A farmer from Southern China’s Jiangxi Province found his home at a site where a new road was to be constructed and the house needed to be demolished. The farmer set about to hatch a plan that would let him keep his house without being demolished while the road could be constructed at the same time.
Gao Yiping had just finished building the three-storey house in 2014 and had lived there only for a year with his family when the authorities informed him that it was in the middle of a new road construction site and needed to be demolished. The state would be offering compensation for it but he had spent $160,00 and several years building the house and was not ready to part ways just yet.
He started searching for an alternative and one of his friends suggested he contact a company that specializes in moving houses over short distances. Having no other choice, Gao contacted the company.
The farmer was expecting to receive 400,000 yuan $63,000 in compensation from the government and was willing to pay all of that to the company to move his house. The company said the move was feasible and would cost him even less than that. “All things considered, even if I spent 400,000 on the move, I still felt it was worthwhile, if only considering the time saved building a new house,” Gao Yiping recently told Chinese reporters.
Gao hired a professional construction team in September 2017 to detach his house from its foundation and to prepare the land around it for the moving operation. When everything was completed, the moving company was ready to step in.
The house only needed to be moved 40 meters. It may not sound like a lot but the three-storey house weighed 1,000 tonnes and moving it any amount of distance was not going to be a simple task. The entire moving process took a month and a half and required around 1,000 wooden sleepers.
The house was raised from the ground and placed on the wooden sleepers and was then pulled using strong ropes and winches. Gao ended up paying $35,000 to the moving company and $17,500 for detaching the foundation and renovating the floor. This brought a total to $52,500, which was less than he anticipated. He also received a compensation if $108,000 from the government so he was not only able to keep the house but managed to turn a handsome profit for the whole ordeal.
Concerns were raised that the house would no longer be safe to live in after the whole operation. Gao claims otherwise and says that he has been living in the house for three months now and no cracks have appeared. He built an even better foundation for it than before and says the house is sturdier than ever.
He recommends this process over demolition to everyone and one of his neighbors who built a house in 2016 followed his advice. You can check it out in the video below: