Foundation costs make shift costly

The original Tuamarina Methodist Church safely arrived at its new home at Brayshaw Park in Blenheim, but if organisers had known what costs would amount to the move may never have happened.

Tuamarina Methodist Church trustee Errol Morrison said the costs of moving the church almost doubled with the new building regulations after the Christchurch earthquakes.

"If we knew what the total costs would add up to in the end, I'm not sure if we would have chosen to do it," she said.

In the past wooden buildings would have been placed on piles which may or may not have been concreted into place.

With the new regulations a foundation design had to be drawn up by an engineer.

"In 2009 we were quoted $25,000 for the project that will now cost us $50,000. We were really grateful that Smart Alliances drew up the engineering plan for us at a discounted price and that council waived the charges on some of the applications we had to file. Without it moving an historic building like this would have cost us even more," Morrison said.

Coffey House Removals owner Gerard Coffey said he enjoyed being involved with the removal of the church and was happy to get it to Brayshaw Park without any damage.

"With the building being from the early 1900's it makes the cost of the foundations and requirements even higher. We are working to the engineering plan which includes concrete, steel and treated piles for the foundations."

The building will also have hidden metal supports coming up from the foundations to the sides of the building to support it. .

He said that the foundation costs for moving a house onto a site or building a new house would be much the same.

"The costs for housing foundations would be the same whether you move a house or build a new one. Sadly it does put rescuing historic buildings in a whole new price range and out of reach for most charities," he said.

The Marlborough Express