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Since 1896 The Gentlemen of Building Removal    


Where do I get a house from?

You can purchase a house directly from us which will have the delivery included in the price. Most often these buildings are situated in our yard in Hamilton which you can walk around at your leisure and compare.

Go to the Buildings for sale link to see what we currently have available. If we have not currently got what you are looking for in stock, you can contact us with your request and we will email you back when something similar comes available.

You may know of someone who is selling a house for removal privately, in which case we are more than happy to price for the relocation portion only. When buying privately, establish with the vendor who is obtaining the demolition consent allowing the house to be removed, which is required by some councils (especially if in heritage areas), who is responsible for disconnecting the services (power, sewer, water, phone, gas, etc), who is providing egress from the site, eg. Removing trees and fences and also who is clearing the site after the house is gone. Also find out when the house must be gone from the site and that you have enough time to get consents. If not the house might have to come via our yard.

When choosing a building removal company, make sure you select a well established firm with a good reputation. Ask around, chances are someone you know will be able to recommend a company. Make sure also, that you are comparing apples with apples – do all of the companies include insurance for the full duration of the contract (including contract works, transit and public liability and for how much), do they include fixing the piles to the bearers, etc?

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Do I need Council approval?

Most councils are happy for used buildings to be relocated into their district, but most will require a “resite report”, where a building inspector or consultant views the building and does a basic report stating that they are happy with the basic condition of the building and what improvements need to be undertaken after the building arrives on site. A time limit of 6 – 12 months is normally allowed to complete the work as outlined in the report. The report generally costs $150 – $400 plus travel if council do it themselves or $300 - $600 if a private entity is to do the inspection. Some councils require their own inspectors to view, others allow a council inspector who is closer to the house to view if you are some distance away, and some will allow a private builder or consultant to complete the report. This report will form part of your consent application to council and can be done at the start while you are having your plans drawn up. Ask your local council for a resite report form (councils often have their own names for these reports, eg. Inspection of a Second Hand Building).

All buildings will require a building consent. Councils each have their own application form which will need to be filled in with appropriate information. Along with the form you will need to submit a current CT (Certificate of Title – which can be obtained from Land Information New Zealand or your lawyer should have a copy if the land was recently purchased or purchase online from www.qv.co.nz or www.zoodle.co.nz. It helps to get the "diagram" version) and various drawings drawn to scale including a floor plan, site plan, drainage plan and foundation plan with bracing calculations. Photos taken from each side with heights shown should suffice as elevations. More drawings will need to be provided if you are adding to or altering the building.

Many councils (eg. Hamilton CC, Auckland CC, Waikato DC, etc), but not all (eg. Western Bay of Plenty DC, Hauraki DC, Waipa DC in some cases, etc), require a resource consent for relocated buildings as well, so make sure you ask your local council if one will be required. Often the drawings completed for the building consent will be sufficient. Sometimes there is an extra form to fill out and fee to pay also. Waipa District Council in most cases will require you to get your neighbour’s permission in writing (although this may be changing in the future).

The drawings for consent applications are normally drawn by a draughtsperson or architect. Some of the drawings may be able to be completed by a builder.  A Licensed Building Practitioner (Design) will now be required to sign off nearly all consent applications. Maybe some exceptions for small buildings or garages. You will also need to supply Council with the Licensed Building Practitioner (Carpentry) number for the building and foundation work. Please ask us for our LBP numbers to put on the building consent application.

Some councils are now requiring engineering geotec reports (to test the stability of the soil for foundations and/or for effluent drainage for a septic tank (in rural areas)) to be done as part of the building consent application. Likewise a few Councils are now requiring soakage tests for stormwater disposal (ie. some encourage soak holes now instead of hooking up to the Council mains, so tests are required to prove whether the soakage on your site is good enough or if you have water tanks, then the distance and size of the overflow trenches required).

Building consents should be approved within 20 working days after all the information is received by council and resource consents should also be approved within 20 working days after all the information is received by council. At times, many councils struggle with a lack of staff so consents can take a bit longer, although this also depends on the number of applications they are dealing with at any one time. Councils will also often come back with questions about the consents (or even simple things such as missing page numbers on drawings!, in which case they stop the clock and don't start it again until all new or revised information is "officially" received. So don't be surprised if your consent actually takes 5 - 6 weeks or longer if it takes a while to get the information back to Council.

Don't worry though, we can guide you through the process - it is not as difficult as it looks!

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How much does a house cost to shift?

We can give you a quote free of charge. If you are just wanting an estimate we can probably give you an idea over the phone. The more information you are able to provide, the more accurate we can be. If you are able to get answers to the following questions it is helpful:

–    Dimensions of the building - width (at the base and overall including eaves), length and overall height (floor plan is even better)
–    Type of wall cladding (eg. weatherboard, Hardiplank, brick, etc) and roofing (corrugated iron – long run or 2 piece, decramastic tile or concrete or clay tile)
–    Internal stud height (eg. 2.4 metres = 8 feet)
–    Age
–    Chimneys or extra concrete work (eg. porches, concrete floors, etc)
–    Number of piles if you can see them (size of joists & bearers if possible)
–    Is the existing site flat or sloping
–    Is there good egress from the site (eg. are there trees that can't be trimmed, power poles, down a ROW, etc)
–    Is the proposed site flat or sloping
–    Is there good access to the proposed site (eg. are there trees that can't be trimmed, power poles, down a ROW, etc)
–    Is the ground at the new site good bearing (eg. not peat, swampy, filled-in gully, etc)

A sketch floor plan and/or some photos that can be emailed, faxed or posted would be helpful.

If the numbers from the estimate sound suitable, ask us to come and give a written quotation. We will visit both the existing site and the proposed site and give a written quotation free of charge. Because of physical constraints and the number of requests we get, it may be a little while before we can visit your job. Your patience is appreciated.

A single piece house that is of light weight cladding with a low pitch iron roof on a flat site will cost less than a large villa with high stud height on a sloping site.

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What is included in the contract?

We will give you a written quotation which will outline what we will do and what are your responsibilities.

Our quotes (unless requested otherwise – we're happy to do as little or as much as you would like) include for preparatory work (such as demolishing the chimney, freeing the house from concrete porches, etc), the shift of the house to the new site, transportation permits from the various authorities (eg. Telecom, Power Authorities, Rail, LTSA, etc) (not to be confused with council building consents), new standard foundations, insurance cover for the house for the duration of our contract and affixing the house to the piles with galvanised steel fixings.

If the house is too wide to travel the route in one piece, we will brace it up and cut it where required (this will be stated in the quotation). At the other end we will structurally tie the two pieces together leaving you to do the finishing off work.

If the house has a higher stud, or steeper pitch roof then we may be required to lower the roof structure (again will be stated in the quotation). But don't worry, we will re-erect it again at the other end! A concrete or clay tile roof will have the framing re-erected but the reinstatement of the tiles will be up to your roofer. You may wish to re-roof with a new longrun metal roof at this stage. In some cases the roof might be extra high but the various power line authorities and Chorus for the telecommunication lines might allow the shift to proceed without lowering the roof but insist on providing escorts for the shift to come along and push up wires where required. They charge for this of course, however it can be cheaper than lowering the roof. Definitely a case by case basis and very dependent on the route the building will take and how far it is going..

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When can you shift my house?

We are not able to book in your shift until the building and resource consents have been approved by Council. After the consents are issued, contract signed and deposit paid, we book the shift in the next available slot. Lead-in times vary so contact us for the current status.

If you are under time constraints to remove the house and your consents are not yet issued, we may be able to relocate the building temporarily to our yard while awaiting consent issue. This will add to the final cost but may be a way of making the project work.

If we are purchasing the house, we may be able to move it off your site sooner as the demolition consent is all that is required to take the building to our yard.

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How long does the actual shift take?

If the house is straight forward eg. one piece, lightweight cladding, low pitch iron roof on a flat and accessible site to another local flat and accessible site with good access, it will take 2-3 days, whereas a large villa could take up to 3-4 weeks. And no... you can't live in it while it is being shifted or repiled!

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When do I have to pay?

A 50% deposit is required in order to book in the shift with the balance to be paid within 14 days of completion of the contract.

If you are purchasing a used building from us, a 20% deposit is initially required to secure the house. If you have land already and intend to continue immediately with the project, no more is payable until 10 days prior to the building being delivered, when the balance is due. If you are still in the process of purchasing land, waiting for titles to come through or just not quite ready to shift, there are is another option. Approximately eight to ten weeks after the contract is produced, a further 40% is due. The building can then remain in the yard indefinitely (within reason!) until you are ready for it to be delivered. A storage charge of $100 plus GST per week will come into affect, which also covers insurance. The balance is due either ten days prior to delivery, or under a prearranged agreement agreed at contract stage. If your bank is not willing to part with the full amount at that stage, talk to us about another option.

Financing establishments are becoming more familiar with the resiting of used houses, but some may still require some coaching. If your bank/financier has doubts, ask them to contact us so we can run them through the process, or we can find you a friendly bank/financier that will be able to help.

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Can I shift the building on to a sloping site or basement?

Yes. Obviously this will be more expensive than a dead flat site, but it can still be done. A building can also be placed on longer piles for a basement or on to full height wall framing (provided by yourselves).

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I just want to shift the house on the same site so I can subdivide – do you do this?

Yes, no problem. With land values increasing all the time, it is often worth shifting the house on the site to make way for subdivision, a driveway or just because it was built the wrong way around not facing the sun! We have even shifted buildings as little as 300mm just to make it comply for subdivision. Buildings can also be turned say 90 degrees if this helps and assuming there is enough room on the site. Remember to allow for extending your services, building consent (resource consent generally not required except for the actual subdivision process), new baseboards and patching the chimney hole, etc.

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Yes. You may have an old villa on original totara piles which is sinking. Before you start renovating, it is best to get the foundations in order which could save thousands of dollars in the long term. We demolish the chimney and free the house from concrete porches, etc, then lift it, remove the old piles and replace with new foundations. You may wish the house to be at a higher level for views or simply to allow more ventilation and crawl space underneath. We can also lift for a basement.

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Can you shift a house on to peat or filled sites?

Yes. If the peat is shallow (ie. say less than 1 metre), then we can normally treat it like a standard foundation but with deeper piles (slight extra cost). If the peat is deeper then piles will need to be driven before the house arrives on site. After testing the ground, an engineer can recommend how deep the piles are likely to be. Either you can provide the foundation, or we can price for the profiling, supply and driving of the piles and cutting the tops. If the piles are going to be very deep (say more than seven metres), it may be worth installing new bearers beside the existing ones, so fewer piles are required. If you are wanting to repile a house on peat, the house will need to be moved to another part of the site while the piles are being driven and then shifted back again. Otherwise if you want the house in a different part of the site, there might be enough room to go directly to the final position. Some parts of the Hauraki Plains are affected by marine clay. This requires a foundation known as a strip, floating or raft foundation, where the house is positioned or lifted and reinforced concrete strips and pads with piles cast into them are poured underneath. An engineer or council will suggest whether this is required. Unfortunately this is a more expensive project.

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What can I do to the building before it shifts?

You can do any preparatory work (eg. stripping wallpaper, sanding, etc), but we recommend you do not do final gib stopping, final interior painting, etc until after the house is in it's final position.

Also, wait until after the house is on site before running services (eg. drains, power cables, etc) across the site to their final positions.

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Do you buy houses for removal?

Yes. If you have a house for sale for removal, it is helpful if you are able to email or post us a photo and sketch plan if possible. We can give you an estimated price or visit the house in question and make you a written offer.

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What if I have other questions?

Please feel free to call us if you have any further questions or if you would like an estimate. Either ring, fax, email or call in in person and have a chat to one of our contract managers – we're all friendly! Click on the Contact us link for details.

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Opening hours on-site for viewings are 9.00am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday.

Ring any of these numbers if you live in:
(07) 843 7006  Hamilton
(09) 358 4462  Auckland
(07) 871 4275   Te Awamutu
(07) 378 4250 Taupo
We are located in Hamilton.



We are located behind Bunnings South.

21 Quentin Drive
Hamilton 3204
New Zealand

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