‘It’s a spectacle’: Near 7,000-square-foot home sets sail from Oak Bay to Powell River


It’s a sight you don’t see every day — A near 7,000-square-foot home getting set to travel north via barge on the Pacific.

“It’s quite a spectacle,” Said Jeremy Nickel, president of Nickel Bros. “This one here is a fairly large project and there’s some complexity with placing it on a barge.”

The Nickel Bros company specializes in moving houses and buildings by land and sea. Nickel says they move around 2-300 a year and that the demand is growing. He says each project has its own unique set of challenges.

“There’s a lot of engineering and planning up front,” said Nickel. “We’ve been planning this project for about six months. It involved a lot of surveys, a lot of scrutinizing of the details, the barging procedure is especially strategic here in the maneuver.”

They even hired divers to conduct a 300-foot by 1000-foot underwater survey in the area, as one small mistake could cause significant and costly damage to the house. Nickel says recycling homes is good for the environment and will save this particular seller around $100,000 in demolition costs.

“This one happens to be a very unique, beautiful building,” said Nickel. “We’re happy to find some folks who were willing to pay the moving cost and move it to Powell River.”

The buyer is Eva Stuart who is located just south of Powell River in Saltery Bay. She says the primary reasons to move the home instead of buying new is related to cost and environmental impact.

“I think we are paying maybe a third of the cost of building a new house,” said Stuart.

Stuart adds that there’s also emotional value connected to the particular home. Eva lost her husband Frank to cancer last September, and the 1935-Tudor style house was supposed to be their dream home.

“I will follow with his wishes, to honour his memory,” said Stuart. “It will always be ‘our’ house.”

The house will take approximately 18 hours to transport and is expected to arrive in Saltery Bay by early Saturday morning. Nickel says the home will be ‘move-in ready’ in 2-3 months.

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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