I live in a frame and brick bungalow built in 1917. The front and back porches are on brick columns and have experienced settling over the years. I am particularly concerned about one corner of the front porch where settling has become an obvious sag, to the point that windows on that end of the porch do not close fully. This corner has a downspout nearby, which accounts for the exaggerated settling.
The columns are constructed of two types of brick. A pretty dark brown brick on the exterior visible side, which is still in great shape, and a beige brick on the inside which is crumbly and downright deteriorated in many places.
My thought is that what needs to occur is to jack up the porch, remove the columns, replace or rebuild them and properly seat them on ? concrete? poured below the freeze line.
Is it worth it for me to get the jacks myself and get the porch, over time, to where it should be? How do I properly place the jacks? There is a joist I can put the top of the jack on but the steel plate could only be screwed diagonally with 2 screws. I was thinking that the bottom must be supported by a two by four or something to distribute the weight. How long of a board should I use? Should this board be placed perpendicular or parallel to the joist? Is this part of the job insignificant, cost-wise, so as to just pay someone else to do the whole thing? Thoughts? How to proceed?
Also, if I decide it is too tedious to repair and that it makes better sense to tear the porch off and rebuild it, would it be okay to jack it up to at least make it more visually appealing until I can afford to replace it?