10 Country: This Old Moving House - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

10 Country: This Old Moving House

May 20, 2003

Ocilla, GA-- One part of the economy doesn’t go up and down like the stock markets. It remains quite steady with work year-end and year out.

The old saying about picking up and moving has a much more serious meaning when you see Ronald Harper and his team of house movers appear. “We move about four to five a week,”Ronald said.

The old three-bedroom house is a good house, but needs moving about 40 feet and repositioned to make room for a larger power line right of way.

“Just a small house you can move one five or six miles as easy as you can forty feet over there,” says Ronald Harper. Jacks lift the house high enough for the steel beams 60 feet long to come in and support it temporally, while they position big sets of wheels to make a mobile home out of it.

“It’s a hard job; An aggravating job,” says Harper. In about two hours, part of the aggravation ended, the old house uplifted a few inches from where she rested for 30 years.

They wondered if it would leave peacefully, gently going to the new home place? Charles Harper would know immediately. In less than two minutes, the excitement came to a stop. Did the house try to resist? “ No, sir. Not none at all.”

What goes up, must come down. The jacks would slowly and gently lower the house about an inch at a time. They constantly jacked, frequently measured, carefully looked to see if the blocks were straight.

“Loading and unloading is the main part of the house,” says Charles. For the next two hours they set blocks under the house and outside, not giving it a second thought the house might somehow fall.

In about five hours an old house gets a new home. The supporting beams came out easily, moaning a little as if they were glad their day was over. The old house was on its own, supporting itself again, no worse for ware.

The team didn’t have time to admire their work. It was time to load up and move on, leaving an old house with a new view.

They move houses so big they have to literally cut it into pieces, but they put it back together. He says all they need is a little trim work and you can’t tell if the house was moved in or not.

posted at 4:00PM by dave.miller@walb.com