How to move a deck type porch?

Normally I can figure out a plan to do jobs, but this one has had me drawing a blank for days.
This porch was built next to my house, but they never put walls on the crawl space (of the house itself), behind that porch.
The crawl space on the rest of the house is made from 2x6s nailed to the posts which support the house. The 2x6s run horizontal, and are covered with metal siding (pole barn metal), which goes 6 to 8 inches into the soil. Apparently they built this porch before they put the siding on the house crawl space, so that portion of the house is wide open.
Ok, it's not "Wide open", because they built this porch from treated framing, put deck boards on top, but also put these deck boards on the sides, down to the soil. However, they left an opening to get under this porch, which I temporarily covered with plywood, using a few screws so I could remove it easily.
While this partly closes things up, there are the gaps between the deck boards, Plus they did not put backs on the steps, so if I look between the steps, I can see right under the house. Besides letting cold aur under the house in winter, it lets critters get under the house, and whatever rain and snow that can get down there.
The plan is to move the porch about 3 feet away from the house, put the metal siding against the crawl space wall, and move the porch back where it was.
This should be fairly easy, because the porch is free standing and not attached to the house at all. The porch just sits on some solid concrete blocks, an it's only 7x11 feet. (steps included). But that small porch is built so well, that it must weigh close to a ton. Last weekend I had a friend over and we were going to lift it. We could not even lift it a quarter inch.
Normally, I'd get my tractor over there and easily move it, but because of the lay of the land, a retaining wall, a fence and other stuff in the way, that is not possible at all. I cant even get the tractor on the other side of that fence and use a chain, because there is no way to get any machinery over there. There are no trees or solid objects to connect a come-a-long to either.
So, it all comes down to muscle power, or some sort of jacking method. But jacking it up means another problem. Since the sidewalls go to the ground, there is no way to get a jack under the sides. The only place to jack it, is under it from that opening and that would mean the jack would only be in the center of the deck. Plus the deck floor is close to 4ft off the ground and my floor jack dont go that high. Of course I could pile wood blocks on top of the jack, but I dont want to be under there if the blocks tip over, which is very likely with that many blocks.
So, I'm at a total loss how to go about this.....
Yes, I did have one thought, and that was to see if I could find someone with a pulling horse. (Around here there are guys that have them). A horse could get in there, by going thru the woods, whereas a tractor cant. The horse could probably move that porch easily AWAY from the house, but the horse cant PUSH it back when I finish my work. So, that would not work.
Then there was the thought of finding about 6 guys to lift the thing. I'm sure 6 guys could, but because those side walls go to the ground, there is not enough space for that many guys to grab it. Another NO....
So, I'm back to square one ????????
Any ideas?
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Engine hoist? Could you build a temporary tripod over a corner then use a rope fence stretcher or come along to lift each corner individually? Then put a furniture moving dolly under each corner and roll it that three feet. You'd probably have to put some boards under the dollies so they'd move. Would round fence posts work better as rollers to move it once it's lifted?
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On Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 4:23:41 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

You could use a pulling horse to pull it away from the house and then use a pulley system so the horse could pull it back. The horse would always have his arse to the porch, but the pulley would reverse the direction of the force.
As far as "6 guys", what about cutting/attaching 3 hand holds on each side? All 6 guys would be standing sideways, like pall bearers. Wouldn't that give them enough room?
What about digging out the ground where you wanted to move the porch and using steel pipes/lolly (lally?) columns as rollers?
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On Thu, 10 Dec 2015 06:22:27 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

This is an excellent suggestion. However, in this case, I dont see any way to attach the pulleys, without removing the crawl space siding I just put on, to use the house's posts for the pulleys.

I've thought about this, but I'd also have to remove the steps or no one could grab that side of the porch. But this is starting to look like one of the better ways to do this....

Possibly. I do need to consider the soil at the front of the porch is probably 8" higher than at the rear (the whole yard slopes), so I wonder if it would roll or just slide backwards on the pipes????
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Why move the porch at all? It seems like it would be easier to just climb under the porch and add your metal siding underneath the porch. You might have to add some support framework, dig down the 6" to bury the metal in the ground, and possibly cut the metal to size. That still seems like a lot less work than trying to move a porch and then get it back in place.
Alternatively, run the metal siding around the outside of the porch. Remove the steps if necessary then reinstall/rebuild them when you're done.
Also, if your deck boards are wood, I would think about removing those that run down the sides to the soil. Wood in contact with earth is a bad idea.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On Thu, 10 Dec 2015 14:59:16 -0000 (UTC), HerHusband

I was looking at this today and I'm starting to think that this is the solution. It would be tough working under there, but a lot less trouble than moving the porch. All digging would have to be done with a hand spade, rather than a shovel, but I can live with that. But there is a problem. The porch sits about 6" lower than the house floor. I would not be able to nail my framework under the floor joists, nor screw on the metal siding. But, if I can raise the porch about 6 to 8", I could nail/screw everything from under the porch.
This is probably the solution. I'm thinking of just stacking some blocks under the porch, using a bottle jack on top of the blocks, raising one corner of the porch at a time, and just putting a cement block under each corner. Once the whole thing sits on top of those blocks, I could do all the work from underneath. Once my siding is on, I would have to jack and remove those blocks again. Lifting it seems a lot less trouble than moving it!

I'm looking into how hard it would be to remove the steps. That would make everything easier (and a little lighter).

They are treated lumber boards, and because the whole porch sits on cement blocks, there is a small gap between the wood and the soil.
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I haven't seen the situation, so I'm just guessing what the conditions are. But didn't you say the deck was free standing and not attached to the house? Is there a gap between the house and deck?
Climb under and take some measurements of the opening. Then preassemble a frame (or smaller frames) out of pressure treated lumber. Slide the frame (s) under the house and screw it to the bottom side of the house joists. You could either attach your siding to the frame before you slide it under the house, or attach the siding after you have the framework in place.
If you really need to attach the siding behind the deck, just drill a few holes in the deck rim joist (or end joist depending on the joist orientation). Then you can access the house through the holes to drive in your screws. If it's too difficult to do from underneath, maybe you could remove a deck board or two to gain access.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On Fri, 11 Dec 2015 05:24:12 -0000 (UTC), HerHusband

You have some good ideas there. I have pretty much decided to do it from under the porch, rather than try to move it. But preassembling it, makes a lot of sense. Maybe I can make panels with lumber and the metal siding, and attach them from under the house. There are access doors to get under the house.
Yes, the porch is free standing and there is a gap about 3/4" between the house and the porch, because the porch just sits on the ground, so it moves with freeze and thaw cycles (which is why I would not attach it to the house). I actually did jack it up on the rear side of it, a few years ago, because the rear was about an inch and a half lower than the front. I stacked cement blocks under it and lifted the rear about 2". Then I put a treated 2x8 across the cement blocks it sits on, and lowered the jack. Now that it's settled, it seems to stay pretty level. Yet it may get a little higher during the winter, but goes back to normal when the soil thaws in spring. That's not a problem, since the porch is about 6" lower than the house door. (My steps are about 6" or 7", so this is just another step).
Just a side note: Many years ago, I rented a house, where there was a porch which was the same height as the front door. During the winter, the porch lifted from frozen ground, and I could not get out that door, because the porch got about an inch higher than the door. (Of course there was another door in the rear). I complined to the landlord, and he said he would fix it in Spring. But when he tried, the thing was so rotted it fell apart. So, he build a new one which was several inches below the door (like it should be), and it was much nicer too.
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Good luck, I hope it goes well!

The more you can do out in the open, the less work you'll have on laying under the house. :)

I was going to ask you if there was another way under the house. It might be easier coming at it from that direction than trying to squeeze under the deck (I don't know if you mentioned how much clearance you had under the deck).

Does the metal crawlspace siding tuck under the house siding somehow? In other words, what keeps water from going behind the metal siding where it connects to the house?

We don't have to worry much about frost heave here in the Pacific Northwest. Our frostline is technically 12 inches, but it's extremely rare to have freezing weather long enough to freeze the ground.
Still, I've always built decks and stairs freestanding, mostly to prevent rot between the deck/stair structure and the house.
Let us know how your project turns out!
Take care,
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On Fri, 11 Dec 2015 15:00:02 -0000 (UTC), HerHusband

About 3 1/2ft from ground to bottom of deck.

The metal overlaps the house siding, but I have a special moulding which is made for trailer houses, which locks everything in place and seals it. I also applied some silicone to make sure it stays dry. I used this method because there was no way to go under the siding without doing a lot of of siding removal which would have likely damaged it. If I ever re-side the house, I can then go over the crawl space siding.
This is still the one problem I have. I can not install that moulding with the porch in place. But I'm looking into using some trim made for barns, which will seal the metal as well as capping the gap between the house and porch. However, if the porch lifts from freezing, that could be a problem. But maybe there is another material I can use. If a small amount of water gets behind the crawl space siding, it's not a big deal. It will just soak in the ground, and I'll use treated lumber back there to prevent rot.

I wish I did not have to deal with freezing!!!! A few years ago, we had a very severe winter, and a yard hydrant froze about 5 ft below the ground. I never had that happen before.

Same reason I have the gap, but also for freezing and thawing.

It looks like I wont be doing anything for awhile. We're having extreme rain and all sorts of crappy weather. If it freezes after this rain, I wont be able to do any of this till Spring. In the meantime, I just crammed some scrap steel sheets behind the porch and jammed some wood scraps between the steel and the porch to hold it in place. Behind it, I drove a few short pieces of scrap rebar into the soil to keep the steel from pushing inward. I knew this storm was coming, so I just did this temporary for now.

Thanks

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On 12/14/2015 6:47 AM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

My neighbor moved a small pool deck with a rented forklift. Worked great for him.
Steve
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I would not even need to rent one. I have a farm tractor and a hay bale mover, which would work similar to a forklift. But as I said in the original post, I cant get any machinery in there because of a steep wooded hill on one side and a retaining wall on the other. With a solid fence near the fence too.
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That's more room than I have in my crawlspace. I was picturing you having to slither in on your belly. :) Sounds like plenty of room to work.

I still can't picture what your conditions are.
You obviously don't have a continuous perimeter foundation. So, I assume the floor joists extend to the edge of the house, then the house siding comes down to the bottom of the joists. Is that correct?
Is there a reason you couldn't preassemble a wood frame and screw it to the underside of the floor joists (essentially "hanging" it from the joists). Set it back just far enough that the metal siding would be positioned behind the house siding.
If the house siding does not extend below the floor joists, maybe you could slip a thin piece of metal flashing between the back of the house siding and the front of the metal crawlspace siding. This should prevent water from wicking around the bottom edge of the house siding.
Take care, Thanks
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On Mon, 14 Dec 2015 16:16:47 -0000 (UTC), HerHusband

Not too bad to get in there....

Basically. The house sits on posts and is built into a hill, so the lower part is 7 ft. off the ground, where the upper part is about 2 ft.
Horizontal 2x6's are nailed to the posts and that siding is applied to them. It's almost like a pole barn under there.

Yea, that would work, but then these panels would not line up with the others. I could probably put the siding on the INSIDE of these 2x6's too, and would just have to seal the gap, but I'd prefer it to match the rest of the house, even if it's not really seen under there.

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On Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 4:23:41 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

Take it apart.
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snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc posted for all of us...

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