INFORMATIVE ARTICLE SERIES – PART ONE – Experience of an On-Site Shift

October 10, 2019

Many of our clients seek help from us in understanding what their inspirations and projects are likely to require in the form of a suitable budget.

Given this is a common request, we have prepared this overview of Frank and Sarah’s experience in using on-site shift services to understand how to maximise the value potential of their current section.  This includes shifting the current location of their house to meet their dream home aspirations and being ready for a potential subdivision. Frank and Sarah may be fictional; however, they are very much illustrative of many of our happy clients to date who have sought to build equity with the assets available to them.

See below for PART ONE of their story and consider how on-site shift services is truly the best form of utilising the assets you have right now. 

Happy reading…


Frank & Sarah’s On-Site Shift Journey


Frank and Sarah are owners of a flat 1011m2 section in Hamilton, New Zealand. Situated on the section is a 100m2 three-bedroom, single-storied weatherboard home, awkwardly sited near the centre of the property.

Figure 1 – original house layout on section


Frank and Sarah, no longer having the kids at home (mostly!), have been considering embarking on renovations of their house and section where it stood. They were all but free of a mortgage and already had an eye on setting themselves up for retirement.


Other properties in the same suburb had been developed in recent years, on the back of subdivisions and renovations, which had lifted the overall value of the houses in her area. The couple had always turned away from the idea of sacrificing space – seeing this as a trade-off with the perceived enjoyment of their current setting. Admittedly hadn’t really explored the potential to make financial returns, with the assets they had at their disposal.


This wasn’t until they happened to have a chance conversation at a barbeque with a friend-of-a-friend. The discussion was about subdividing as a financial means to work part-time and maintain a lifestyle of travelling and events.


A seed had been planted.  Frank and Sarah were motivated to explore options further and how this may work for their property.


An enquiry was made to a group home builder with the aim of seeing how much it would cost to build at the front of their section site. Unfortunately, the current placement of the existing house meant she was only able to accommodate a very small new build on her site.  While possible, Frank and Sarah came away with more questions than answers on the suitability of their land; including access, council plans, and restrictions, engineering and insurances. Could they consider a house reposition?


Sarah conducted a quick google search and found The Relocatable House Co. The Relocatable House Co. sales consultant discussed with Frank and Sarah about their intentions and highlighted activities, references, and support aimed at providing a clearer view of their context and ability to make an informed decision. In their case, the goals identified were:

  • Maintain and improve a dream home on site
  • Create new space for further income opportunities toward retirement
  • Clarity on the budget and requirements for undertaking this project

They already felt in safe hands to take investigations further.


Step 1: Get land ready with a Site Audit Report

Firstly, Frank and Sarah sought confirmation of how to optimise the placement of their existing home; including a shift to the back of the section and rotated to have living areas making the most of a sunny North-facing outlook.  A visual depiction of how this would look on a birds-eye view, along with confirming maximum space available at the front of the section for subdivision and house, would be very helpful – including key considerations about what can be done on-site and any council restrictions.  This was achieved by undertaking a Site Audit Report. This report is conducted by The Relocatable House Co.’s Architectural Design specialists who research, design and consulted on the report directly with the couple.


As a summary, through ordering the Site Audit Report, Sarah gained critical insights into:

  1. How and where to place the existing dwelling for optimal living and subdivision requirements.
  2. Potential issues with the site or council restrictions (wind zone, cladding),
  3. Identifying the maximum size and positioning of a relocatable house as a second dwelling.


The Site Audit Report provided confidence that the property had the potential to be vastly improved in value, and no potential costly surprises had been identified in advance.


Step 2: Feasibility Analysis

As a next step, however, Frank and Sarah needed to be sure the appropriate arrangements were in place. This required a transparent view on pricing details so she could approach her bank to arrange finance. The Relocatable House Co. project manager was introduced to the couple and able to document the associated costs in her circumstance.  A desktop feasibility study, for an investment of $500, formalised a business case for the couple.  This gave confidence to the bank that this project was viable. The bank manager was so impressed they had done so much homework (she didn’t admit that The Relocatable House Co. had done much of it for her!). As a result, finance was approved and the couple were ready for formally proceed with an on-site shift project.


Step 3: Consents & Design

The Relocatable House Co. design and project management teams drew up a set of building plans and applied for building consent. The design team went to the council on behalf of Frank and Sarah to confirm that they would not need a Resource Consent.


Step 4: Preparation

Site preparation was then able to begin, with all obstructions to work removed, including trees and an attached garage.  An Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) survey was completed by a recommended contractor, with some asbestos identified in the house baseboards and subsequently removed.


With site preparation complete, Frank and Sarah’s project was able to progress quickly to the next stage – moving their house to its new position on the site!


Steps 5 & 6: House Move and Foundations

The house was carefully lifted to allow a moving truck to slide underneath. The house was then moved it’s a relatively short distance to its desired location on site.


Step 7: Services and Drainage

With the house in place, it was time to arrange for all essential services to be connected such as water, electricity, gas, stormwater, wastewater, phone and internet.


Figure 2 – on-site shift completed, with readiness for subdivision and confirmed space for a secondary house.


Steps 5 & 6: House Move and Foundations

Frank and Sarah’s property goals were now taking tangible form.   Attention now turned to renovations and decorating.  For many people, this where projects may end. However, Frank and Sarah were driven to take this opportunity to renew the house and truly make a dream home.


Under recommendations from the design team at The Relocatable House Co., a council-compliant deck was added, some steps and extra bracing based on the identified high wind zone.


A celebratory wine was enjoyed at the completion to reward themselves under the gaze of the improved sunny outlook.


In summary, Frank and Sarah managed to shift their existing house to a new optimised position at the rear of the section.  They used this opportunity to make improvements to the interior and sorted their exterior landscape and driveway as part of continuing on their dream home. With all of this complete, they now have a 480 sqm subdivided section at the space in front of their house.  All this was completed for less approximately $230,000, including GST, to set them up for the next phase of their investment.

Figure 3 – on-site shift completed, with additional project work included


Interested to read the full story…

Contact Us to access the complete PDF as a download. Also features:

  • Itemised breakdown of the project costs – essential and additional – to achieve Frank and Sarah’s outcome
  • Additional tips and links to resources for informing your own project journey


Check out the final part of Frank & Sarah’s story with the post: INFORMATIVE ARTICLE SERIES – PART TWO – Buying a Relocatable House)


Lightbox CF7 Mailsent Trigger