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Old 04-28-2009, 12:26 PM  
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Default Back porch needs assistance

Our covered back porch is about 9'x18'. The stairs down are really worn and some of the railing slats (and maybe floor boards) might have wood rot. I think it has settled a bit too, as it slants slightly away from the house, nothing too major.

We're looking to sell our house soon and I'd like to fix up the porch without tearing it down and rebuilding. It's just not in the budget.

Can we replace portions of our pourch at a time? Can I replace the stair boards without having to relace the entire staircase? Will that be a turn-off to prospective buyers?

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Old 04-28-2009, 12:50 PM  
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You can just replace the stair treads and any other damaged pieces. I would replace all the treads so it looks consistent. Also, I would try and level it and repair any structural damage. Think like a buyer or a home inspector.

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Old 04-28-2009, 02:32 PM  
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If it is an old porch, it may have started life with a slant away from the house. Mostly, they settle because of age or someone enclosed more of it and did nothing for additional structural support. Lumberyards carry the floor boards to replace rotten ones, measure the width and thickness. Be safe, G
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:48 PM  
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If you can't see wood rot on the tops of the boards, you aren't likely going to find it on the bottom of the boards. Water under the boards is going to drip off before it soaks too deeply into the wood. Wood has to be wet for a long time before it starts to rot, and typically that means that water has to be trapped in a crevice it can't drip out of, or is in contact with wet ground for a long time. So, the bottoms of your porch boards and steps will typically be in better condition than the tops.

If you do replace any boards, I'd be inclined to use pressure treated lumber as the replacement. Be aware that the new ACQ (Alkaline Copper Quaternary) pressure treated lumber needs either triple dipped galvanized fasteners or stainless steel fasteners to stand up well in it. Regular galvanized fasteners will corrode quickly in the new pressure treated lumber because of it's very high copper content. Previously, pressure treated lumber was treated with something called CCA (for Chromated Copper Arsenate), but there has been growing pressure to eliminate the arsenic because of mounting evidence that it was leaching out of the pressure treated wood and into the environment. When they removed the arsenic, they found they had to use 4 times as much copper to provide the same level of protection as CCA. Since galvanized fasteners have a zinc coating and the wood pressure treatment is rich in copper, you have something similar to galvanic corrosion happening every time the wood gets wet. So, we now need to use more corrosion resistant fasteners and hardware to stand up on ACQ pressure treated wood.

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