The first thing my mom did was to contact a house moving company. As in house moving, not mobile home moving. There aren't many of them out there, but they do exist. She was quoted $6000 as the rough cost of moving the house out to her land.
Of course the house couldn't just be picked up and moved. Nah, that would've been too simple. For starters, in order to fit down the narrow roads and narrow, tree-lined, road-like tracks leading to my mom's land (it's *really* out in the country) it needed to be sawed in half. That wasn't really a big deal; the house movers do that sort of thing all the time. The main obstacle was the roof. In order for the house to fit under all the power lines between its original location and its new home, the roof needed to be lowered by three feet. As in the top three feet had to be removed. As the rafters that form the top three feet (among many others) are key to structural support, I gather this is rather tricky. The other option is to have the local power company take down every single power line along the way. While structurally simpler, the local power company charges a couple thousand dollars a day for this service, and my mom was trying to keep costs to a minimum. So. Cutting off the roof then.
Unfortunately, the house movers said that while they do sometimes do the roof-removal themselves, as they were so busy at the moment (apparently there are people moving houses all over the place; who knew) my mom would need to hire someone else to take the roof down three feet. They didn't have any suggestions as to who she should hire, however. This was when the owner of the house stepped in and said he knew some people who could do the work, and who would do it fairly cheaply. These people:
You would have had to pay me to get me to hire these folks. My mother, meanwhile, is cheaper than I am - and is apparently more willing to give people the benefit of the doubt or is less judgmental than I am. She hired them. Well, she hired the dudes. The woman just came along for color or something. Half the time she brought her son, until my mom pointedly asked him why he wasn't in school. He never reappeared after that. (Also, he might not have been her son. Family relations were a bit convoluted among that crew.) Anyway, she agreed that for $1200, they would take down the roof, demolish the chimneys, cart the bricks out to her land, and reattach the roof once the house was moved. Too good to be true. She advanced them way too much of it.
[Upon musing on these folks, I can only think of one possible explanation for the house's owner to have recommended them. See, he's a local landlord. He might have been an old country boy, but he's certainly a class or three above dueling banjos. My guess is these folks were some of his tenants, and he was in need of some rent money. Just a supposition, but probably pretty close to the truth. These cats wouldn't have been crossing paths otherwise.]
After the roof was taken down three feet (and we'll get to *who* did the taking down and whatnot in a later post), the next task at hand was chainsawing the beast in half and winching the halves apart. That was accomplished with great efficiency by the house moving company:
You can see the split that's been cut down the center.
Winching the pieces of the house apart.
A little further...
Front - winched apart!
Winching the back half apart.
Two halves of a house do not make a whole!
Just about ready to roll!
(They really just put wheels on those beams and bingo, it was mobile.)