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Old 04-15-2017, 09:06 PM
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Default Lowering a tree house

The kids don't use this anymore and I want to re-purpose it into a chicken coop. Anyone have any low-cost (under $400) creative ideas on how to lower this tree house without disassembly. I looked into renting a forklift but with delivery it probably would be too expensive.

I'm thinking of jacks and blocks but I need to find some where to rent the blocks.

It is about 8 feet x 8 feet and about 8 feet up.

I have an 18 foot flatbed trailer I can lower it onto and then move it to it's final location so I have that covered.

Any suggestions appreciated.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:32 PM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

Any idea the weight of the structure?
How about 4 pulley's or winches (running over strong limbs or around the tree well above the tree house), one attached to each corner. Raise enough to unhook from stand. Shorten stand by 10 or 12 inches. Slowly lower to stand, repeat.
shortening stand would be optional ...but more risk of crashing building if you go for all at once.
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

If you know a heavy eqpt mechanic w/ a hydraulic crane on his truck it will be very easy. If not, try the following procedure with great care.
OK, first remove the slide, run additional bracing from the bottom of the legs nearest the trees to about the middle of the skids. add more X bracing between those two legs. Drill holes thru the skids on the end nearest the trees large enough to run 3/4" or 1" pipe thru from one skid to the other. Rig a chain around each end of the pipe on the outside of the skids so that it has at least a 45* angle when the later mentioned winch hook is attached to it. Next run a chain or very strong rope between the two trees near the structure several feet above the roof. Now come up with a pickup with a winch. Run the winch cable thru a snatch block centered on the structure on the chain/rope between the two trees and attach the winch hook to the aforementioned chain on the skids. Take a strain on the winch cable enough to lift the weight off the two legs furthest from the trees and cut them off top and bottom. Back the tlr up so the structure will lean over to land on it. Start lowering it just enough so the two remaining legs are starting to bend, then cut them off at a 45* angle next to the ground so that as you lower it onto the tlr the two 4x4's remaining in the ground act as chocks for the two legs you cut off so they can't slide back. You'll have to keep moving the tlr ahead while lowering it to keep the two legs and long braces from touching the tlr until the other end contacts the tlr deck When the two remaining legs touch the back of the tlr, add braces vertical from the tlr deck to the skids close to the two legs. Cut the two legs off next to the skids and remove the long braces. Back the tlr up 'til it touches a tree. With the winch lift the structure enough to remove the two remaining braces and lower it to the tlr. Make sure the rope or chain between the two trees is strong enough to take the strain 'cause it will be greatest just before the structure contacts the trailer. Without a forklift or complete dismantlement this is the only way I see to do it. Just take your time and think ahead at all times!! Just be sure everyone is clear while lowering it to the tlr in case Murphy wants to take over the operation. Hopefully someone else will have a better idea. Sounds awfully redneck but with proper planning and execution I think it will work however the hyd truck crane would be safest.
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

I wouldn't trust the tree to hold the house. It's stability, it's root system, is an unknown.

The House looks to be about 8'X8" or so. You can gently lower it in a controlled fall forward using the big tree behind it with a block and tackle rope system.

Nail two 8 ft @2x8's together to form a "TEE" beam. Make four of them.
Place two on the ground alongside the post aimed at the big tree behind the house. the "TEE" should be up and the flat board on the ground.

Now nail the other two to the bottom of the house. Take four 2X4's or 2x6's and cut them to fit from the bottom "TEE" brace to the top with rounded or angled ends. Place them in alignment with the existing posts. Drill 1/2"holes and pin the upright to the "Tee" beams with carriage bolts. Nail another 2X4 on each end of the ground "TEE"S"
to keep them from moving.

Now block and tackle the house to the tree behind it. Cut the 4X4 posts with a saw.( you will want to jack each corner to do each one). When cut remove the original posts. The four pinned uprights will support the house on each corner. What you have created is two parallelogram's that will fold down to the ground. If you measure it right, you can drop it on the trailer.

What you have is a pallet on the ground and four posts that will pivot on the 1/2" bolts and using the block and tackle drop the house down onto the trailer or the ground. If you have enough friends I would put control lines side to side as well. And a couple of 2X4's could be used to X frame the back lowering uprights for stability.
Or make 45 angle Knee braces out each side to keep the unit from yawing sideways.

I would suggest keeping the beer locked in the cooler until the lowering is complete. And virtually all the lumber can be reclaimed. Instead of nails use torz screws. Stronger and disassembly is much easier.
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

Ha. Lock up the beer.

Or, hold my beer watch this?

It'll be a YouTube hit.
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

2 tractors with FELs should cover it.
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

Some good ideas here, I kind of like the leaning idea.

Those trees aren't going anywhere. They stand-up to sustained 50mph winds all winter long.

Yes, might have to get my daughter out with the gopro - if it goes wrong then I can make money off the youtube video. Heck - maybe I should just deliberately make it go wrong - I could probably make a ton off a redneck disaster video.
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Old 04-16-2017, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

Like I said, watch out for Murphy 'cause loves to screw an operation like that!!
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Old 04-16-2017, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

I only have one idea. Use this (Construction Forklift) with a man cage and disassemble it piece by piece, or use the forks on the forklift and lift the whole structure enough to take off the vertical columns. Then you can use the forklift to move it to it's next resting place. These are all around me and are idle most of the time. YMMV.
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Old 04-16-2017, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

Actually, the forklift was my first idea but they want $1million in construction liability insurance to rent - plus $$$$.
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Old 04-16-2017, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

I guess a helicopter is out of the question.
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Old 04-16-2017, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

Quote:
Originally Posted by deand1 View Post
I only have one idea. Use this (Construction Forklift) with a man cage and disassemble it piece by piece, or use the forks on the forklift and lift the whole structure enough to take off the vertical columns. Then you can use the forklift to move it to it's next resting place. These are all around me and are idle most of the time. YMMV.
That would be easy and quite safe. But I think it would be more expensive than the cost of the building.

BTW, if you use my concept, be sure to anchor the Base "TEE's" to the ground. Drill holes and drive 1/2" stakes into the ground at the four corners.

I kinda messed with the idea today with some 2x4's and found that to be important.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:09 PM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

Legs appear to be sturdy? If so maybe brace the legs the other direction some also to sturdy them up. Then secure a cross member side to side like the one in back supporting the sliding board.

Now get out high lift jack and more or less center it under the sliding board cross member or the new one across from it you just installed. Raise jack to cross member and add just a ditty bitty for lift. Start the chain up and whack a few inches off the bottom. Lower the legs to ground go around to the other side and rinse and repeat. By going back and forth even whacking four inches at a time you'll have a foot knocked off the legs by the third cut. Yea it should come down pretty fast but don't get greedy and attempt to cut to much at once because there is simply a very likely chance you will roll it on yourself or in trapping terms created dead-fall for yourself and to read about that carnage.
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamby View Post
Legs appear to be sturdy? If so maybe brace the legs the other direction some also to sturdy them up. Then secure a cross member side to side like the one in back supporting the sliding board.

Now get out high lift jack and more or less center it under the sliding board cross member or the new one across from it you just installed. Raise jack to cross member and add just a ditty bitty for lift. Start the chain up and whack a few inches off the bottom. Lower the legs to ground go around to the other side and rinse and repeat. By going back and forth even whacking four inches at a time you'll have a foot knocked off the legs by the third cut. Yea it should come down pretty fast but don't get greedy and attempt to cut to much at once because there is simply a very likely chance you will roll it on yourself or in trapping terms created dead-fall for yourself and to read about that carnage.
Yeah, this was my first thought also but I did not have time to attempt to describe it plus I seriously doubt my explanation would have been as clear as yours.
This is the same way we do boat cribbing for taking a boat off a trailer or raising a boat up to put a trailer under it. As Bamby said, a little bit at a time is the key.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

2 bobcats with forks ....lift...chainsaw legs off.....lower. we move much bigger buildings with 2 bobcats as long as the floor isn't rotted. just need one good guy where both operators can see him to keep the skidsteers sinked at the same speed.
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

I'm going to call around this weekend and see what the biggest forklift/bobcat I can get is.

I actually built it in panels so that is still an option. I can probably take it apart in a few hours, some blood, and ton of swearing.
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamby View Post
Legs appear to be sturdy? If so maybe brace the legs the other direction some also to sturdy them up. Then secure a cross member side to side like the one in back supporting the sliding board.

Now get out high lift jack and more or less center it under the sliding board cross member or the new one across from it you just installed. Raise jack to cross member and add just a ditty bitty for lift. Start the chain up and whack a few inches off the bottom. Lower the legs to ground go around to the other side and rinse and repeat. By going back and forth even whacking four inches at a time you'll have a foot knocked off the legs by the third cut. Yea it should come down pretty fast but don't get greedy and attempt to cut to much at once because there is simply a very likely chance you will roll it on yourself or in trapping terms created dead-fall for yourself and to read about that carnage.
If I can't get a forklift or bobcat (or they are too expensive) then this is what I am currently planning on doing.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:10 AM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

If you're renting equipment, around here, many/most have a 1/2 day minimum. Got any other projects to work on? You're paying for the time anyway...
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:00 AM
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If you're renting equipment, around here, many/most have a 1/2 day minimum. Got any other projects to work on? You're paying for the time anyway...
Yeah - not enough big moving projects to really make it worth the money though. That's kind of the problem.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: Lowering a tree house

If you're not in a hurry, let them know. If they can do it in their spare time or when they're in the neighborhood, you may get a better rate compared to scheduled work.

Around here, the going rate is about $80/hour for a skidsteer (with operator). Clock starts when they pull out of their shop.
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