- A Canadian couple had their sights on a century-old home sitting on another plot of land.
- They struck a deal with the land’s owner to let them uproot the house and move it to their address across a half-mile-long waterway.
- The couple then floated the building across the bay on a makeshift structure, tugged along by boats.
The property market in North America might be pretty rough to get into right now. But for one Canadian couple, the process of owning their dream home wasn’t just about forking out sky-high sums – it meant uprooting an entire house and floating it across a waterway to an ideal address.
Daniele Penney and her partner, Kirk Lovell, had their sights set on a 100-year-old house in the town of McIvers in Newfoundland, Canada, though they did not own the land it sat on. But after hearing that the house’s owners intended to tear the old building down and build a new one, Penney and Lovell took the opportunity to negotiate a deal. This involved them lifting and carting the entire house across the half-mile-wide Bay of Islands to another plot of land.
Speaking to Canadian news outlet SaltWire, Penney said the house, which has “so much character in it,” had to be floated. The couple initially planned to jack it up and load it onto a truck but could not do that because the power lines in the area would have snagged on the building while they were shifting it.
Out of other options, the couple settled on an attempt to float the house half a mile away to their address across the bay. It was not uncommon for Canadian homeowners to float houses to new plots of land in the 1960s, with one particular homeowner even managing to tug a home 15 miles (24km) to another location.
“I wanted to see if it could float. They did it back in the 60s, and they never had much to work with. Today with modernized technology and equipment, I figured why not,” Lovell told SaltWire.
Lovell told SaltWire they constructed a steel frame with wheels to cart the house to the shoreline. And to help it float, the couple employed 28 plastic barrels and Styrofoam insulation. The couple moved the house last week, towing it across the bay with the help of three boats.
“It was like you were teeter-tottering on faith. Was it going to stay afloat? Was it going to sink?” Penney told SaltWire.
According to Penney, the house-floating process started to go awry when it began to tip halfway and take in water. But Lovell managed to rally more boats to successfully pull the house across the waterway.
The home is now at its new location at the Lower Cove in McIvers and will be fully set in place after Penney and Lovell install a basement beneath it.
“When we got her moving, it was awesome,” said Lovell to SaltWire. “It’s something I’m sure I’ll never experience again.”
Penney and Lovell did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.