This 2,400 sq.ft. house on Mettupalayam Road has moved 35 feet in the last 19 days. It will move another 10 feet by the end of this month.

The staircase, wooden work in the interiors, tiles, electrical wiring and plumbing lines remain intact as the house shifts 45-feet with the support of 300 rollers and 300 jacks.

When the house owner, Thangavelu, wanted to construct a new building in the front portion of his plot, but without demolishing any part of the existing 50-year-old house, he contacted Haryana-based TDBD Engineering Works. The company is into lifting and shifting of buildings. It responded with a plan to move the existing house backward in order to enable the construction of the new one, so that both could coexist.

Gurdeep Singh, Chief Engineer of TDBD Engineering, and Pradeep Sisodia, its Managing Director, told The Hindu here on Monday that the company had taken up five shifting projects so far in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. These were all smaller buildings.

In Coimbatore, they were shifting a 400 tonne, double-storey building. When the house owner contacted the company, “we studied the structure and the site and decided on how it should be shifted.” The building had a normal foundation. Another concrete foundation was laid and the plan of the building was marked. Using rollers and jacks, the building was lifted and it was moved by three to four feet a day. Only the ground floor flooring was damaged and this would be relaid. The cost was less for shifting a building compared to demolishing the existing one and constructing a new one a few feet away. Further, the house owners would have to move out only for about six months when the shifting works were on. The preparatory work took time as the new foundation would have set in and the tracks would have to be laid for shifting the building. Nearly 20 people were working at the project site here.

The company had also taken up three projects in Udhagamandalam where the houses tilted slightly because of landslides. “We have rectified these,” they said.