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normlynn 04-14-2006 08:41 AM

porch- replace vs repair
I have an old porch which is in bad need of repair (or something) I have talked to a few contractors. They all say tear it down and start over. I know they just want the business. My concerns are these: The porch is in okay shape structurally. the flooring and the roof need to be replaced. ( both are original from a redo in the 50's) I think the framing is undersized and it seems like there may be a foudation problem but I can't find signs of sinking. ( one side has a larger gap from the house than the other near the roof.) Also the support posts for the roof don't match up with the foudation blocks. Can I just support the foundation with extra posts? Sould I add more roof supports? If I tear it douwn, where do I start and how? I've never done a major tear out like this before. thanks

Square Eye 04-14-2006 09:01 PM

It would be hard to tell you where to start without seeing. Usually, you start tearing down a structure from the top; roofing, decking, rafters, beams, posts, etc. The problems you describe are potential hazards. If there is a gap between the framing members and the wall, it may take removal of the framing members to find something to attach to. The reason for the separation would interest me. If you're lucky, it may just be the trim boards coming loose. Contractors will hear certain flags; foundation, gaps, undersized framing, when you describe the problems, and they will tell you that a complete rebuild would be best.

If you do the tear off yourself, you will learn more about the structure than you will here. You will see how the rafters attach and the ceiling joist attachment. You may be able to see a better way to build when you put it all back.

If you decide to do repairs, you need to do structural repairs first. Find the cause of your problems and fix the source, then the result. Having to tear a roof back off after only a couple of years is a hard pill to swallow. Especially when you have to pay someone else to do it.

If you find the job is more than you can handle, find a pro. Don't go so far that you find yourself in trouble.

Questions? someone is usually here to answer, or at least give you an opinion or an option to choose. Get specifics so we know what you are doing. It's very hard to answer a question without seeing. Especially on an older home.

Tom in KY, demolition gets people hurt, be careful.

normlynn 08-05-2006 05:14 PM

Porch replacement
Thanks for writing back, Tom. ( I'm Tom also) I am sorry I'm just getting back to this I got a job that wouldn't let me loose and I finally quit. anyway, I'm just getting to the project now. There are now holes in the roof. and the flooring is weaker. I think the gap I saw was from some insulated siding that was removed ( fiberboard with a Asphalt coating which is around the whole house) I will find out more when I get started this next week. Thanks for the warning- I'll try my best to not take on more than I can, so far I've been pretty fortunate. normlynn

inspectorD 08-05-2006 09:28 PM

Get the hard hats out!!
Getting a basic carpentry book from the library will also help you to understand how things work before you demo.

Also I would draw what I am going to do on any project first just to get the mind workin.:eek:

normlynn 10-21-2006 10:45 PM

Thank you for your wise advise. I have 1/2 the project done (all but over the doors) I noticed two problems. first, they did not remove the siding where they attached the roof and deck support boards (ledger) on the house. Because of this, it appears it was only held on by the siding and came loose when the siding failed. Secondly, they only used nails. I was vey careful and still almost got hurt. When I was removing the trim boards from the side of the roof framing, The whole side gave way and almost took me with it. Fortunately I was on a step ladder and NOT the extension ladder. Also, I noticed that the brick supports which held up the outer edge were buried about a foot below the surface. (I'm not sure if that means anything) and had blocks cemented onto them. Anyway, so far so good , I will finish in the Spring thanks again.

j&krenovation 11-26-2006 04:27 PM

The supports should be in the ground, although if the deck is sloping away from the house they may have settled a little over time, check if level and throw some blocks in there to reset it. I think if the posts from the roof are resting on the outside band of the deck may be sufficiently supported. Use some carriage or through bolts to reinforce the ledger, use blocking if necessary for further reinforcement. It also doesnt hurt to put 4x4 supports against the house under the ledger, we do this always just to be safe. Definatly reinforce, replace, or sister any damaged structual members.

j&krenovation 11-26-2006 04:30 PM

Another solution would be to add a beam under the deck, you could place this under the deck roof supports to make sure its helping to support the whole structure.

glennjanie 11-26-2006 06:16 PM

Hello Normlynn:
Maybe it is just my age, but I like to see things built to last a long time without much maintenance. Therefore, I recommend a concrete block foundation and a concrete porch floor, with a gable roof over it that has the posts and all other wood covered with PVC.

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