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Old 04-06-2011, 08:39 PM   #1
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Owl house

The owl house with the walk around platform and top is ~60 lbs. As you can see it is only supported by the two 4x4s. I did it like this to be able to raise it up. In hind sight it should have been done with 6x6s. It is not that wobbly, but with a kid I need it to be more secure to stand up to time and wind.

I am thinking of running steel cables or long angle iron I have in two directions at a 45 degree angle to concrete poured into holes. I don't think bracing it length wise with steel will suffice. I could shorten it 5' or so to make it more stable, but I'd like to keep it at the current height. Any better ideas?



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Old 04-06-2011, 09:49 PM   #2
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A little close to the swing set, isn't it?


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Old 04-07-2011, 12:25 AM   #3
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Deleted my comments as they did not pertain. Time of night is most of my defense, LOL.

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Old 04-07-2011, 08:03 AM   #4
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Could you build a structure similar to the base of a windmill - wide at the bottom and narrow at the top? But keep the lowest crossbar/brace up high enough so that even an adult has to bring a ladder to reach it. That way, your son or daughter won't be able to climb on it.

Not necessarily as big as the one in the picture, but as an example.

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Old 04-07-2011, 08:27 AM   #5
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That IS really scary looking. I'd rethink the whole project too.
How are those 4x4s attached to each other?

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Old 04-07-2011, 08:32 AM   #6
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If you do cables, you will have to do them in at least 3 directions. Likely 4 to be the most stable.

If you use a wood brace to the ground, you can do it in 2 directions, 45-degrees from one another.

If it were me, I would have glued and nailed (3) 16' 2x4's together (if using wood) and buried 5'-6' of it in concrete or gotten a flagpole (not sure what required burial depth ratio to height is on a flagpole). Would have looked a little better than spliced 4x4's and would be perfectly fine for a birdhouse with no braces.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:49 AM   #7
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The problems with steel cables is that they will anchor in your yard. Creating 3-4 hazards in your yard. They will have to be mowed around. Kids and adults will have to navigate around them.

Frankly the idea of kids running around guy wires scares me - but maybe that's because I remember having to get a tetanus shot after cutting my shin on a guy wire in a neighbor's yard.

Do you have a 'resident'?
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:06 PM   #8
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The 4x4s are through bolted at the top of the lower 4x4 and the bottom of the top 4x4. The lower 4x4 is about 4' in the ground with five 60 lb bags of concrete. No residents so far as it has only been up a week.

My plan as of now is to remove about 5' from the upper 4x4 to lower it. Then I will add two 2x4's at 45 degree angles. This should make it more stable. Then I will feel comfortable putting the exercise platform and top on.

As always, thanks for the tips guys. Here are pictures of the entire build of the owl house: http://emerickdesigns.com/?p=114


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