Need help from an experienced builder/carpenter

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I built this (see link below) for my kids a while back. At that time, and against my better judgement, I took the advice from my local lumberyard and did not concrete the 4"6" posts into the post holes. Gradually, it has begun to tilt to the left. It is a very sturdy and heavy little building, and I think the counterman did not fully grasp what I was up to when I asked him.
I designed it to match the dwelling. It has 24 stud walls and roof trusses, asphalt shingle roof, walls insulated and wired, cedar lap siding, OSB wall and roof sheathing, custom aluminum storm windows and other features. All built on 8'12' deck, using 2"12" treated floor joists on 2' spacing and 5/4 treated floor decking with 2" rigid foam foiled floor insulation. 2"6" double corner brace atall 4 corners. Floor deck height is about 6' and peak of roof is about 17'. Sandbox below and 2 swings at the back end.
Does anybody have ideas how to right and stabilize it? The soils here in South Michigan are somewhat peaty/clay/swampy, so I don't think merely jacking and re-fastening the bond joists to the uprights would be a final solution. Or possibly splicing an arrangement of screw jacks? I dunno.
I ended up with about $2000 US in it and really don't want to lose it, as I have 2 smaller kids now that love it just as well as the oldest girl, who is still sleeping in it with her gal pals occasionally. Emails welcome.
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"RM MS" wrote:

Yes, but you may not like my suggestion.
Basically, you are going to have to jack up the structure and put a footer under it that extends below the frost line which is probably 30"-36" below grade for Michigan.
You will need a bunch of cribbing and either a house jack or at least a couple of 20 ton hydraulic jacks.
Jack the building up about 12"-18", then cut existing legs off to get at what is left in the ground.
Dig about a 12" dia hole below the grade level, then install 12" SonoTube forms so they are about 6"-12" above grade.
Install a couple of "J" bolts (Typical way roadway lighting poles are installed) that will be used to secure wooden corner posts on top of concrete after cure.
Pour concrete and flush top surface to receive galvanized steel bracket that will be bolted to the wooden post as well as the "J" bolt anchor bolts in the concrete.
Once cured, lower house and complete installation.
SFWIW, find a boat mover around Detroit area.
They will have the cribbing and the jacks, and if done in off season, may be a good deal for both of you.
PS: I wouldn't wish this job on any amateur without having some on site PRO assistance available.
Lew
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I agree with Lew about the digging the holes and using the tubes with concrete...However, if you could dig the holes offset to the current 4 x4, do the concrte first then jack it up and shift it over you may find that easier.. Since you'd be doing the digging at your leisure and can pour the concrete into the forms and get them all set up to go without having to have the structure jacked up (and have you worrying about it maybe collapsing on you). Unless you have a lot of cribbing materials around and are comfortable in doing that type of work. When ever I've seen it done, its alot of big timber (6 x 6") on top of each other... That in itself may get in the way of digging the holes. Also, when you raise it you got to worry about the stairs...
But how to shift it over? I don't have a good solution for you...other than a crane.
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The corner posts are 4"6". The stairs will come off easily, they are laying in hangers and screwed thru the bond joist, not a issue. Mainly, the shifting phase is the big problem.
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Lew, I had thought about some kind of industral lift or fork truck to lift it while I do the jobs below. There is a good sized marina at the end of my street. I wonder how mch they charge per hour and if there are permits needed to drive it here? I am most concerned about keeping the thing stable while above ground, simple jacks won't work, without some sideways stabilization, it will just fall over. I appreciate your ideas, thanks, -Bob-
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RM MS wrote:

I'd go under each corner one at a time w/ large timber (looks like the leg timbers used would be adequate material) inside the present corner and block and cribbage there solidly w/ sufficient area to ensure stability.
Then that leg could be detached and the necessary depth of pilings poured and replaced, moving on to the next.
Adequate cribbing and jacking from house- or boat-moving folks.
Don't need the whole thing at one time--just to be able to get to one at a time (or at most one end if want to do it that way).
Other than the height, did 38x66 barn w/ 40-ft to loft ridge to replace sill plates and repair rotted stud ends same way -- work from one corner around about half the length/width at a time.
--
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dpb wrote: ...

...
Actually, depending on where you are -- the cheap source of cribbing, etc., in VA where used to be was the small sawmills cutting timbers for the mines and/or ties for the N&W. They always had end cuts for cheap.
If something like that's not an option, as Les says, may pay to simply have a housemover come do the jacking for you, let you do the pilings work then come set it back down.
Given the open space I see no reason why they couldn't do that in a manner that would leave the corners unobstructed w/o actually moving the building.
BTW, I guess you know that one-side-open staircase isn't code-compliant? :)
It's a nice looking little playhouse altho "play" is probably too diminutive an adjective.
--
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(1 sided Staircase)
Yes, I always wondered about that, but inspectors have come and gone here for other things I built and never said a word
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(One corner at a time) Yes, I think that is the key to it--
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"RM MS" wrote:

What you need is a boat mover who has a hydraulic trailer.
The marina probably won't have one, but should be able to put you in touch.
Been to the movie:
Game goes as follows:
Boat mover will have cribbing and house jacks.
Cut legs, jack up house, drive trailer under, then position trailer cross beams using on board trailer hydraulics, then finish lifting house.
Once on trailer, move house fwd to clear area.
Rent a gasoline powered auger to drill holes.
The rest as previously as described.
If you don't move house off property, permits not req'd to move trailer over the road.
Have done this a few times moving a 55 ft sail boat.
Your house is a piece of cake to move; however, it is NOT a DIY project.
Nobody in their right mind would rent their equipment because of the liability issues for starters.
Where are you located?
BTW, you do realize this is a $5-$10K project which is based on you being a grunt assistant?
Lew
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"Lew Hodgett" wrote:

Got to thinking about cost estimate.
Boat mover should do the job for less than $1K, especially if it is a cash transaction.
$500/hole should give you a reasonable estimate.
$10K seems a little much on 2nd thought.
Lew
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Lew, that is the ideal answer. Except for the 5 grand :) I was also wondering about the tubes for new pilings, why are they better than an augered hole with a small 24 leveling form at the top of each? Seems like they are smooth, and a auger hole is nice and rough to lock the concrete to the soil better?
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RM MS wrote:

It's not a matter of locking the concrete in the soil. It's preventing frost from heaving the pier. A smooth surface reduces this chance provided the base is below the frost line.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
  Click to see the full signature.
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Tubes: ". . . base is below the frost line. " Makes sense to me: thanks, Jack. I am leaning towards a crossbeam, maybe double 2"12"s bolted thru and sandwiching 2 corner posts and a new concrete footing or piling trenched and leveled below them, and then, finally, extend the sandbox to incorporate it all.
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"RM MS" wrote:
Lew, that is the ideal answer. Except for the 5 grand :) I was also wondering about the tubes for new pilings, why are they better than an augered hole with a small 24 leveling form at the top of each? Seems like they are smooth, and a auger hole is nice and rough to lock the concrete to the soil better?
Tubes used for above ground form, augered hole portion below grade is a bonus.
When you are done, it will look better in the shower<grin>
Lew
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I'm not sure how to stabilize it, but in Pisa Italy there is a building that has been similarly leaning for a long time. They decided not to fix it, but rather charge people to come see it.
Just a thought... ;) Mark
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"DejaVoodoo" < wrote

But......, they did not ignore this leaning tower. They have spent a lot of time and money to stabilize it. At the same time, they wanted to preserve the "lean". After all, they did not want to "straighten" a major tourist attraction.
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Sure, that is the only draw that Pisa has. Next stop, Lucca.
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On Mon, 24 Nov 2008 12:37:18 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (RM MS) wrote:

Dig down around the dropped post, jack it up and pour a concrete footing under it like you knew you should have in the first place?
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On Mon, 24 Nov 2008 12:37:18 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (RM MS) wrote:

Dig under the high side and wash away the soil, the building will settle level. In a few years you'll be able to get rid of the stairs. A compressor hose or burrowing rodent will probably work too but in the case of the latter they will need to be well trained.
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