MOVING DAY: House rescued from dump

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:27 AM

“We rescued it days before it would be going into the dumpster, and we are moving it to another location,” homeowner Sonya Vander Zwaag said. “It is going behind my business, Precision Lawn Care on Lake Michigan Drive. It’s about 4 miles away from here.”

The home was originally purchased by the state for demolition in preparation for the M-231 bypass project. Quick work by the moving contractor nearly three weeks ago resulted in the purchase of the home.

“I think it’s pretty unbelievable that I’ll be getting a house bigger than the house I live in now for a third of the cost,” Vander Zwaag said. “This will be my permanent residence.”

The home is approximately 1,900 square feet and, according to 2010 construction statistics, it would cost $167,200 to build. It is estimated that $60,000 will be put into the entire project, which includes purchasing and relocating the home.

“I think it’s less than 10 years old and it’s a gorgeous house,” she said.

Jason Jonassen of J. Jonassen Inc. said from start to finish, the entire project should take about 5-6 working days.

“The easy part is getting the house up and ready to go," he said. "The harder part is a bit of the coordination of mailboxes, power companies, permits, police escorts — that sort of thing. The actual moving part is quite simple.”

According to Jonassen, the process involves jacking up the house, rolling it off its foundation, putting it on wheels, putting it on the road, and then putting it on a set of lower tires so it clears power lines. He said the entire process was expected to take about four hours to complete.

“It is challenging, but you do enough of them and a lot of them are the same project,” he said. “It’s fun to do houses like this because of how wide it is. There’s a little bit more of a challenge.”

The process is what Vander Zwaag calls “upcycling” — in which people make items out of old ones.

Vander Zwaag said the house is not her first “upcycling” project.

“I have wall decorations made out of old windows and I have a garage full of cabinets purchased on the side of the road for $50,” she said.

Vander Zwaag said she encourages more people to take advantage of opportunities such as her finding the new house.

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