If the house rises high, he'll cut off the roof and trusses with a Sawzall reciprocating power saw, lift it off with a 35-ton crane, and chain it to steel and wood braces on a flatbed trailer. The 40-year-old, second-generation mover and his six-man crew drive about 15 miles an hour on country roads, the drier the better. Once at the site, the cranes set the buildings in place, new studs go in to reattach the parts and the cost ranges from $12,000 to $17,000.
Patty LaNoue Stearns is a regular contributor to Northern Home & Cottage.
Note: This article was first published in May 2007 and was updated for the web February 2008.