Stone front porch

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by bethany14, Oct 9, 2006.

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  1. Oct 28, 2006 #21

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    Hi Bethany:
    Since 8" is the maximum standard height for a step I think you should make the floor even with the top of the foundation. You could either lay blocks to support the back edge of the floor OR you could break openings into the existing foundation and let it support the floor.
    Glenn
     
  2. Oct 28, 2006 #22

    bethany14

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    I think I like the idea of breaking openings in the existing foundation, rather than trying to parallel it with a new wall. I'll have to research it though, as I have no concept of how that would be done.
    I worry about making the floor even with the foundation...in my internet research adventures (sacred text of DIY fools like myself) some folks recommend a drop to prevent potential driven rain and snow loads from seeping above the foundation. That makes sense to me, but I don't know if it's a legitimate concern or not, as I'm about as green as rookies get :)
    It's 10" from the threshold to the top of the foundation. (threshold is built up 2" because I didn't want to cut into floor joists to make the new sill, now I know better and would have gone ahead and done just that) If I build up within 8" of the top of the foundation, then pour a 4" floor, that should leave me around 14" up to the threshold (2 steps?) , and 4" clear of the foundation. I think.

    Oh, and what do you folks think of the "Carderock Drywall" stones? The quarry is <30mi away, and they're $55/ton.
    http://www.carderock.com/pallets.pdf
    They charge $20/ton for delivery, and if I figured correctly, I think we'll need about 14 tons. (I need to double & triple check that, it sounds like an absurd amount)
     
  3. Oct 28, 2006 #23

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    Hi Bethany:
    The stone looks great! And not a bad price, either.
    Yes, you should drop the floor down 2-4 inches and use 2 steps. If the existing foundation wall is concrete or cinder blocks you simply take a hammer and beat out the space between the webs of the blocks. It takes a whole lot of beating but it will eventually disintegrate and fall into the foundation. One hole each 24" or every second block (32") will be sufficient.
    I think I would order 5 tons or maybe 7 tons and see what I needed after I layed those. If you over-order they might want $20 per ton to return them.
    Glenn
     
  4. Oct 28, 2006 #24

    bethany14

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    Excellent! You're the best, Glenn.
    I do have those 2 windows down there, we were planning to fill them anyway being that they're under a porch.
    So much to learn...I'm off to galavant the web :)
     
  5. Jan 24, 2007 #25

    wesley8808

    wesley8808

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    Do you have an update? I am actually doing a deck and plan to stone veneer the sides and add columns in the corner to connect the railings to make it appear more like a patio.

    I am using stone tiles as the decking (www.stonedeckeast.com and www.stonedeckwest.com for better pictures) They are a local Md company (here in the Baltimore area).

    Thanks.
     
  6. Jan 24, 2007 #26

    bethany14

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    No update yet, my friend. I'm waiting on spring, and a few other household tasks. I like your stone tiles, though I'm leaning toward a less 'together' look. I'd like flagstones for flooring, I think they'll lend a rustic look to our simple idea.
    Please do let me know how it goes, mixing wood & stone. I'm planning to build with stone & mortar, no trees. Are you worried about the floor outliving the floor supports?
     
  7. Jan 26, 2007 #27

    wesley8808

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    I am just north of Baltimore myself and also waiting for the weather to soften. Although, had I known it would have been this mild I would have done it in Nov and Dec.

    I am not too worried about the life, the supports (joists and beams) are the same as any other deck (PT lumber) and the tiles are laid to self drain like an ordinary deck. And if I am still here and have to replace the supports, I can always reuse the tiles.
     
  8. Jan 26, 2007 #28

    bethany14

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    That's true, those tiles will last forever! I'll be sure to post on here when I get going on my porch, and you be sure to do the same!
     
  9. Mar 19, 2007 #29

    bethany14

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    Well, I spoke to permitting and found out it's just decks that need to be 'free standing', but not porches! Great news for me, but I still wonder what the heck the difference is between a deck and a porch:confused:

    As of now, the plan is to dig a trench around the perimeter and fill to just below grade with concrete--but I'd like an alternative to 100% poured concrete. Should the foundation be straight concrete, or can I drop in some concrete rubble? We have some sidewalk leftovers we can use, we're into reusing as much as we can here :D I imagine it can be done, but at some ratio of rubble to poured. Any ideas?

    I'm still planning to build with the Caderocks I mentioned before, and I'd like to toss in old bricks randomly (like the pic in an earlier post) and use old bricks to 'cap' the walls and pillars. There will be 4 pillars on the front (south facing) and 3 pillars on the side (east facing) with wood rails set in the pillars. The front 4 pillars will support wood posts notched at top for beam parallel to the front of the house. This and a ledger board on the house itself will support the floor joists of the upper deck. The upper deck will have a slant of 4" over 11'. And we'll be able to access it from our upstairs, my favorite part :D

    I'm still unsure of how to fill in our basement windows. I think I can lay bricks inside them.

    Here's a rough sketch:

    http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g145/killchar2/StonePorchEastView.jpg
     
  10. Mar 20, 2007 #30

    bethany14

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    I just came across an alternative to concrete foundations called "Frost Protected Shallow Foundations" (FPSF) info here: http://www.toolbase.org/TechInventory/techDetails.aspx?ContentDetailID=713

    Apparently, it costs less, is easier to install, and uses geothermal heat to maintain a frost-free foundation. However, the rigid foam insulation forms are susceptible to termites...which are a concern here in Maryland.

    Any thoughts?
     
  11. Mar 21, 2007 #31

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    Hi Bethany:
    To me, the difference in a deck and porch is the roof on the latter.
    Yes, fill the basement windows with concrete brick or some old bricks you may have around.
    The shallow foundation sounds good to me.
    The 2 steps 7" tall will work real well; be sure they have approx. 12" treads.
    Have the whole house treated for termites, emphasizing the shallow foundation. You are doing well.
    Glenn
     
  12. May 5, 2007 #32

    bethany14

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    Argh. The stinkin county won't allow the FPSF!
    They have code amendments that address it, but for a heated space. So, I asked the engineer if I ran PEX (radiant heat) in the porch floor if that would cut it. I got a big fat no. As a matter of fact, in the 30 minute conversation I had with him, he kept saying no, no, no, absolutely not. I started to feel like he wasn't even listening to me...then he says, "What is FPSF anyway?" When I called him, the FIRST thing I said was, "Are you familiar with FPSF?" He was a jerk to act like he knew what I was talking about when he had no clue. How RUDE.

    On the low end of the yard the shallow foundation will only save me 14" of digging & materials, but on the higher end it'll save me 2'! Since it's just me and a shovel (can't get heavy equipment up here) I'd REALLY like to go the shallow route.
    Anyone know how to update local codes?
    Flaming bags of poo at his front door probably isn't the way to go...right?
     
  13. May 5, 2007 #33

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    Sorry Bethany:
    They have their codes and for whatever reason, they'll hang on to them untill you and I die. "We can't beat city hall".
    Glenn
     

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