Structure Relocation: Pursuit of Preservation

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There are times when redevelopment can mean new life for a city or town, but it can also mean that existing buildings in the area are faced with the prospect of rezoning or redistricting. These buildings can be historic in nature, or otherwise be perfectly good and sound structures that just need a new parcel of land to call home. In cases where the land is more valuable than the structure, a new owner will sometimes purchase a piece of property for the sole purpose of moving the home or building and then resell the land for redevelopment.

This past year we’ve seen many news stories (and have shared quite a few on our Facebook page...’like’ us to read our industry-related posts) about different types of building moving from across the country and even around the world.

Interestingly, moving historical buildings and monuments is more common than one might think. For example, the Chinese have found that as cities grow because of population surges, moving centuries-old temples or other structures makes sense. And, they are not just moving them across town...sometimes they are completely disassembled before moving them across the country. This method of preservation works for the Chinese. While the US is a much younger country, historic buildings have no less value to us...in fact, sometimes we just appreciate the artistry of a building and move it from China to Massachusetts!

Yin Yu Tang is an 18th century home of a Chinese merchant family and was moved from Huizhou in the Anhui province to the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. The home has large reception rooms and carved brick details on the exterior. In 1996, the family that owned the building wanted to sell the property. By purchasing the home, the museum was able to keep it intact rather than having parts of it removed to be sold piecemeal. This is a success story of preserving heritage. The dismantlers and movers also found notations and other information on how the home was constructed originally.

Closer to home, Brown University is teaming up with artist Ryan Mendoza to bring Rosa Parks’ Detroit home back to the United States. Mendoza took it upon himself to preserve the historically significant house as Detroit was preparing to level it. Mendoza painstakingly disassembled her home, and reassembled it in Berlin, Germany, and now, Providence awaits the return of Civil Rights-era heroine’s home. Without conscious preservation, the tides of time erode our history.

Here at Kettelle we are looking forward to another year of preserving buildings for our clients. Whether it is a historical building, a home in a flood plain, or foundation repair work, we can do it. Contact us today!


 

Kettelle Building Movers 2017 In Review

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We cannot say enough how great 2017 has been not just for us, but for the Building Moving industry as a whole. There seems to have been a movement toward preservation of buildings rather than just taking a wrecking a ball to them. The community movements that have led to historic buildings being moved to new locations has been great to watch. Every week there has been news about just these organized efforts (which we try to share over on our Facebook page!). It has also been great to see homeowners in flood-prone zones able to save their homes by moving them to safer elevations and areas.

For Kettelle, we have worked hard throughout Rhode Island to safely and quickly move homes and buildings for our clients. Our experiences and expertise in our field speaks for itself.

In 2018, we look forward to more successful building moves and happy clients.

Thank you for a great year!

Scott Kettelle and Kettelle Building Movers

So You Want To Move Your House? Things To Consider Before the Big Move

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Your home is probably your most valuable possession, not just financially, but emotionally. So what do you do if you find that your favorite place is located in a flood area or in an area where there is erosion? You can choose to move it! Once the decision is made, the next step is finding a competent company to do the hard work for you. Here are some things to consider when hiring a moving company.

Know The Company’s Structural Moving Experience

A long history is important in this business! It means you will be working with experienced professionals who trained under other experienced professionals. In our business, learning the trade is accomplished by working under someone who’s moved many houses.

Know What Kind of Equipment The Movers Use

A company that doesn’t have the right equipment can cause delays in your moving project. Needless to say, equipment that is in good condition is paramount. Jack systems that will keep your house perfectly level are also important to keep the structural integrity of the building intact.

References and Reviews

The internet is a great tool to research reviews that have been left for the company that you want to work with and of course, word of mouth referrals are always a great determining factor in choosing a company. Ask for 2 or 3 references from the company and follow up to see what their former clients have to say. You could also ask to visit a project that the company has in progress. Actually seeing the company in action can make the decision to hire them that much easier.

Review The Standard Contract From the Company

Is there a specified number of days that the company will allow the steel beams and cribbing to remain under the house? Is there a fee if the house cannot be moved in the specified time frame? Learn common fees and other terms in the contract.

Insurance

Check to see that the company is properly insured against accidents and loss or damage. Naturally, you will hire a company that carries the proper workers compensation insurance, but inquire about general liability, their umbrella policies, equipment/auto coverage, riggers or cargo insurance. Ask about limits and amounts of coverage.

As you can see, doing your due diligence before starting the job of moving your house is important. Of course, we cannot end this blog without saying that Kettelle Building Movers would be happy to talk to you about being YOUR choice in Rhode Island. We welcome your questions!

Preservation of Historical Buildings

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At Kettelle Building Movers our passion for moving versus demolishing buildings is evident. Across the country the movement for preservation of buildings with historic, artistic, cultural, or social significance is strong. As a matter of fact, there are places that have enacted ordinances that make it illegal to raze or otherwise destroy a historical building without obtaining approval from a preservation commission. Some people might wonder why we can’t get rid of the old and build the new without all of this fuss.

There are several reasons for this:

  1. Architectural styles and the materials used in building would be lost without the removal and relocation of the building. Some building materials are indigenous to the area in which the building is located and some styles of buildings are unique to the areas that they are built in.

  2. The building may be associated with a historic figure or event that took place. The loss of this building would mean that a cultural element is lost. As an example, think of the impact a place like Ford’s theater would be if it were to be demolished and its link to Abraham Lincoln destroyed.

  3. The building may be one of the last surviving examples of a particular type of architecture, construction method, or work by a certain architect. Also, if it was designed or built by a master of the craft, it has significance to the area (and in some cases, the nation!)

  4. The building is a cultural centerpiece of a neighborhood.

Of course, in instances where the condition of the property is poor, there are times that it is just not practical to move the building. We do believe, however, that all avenues should be exhausted before destruction and demolition begin. These building, even if privately owned, are irreplaceable community assets and once they are gone...they are gone.


Whether you have a historic building or a modern home that you want to move, Kettelle can assist you. Call us 401.295.2329

 

One Man's Trash is Another Couple's Treasure

When Opportunity Knocked in Point O Woods, Old Lyme, CT

A recent project in Old Lyme, CT is a heartwarming story of opportunity for a young family.  “They had found a home that was slated for demolition and our clients, a lovely couple, rapidly sought out a lot to move it to and the necessary permits to save this home. Initial calls to other movers were not successful…the first mover they called looked at the job and walked away due to the challenges of narrow streets. Then the second mover they called quoted more than double the project’s true value! We were so happy to be the third call!”

Kettelle Building Movers stepped right on up and we were able to get it moved off the old lot for them.  We are storing it until the new foundation is installed.

As the story continues… We’ll continue this lovely couple’s story in the spring. Stay tuned!

Wishing you a very happy holiday season and a happy and healthy 2017 from your friends at Kettelle Building Movers!

Cramped for Space? Consider Moving Up, Not Out!

Have you always dreamed about having more space in your home? Have you considered building an addition, but don’t want to take away from backyard space? If you have a growing family but love your home and neighborhood, don’t fret. Kettelle Building Movers might have the solution – maybe you don’t have to move out, sometimes it makes more sense to move up!

There are several reasons why some may choose to lift their homes. Many families dream of having more space in their house. Rather than moving to a larger home, in a different neighborhood or town, to accommodate your growing family consider raising your home by expanding the footprint/foundation and adding a new ‘first’ floor. This is often (not always but sometimes!) much more cost-effective than moving, or adding square footage in other ways, like building an addition.

Raising your home can give you much-needed added space in your basement or bottom floor. Additions are often costly, and often cut into precious backyard space. Raising your home can save you up to 70% of what an addition might cost!

In addition, raising your home can provide added flood protection for those who live by the water. Lifting your home and adding updated drainage systems is one option to prevent potential flood damage, or raise your home to meet Flood Protection Elevation (FPE) compliance. If you have preexisting damage from flooding, KBM has the tools, and partners, to lift your home and prevent further damage.

Interested in raising a structure or moving a structure? Contact Kettelle Building Movers! Give us a call at (401) 295-2329, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Frustrated with Failure: Connecticut's Crumbling Concrete

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Imagine learning that your biggest investment, your home, rested on a failing foundation. Water leaks in, large cracks occur, and you wonder if your home – your safe haven – might simply collapse. Unfortunately, hundreds of people aren’t merely imagining this situation. Homeowners in a large area of North Central Connecticut have discovered crumbling foundations, hairline cracks, and foundation failure. To make matters worse, in almost every case, insurance companies have refused to pay for these damages and have even cancelled or not renewed the policies of affected homes.

How did this happen?

According to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, home inspections have shown that pyrrhotite, an iron sulfide mineral, oxidized in the concrete, causing it to expand. This expansion lead to cracking and the eventual crumbling of the foundations. This type of damage and crumbling can occur years after the foundation is poured. Homes in Connecticut with these failing foundations were built in the 1980s and 1990s.

The other common factor was that concrete from JJ Mottes Company was used in these crumbling foundations. Joseph Callahan, chief building official in Coventry, RI, who is quoted in this article, states that he has never found a foundation failure using another company’s concrete. Investigations, inspections, and legal proceedings continue, but homeowners are simply seeking the best, most economical solution.

Are YOU a homeowner affected by these failing foundations and crumbling concrete? Kettelle Building Movers can help.

When we learned what our Connecticut neighbors have dealt with because of these foundation issues, we wanted to help. Kettelle Building Movers has the equipment, experience, and expertise to be the solution.

We have the largest inventory of equipment in the area, serving all of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Southeastern Massachusetts. With our years of experience relocating buildings and doing concrete work, we are confident that we can take on this devastating concrete crisis. We hope to bring back the peace of mind of knowing your home is safe. We can lift and move your home while a new foundation can be poured. Or, should a homeowner decide to move the house completely to a new parcel of land, we can transport the home to its new location. In many cases, KBM’s services are the most cost-effective way to repair this problem.

Please visit our website to learn more about our services, and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions at 401.295.2329. 

Introducing Kettelle Building Movers

The idea for Kettelle Building Movers (KBM) was born in 1964 when Grant “Pike” Kettelle began purchasing homes that needed to be relocated. As he began seeking out places to relocate to, he found that many of the building moving companies were occupied with other projects. He met and developed a close relationship with a local building mover from South Kingstown, Rhode Island, who, at the time, was growing aged and tired. Grant worked with him to learn the trade. 

In the years that followed, Grant traveled to Newburgh, New York and eventually purchased the assets of a mover that was going out of business. As time went on, Grant began moving and raising homes and buildings in the Washington and Kent Counties of Rhode Island. His most notable move of Kettelle’s early years was the relocation of the North Kingstown High School administrative buildings – two office buildings measuring 55’ x 105’ each. 

Kettelle’s company grew and acquired more equipment as time went on. In 1992, Grant and son Scott formally established a general partnership and continued to serve the area with pride and professionalism. In 2010, Grant and Scott acquired the assets of another local firm that was going out of business. This purchase more than doubled the size of the business in terms of equipment and capability.

During the last six years, the company has expanded and serves the areas of Connecticut, Southeastern Massachusetts, and all of Rhode Island. Throughout the past four years, they have raised dozens of homes in order to achieve FEMA Compliance and continued to relocate homes and buildings to more desirable locations. 

Since Grant started out as a property owner who sought the services of a building mover, he has the unique perspective of knowing what it’s like to be in the customer’s position. He understood, and passed that knowledge on to his son Scott, that moving a structure can come with a lot of uncertainty.  They strive to make the building moving experience as stress-free as possible. KBM continues to provide expert excavation services, structural raising, and structural relocation services to Connecticut, Southeastern Mass., and Rhode Island with the same integrity and professionalism that they’ve had since the 60’s.