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Moving house in 3-piece style

The house being transported over the Ruamahanga River. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

It’s early on a freezing morning in Wairarapa, but a team of house removers have been working since well before dawn.

Black ice on the road and a thick frost blanketing the surrounding vineyards and olive groves were the chilly backdrop to the removal of a large near-new home from Hinekura Rd to the outskirts of Greytown yesterday.

The team cut the house into three on the outskirts of Martinborough, then moved it on separate, oversized vehicles.

The route had taken it down Martins Rd, along Princess St and on to the highway toward Greytown, crossing the bridge over the Ruamahanga River en route.

Martinborough almost came to a standstill on Wednesday as the two-storey, 240m2, 70-tonne home slowly came down Princess St in three parts.

As it turned on to SH53 towards Featherston, cyclists and motorists queued up on the side of the road to take photos of the unusual sight.

Chris Ellis, director of Wairarapa and Upper Hutt company Alpha Specialised Movers, supervised the move, which had started at 2am.

“It was a frosty minus three,” he said.

A team of 14 worked through the night to get the 12-year-old 240 square metre house on to the road.

“There were 11 engines on the job. Trucks, trailers, utes, all sorts.”

Ellis said the move was a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way to build.

“They got the house for half the price of a new build.”

A large near-new home was shifted from Hinekura Rd in Martinborough to the outskirts of Greytown on Wednesday. PHOTO/SUE TEODORO

The delivered cost of the large home was less than $500,000.

“This is a great way to contribute to the environment. The house would otherwise have been destroyed and sent to the tip.”

New owner Mark Crawford said after reviewing plenty of options, this had worked out the best and most cost-effective option.

He wanted a new home on his lifestyle block near Greytown.

A new build was estimated to cost about $1.8 million.

“It was too expensive. We needed to find something else,” he said.

Even a pre-built transportable home would have cost about $800k.

Then Crawford heard about the house in Martinborough and decided to buy it.

The house was bought from Ellis and delivered with council consent as a package.

After delivery to the new site on to a concrete slab, there were three months of further renovations to finish the home.

Crawford described the process as nerve-wracking, but exciting.

“I hope all three pieces arrive and get sealed up in time for the rain,” he said.

Alpha Specialised Movers do not have a website and advertise all their homes on TradeMe.

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