Ontario Structural Movers Association

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Last updated: 2003 March 29

What You Should Know About Moving a Building


History | Insurance | Estimates | Permits | Prior Inspections
Escorts | Foundations & Basements | House Contents | Equipment

Top History

The building-moving industry has grown from a demolition company, saving a few substantial buildings to a State of the Art business with specialized equipment and skillful knowledge. Many reputable movers are members of both OSMA and IASM (the International Association of Structural Movers). In the US, building movers are 3rd and 4th generation companies. The IASM present themselves as a complete RECYCLING industry and promote LOW COST AFFORDABLE housing.

Top Insurance

It is mandatory for the mover to carry Liability Insurance on their truck, but now most carry Cargo Insurance which covers the building from start to finish for the building. Policy coverage will be different with various insurance companies, like the amount of deductible and the overall coverage. It is a good idea to ask the Mover about their coverage.

Top Estimates

Most movers will not give an estimate by phone: the only way to do a proper job is to visit the site. If you are seriously interested, the following things have to be taken into account:

Top Permits

All Ontario King's Highways require MTO permits. Depending on the size of the building, it can take up to three weeks to obtain. County or Regional permits are also required for their roads. Township roads have basic permits or require approval from the Road Superintendant.

Top Prior Inspections

If you are purchasing a building, it is a good idea to have various people look at it first before agreeing to buy it. Just a few to list are:

Not every building can or should be moved. The Mover will use their best judgement on the project you are proposing.

The Owner is to request permission for any trees to be trimmed or cut on the route.

Mail boxes and signs are to be removed as needed on moving day, with the Owner asking permission and resetting them.

Top Escorts

Buldings up to 16 ft. width require the Mover to provide Private Escort Vehicles. Anything above 16 ft. on King's Highways and County Roads, you need paid duty Ontario Provincial Police. On Regional or City roads you need appropriate paid duty escorts. The paid duty escorts take time to obtain, and have a minimum 4 Hour Pay plus Short Notice Cancellation Charge.

Top Foundations & Basements

The owner can directly or Sub Contract through the Mover to have a Mason and Excavating Contractors look after this aspect.

Depending on lot size, working room, and various other details, the foundation can be installed, poured, or block and then the house moved onto it or the house can be placed into position and then a block or wood wall installed under it. Temporary pockets or window openings have to be provided to allow removal of steel beams. In any event, the Sub Contractors and Mover work together to complete each individual project.

Top House Contents

Furnishings may be left in the house. We will not be responsible for theft. Fine china, crystal or expensive china settings should be packed.

All services are to be disconnected and reconnected by the customer, unless included in complete contract agreement.

If there is a basement, everything below the centre beam is to be removed prior to the move.

Top Equipment

A professional Mover has a full line of specialized equipment: