Dilema! Anyone make an affordable easy way to move heavy things up a hill?
Dawn Taillon
January 20, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Our house is on a hill. It is easier to carry large things straight up the side stairs on either side of our house, to move large appliances and furniture to the main level of the house, which is up a hill, than to come in through the front door, which forces you have to make large objects make a turn over the staircase and account for the railings and the wall on the other side.

I'm thinking of making some thing with plywood and a furniture dolly of some sort and affix a wench at the top of the hill and attach it to the dolly and hoist things up laying down on the dolly. Sounds like a bit of a hassle but really there has got to be an easier way unless we can afford to buy a fork lift to send it straight up over our balcony from the driveway. HELP!
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houssaon
how about the structure that is used in a barn hayloft?
January 20, 2013 at 5:01pm   
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Linda
How about an appliance dolly with the extra set of wheels and the stair treads. Those sell for about $200-$250. Or, there is another version of a dolly with rotating sets of 3 wheels on each side.

The fancy appliance dollys work well, but they weight about 75 lbs themselves so you'll definitely need some muscle power to use one.
January 20, 2013 at 6:30pm   
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Jayme H.
I am not following exactly what the issue is. I can see the incline to the driveway..can't u back a truck or pickup back to the door? Once in the door itself...why would an appliance go up the stairs-staircase to the second floor? Is there an upstairs laundry? Any moving truck or pkup should back up to the door and from there, use a cart or straps to move the items into the house.
January 20, 2013 at 6:42pm   
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Dawn Taillon
I'll have to look into that barn hayloft thing, I'm not sure what it is off hand but maybe my husband does.
Linda what do you mean about the stair treads? I was thinking some plywood could be lain of the stairs or attached to some anchors of some sort in cement over the stairs and use a flat 4 wheel cart type dolly and hoist it up with a wench like they use to tow vehicles out of ditches etc.

Jayme the issue is the only thing downstairs is a family room and a bedroom and 1/4 bath, it is on a hill so the bottom of the house is basically an entrance at a basement level, all is upstairs, up hill. The picture of the stairs shows you how impractical it would be to move large things up that staircase, plus the stairs are not to code, they are narrow and slippery because of the laminate flooring, so up either side of the outside of the house is the only way. We can pull right up in front of the door but still have to haul stuff upstairs.
January 20, 2013 at 9:06pm   
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Jayme H.
Wow, what a problem! So obviously there is a door/window, large opening on the upper level to get things through? I would look at renting a forklift or some type of lift. I imagine a forklift wouldn't lift enough....maybe a lift that painters use? I know u can rent those. Or maybe a moving company would have a better idea?
January 21, 2013 at 12:38am   
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Dawn Taillon
Yes the picture of the upstairs porch/balcony has a slider, that a forklift could lift up to, if we make a gate out of the railing, but the back has a french door that goes out to a regular back yard pad, with a deck and all, before a rock wall with a sloped planter and then a fence and more hill climbing up to another garage that you can't access in the winter unless you have a 4 wheel drive and chains or you climb the hill from the back yard. Good thing it's a vacation home. Renting a forklift could work for large things or multiple things. HMM?
January 21, 2013 at 7:45pm     
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Dawn Taillon
thanks by the way, all who posted. We have to come up with a way to be able to get up the driveway in Winter too. Good grief.
January 21, 2013 at 7:47pm     
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Jayme H.
Lumbar yards have those trucks too that hoists things...can u suck up to someone and get a deal? I would try.
January 21, 2013 at 7:50pm   
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Dawn Taillon
I'll look into it and practice my skills. lol
January 21, 2013 at 8:06pm     
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Jayme H.
ha ha...I almost deleted that..hoped it wouldn't be misconstrued..but seems u have a sense of humor!!
January 21, 2013 at 8:09pm   
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Ironwood Builders
I like it that you want to use a wench to lift heavy objects. We usually use a winch. But the local...ahem, is more colorful.
January 21, 2013 at 8:13pm     
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Ironwood Builders
More seriously...here on the Russian River in Wine Country, Sonoma County, CA. the hillside houses use a track and cart with a winch at the top...and have for at least a century. All about the benjamins.
January 21, 2013 at 8:19pm   
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sonomamama
I have a big old armoire that won't make the turn to go upstairs in my house, so a tree company came over and lifted it up on the cherry picker to a balcony with a slider also! Then last year I saw them move a big Chinese lacquer armoire out of my neighbor's! Ha! She had done the same thing.
January 21, 2013 at 8:26pm     
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John Seiffert
One idea, though it might not work since I'm not sure of your outside layout, is to build yourself an elevator by cutting a square hole out of your deck and build a platform that would ride up via a block and tackle system. Of course you could add an electric winch to alleviate the rope burn. I am serious.
January 21, 2013 at 8:49pm   
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Jayme H.
Yes...a cherry picker...I called it a lift..they come in very handy...and sometimes u can rent those..u can around here.
January 21, 2013 at 8:51pm   
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Dawn Taillon
My husband and I talked about that but more like a dumb waiter on the outside of the deck, but I don't think the CCR's would let us do it anyways.
January 21, 2013 at 9:10pm   
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Jayme H.
I wonder how the Egyptians did it??....lol
January 21, 2013 at 9:54pm   
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houssaon
Man, I got a good laugh from Ironwood Builders wench comment. What a good way to end the day!
January 21, 2013 at 10:18pm   
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Dawn Taillon
We've got a live one, or two here. Yes it is so good night and thanks to you all.
January 21, 2013 at 10:32pm   
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Linda
Dawn, I should have described the dolly as having tracks, not treads. They are rotating tracks like bulldozer tracks which are on the back of the dolly several inches above the wheels. When you get to a stair, you lay the dolly backwards and pull it up using the tracks. Do a google search on appliance dolly and you'll see what I am trying to describe

If you don't do this often, you may be better off just hiring some local lads to carry stuff up the hill for you. Pay them $20 each for ten minutes of work and they'll be happy and you'll save your back. If you don't know any, ask around. Some of the guys I know work for a local moving company so they do this often and will probably just grab a strap and get a good handhold and carry the stuff without using a dolly. The advantage of movers is they know the tricks and understand the principles of leverage which make it easier. Plus, they are used to doing it so know how to look for stairs, walk backwards, work with the other person, etc.

A couple cases of beer are much cheaper and less painful than a visit to the chiropractor.
January 22, 2013 at 7:21am   
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Dawn Taillon
LOL Have you started selling yourself out for cases of beer? Treads makes sense, still I would love to see a picture, maybe I can google it.

We were thinking of sinking a set of channel into the cement on the stairs on one side of the house and building a cart that we could slide the wheels into the channel from an opening at the top of the stairs so the wheels stay in the track and put a tall post at the top of the hill to attach the wench to, so we could have it when we need it but the stairs are narrow and we would trip over the channel if we walked up it at other times so I'm not sure about that idea.

I think paying people is tough for us to do, because we are in a high fire area that is hard hard to insure. God forbid someone hurts themselves on our property then we are screwed.
January 23, 2013 at 8:02pm   
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happyasaclam
I'd think ya'll were a bunch of nuts, except we have a similiar problem. I have to be very careful opening the car door or I'll fall and roll down the steep hill we call our front yard into the street......
February 8, 2014 at 6:40pm   
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