The Block family lifts the top storey of their disputed playhouse to keep from having to demolish it. (Kathy Fitzpatrick/CBC)

A Saskatoon family has lost its final appeal to save a treasured two-storey backyard playhouse. But the family has come up with a creative solution to keep the structure and comply with the city's rules.  They lifted the top storey off and placed it on stilts on the ground.

The delicate manoeuvre with a rented crane-like machine called a telehandler was completed the morning of Friday, Oct. 11.

"We will stay the 1.2 metres from the ground which is the by-law," said Debbie Block.

The dispute began when the Blocks' next-door neighbour complained the structure was too high.  Saskatoon's Development Appeals Board sided with the Blocks.  But the City appealed to a provincial tribune, and that tribune sided with the City.

Block said she was determined to keep the structure, even if it had to split it in two.

"My grand kids are not kids that are sitting in front of a television or sitting in front of computers and screen time," Block said. "They love to be active and they love to play."

There are 14 of them, all under the age of nine, "and we get together a lot," she said.