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  #1  
Old 01-18-2010, 08:51 PM
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carpenter work critique

Alright guys and gals I'm a rookie at this carpenter stuff and this has been the biggest job to date. I am having to rebuild the porch on the home place and here are the pictures of the first 15 feet. I'm starting on the section that is used the least. Anyway, I'm using two 2x8's as the outer perimeter (porch sill?) part and the actual boards are 5/4x6. I'm only using treated wood. I made sure the outer edge of the porch is lower than the end against the house and so far the hardest part has been putting the columns back into place. As you can see in the pictures the bottoms is gone in some of the columns. My plans are to come up with some kind of base (something easy to replace) for the columns and then cut them off back to good wood. I may even replace the corner post that is shown in the picture.
Any comments/suggestions are appreciated.
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carpenter work critique-1st-section-before-repair.jpg   carpenter work critique-1st-section-during-repair.jpg   carpenter work critique-1st-section-after-repair.jpg  
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:11 PM
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Looks good to me. If you plan to paint the treated lumber you'll need to let it dry out for a few months. What's the point of the blocking between the joist and the front sill piece?
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2010, 09:18 PM
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the first thing that comes to my mind for the bottom of the 'columns' is to cut them back to the same height where solid wood is found. Seal the end grain. Build a square column base from 2 stacked squares of different dimensions (P.T lumber).

Jack the joist up that the columns end on before installing the wood. An automotive jack and a 4x4 will do it easily.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
What's the point of the blocking between the joist and the front sill piece?
To help support and secure the 2x8 joist that spans the 16' spacing. What are some other ways to do it? This way seemed to be pretty secure/stout.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:43 PM
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the first thing that comes to my mind for the bottom of the 'columns' is to cut them back to the same height where solid wood is found. Seal the end grain. Build a square column base from 2 stacked squares of different dimensions (P.T lumber).
That is exactly what I am thinking about doing.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by engatwork View Post
To help support and secure the 2x8 joist that spans the 16' spacing. What are some other ways to do it? This way seemed to be pretty secure/stout.
Any reason not to put a pillow block or two along that span? Two of them would yield a span of just over 5 feet.

I was thinking that some sort of stone pillar under the columns would look good. You could make them low, 6 to 12 inches above the porch and just leave them like that, or make them high, about 26" with a 24" inch wall between them. That way you'd have someplace to put your feet when it's raining and you're on the porch sitting in one of those recliner/swivel chairs firing up a doob.
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:58 AM
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Some sort of aluminum foot that willl allow the bottom of the column to dry will prolong its life considerably. I know such things are available for 4x4's but don't know about something that big.
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:07 PM
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I do realize my idea introduces some new complexity. Bringing a rock pier-post up from the ground under those posts would involve some trickery on supporting the nearby boards. Odd shaped support beams would have to be installed and supported themselves.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:14 PM
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musta been that doob bro
rock on

I did take a look at what would have been required to add some brick onto the existing foundation to bring it above porch level. I would have had to put a shoulder on the brick foundation to support the 2x8's. It was cheaper and faster to do it with the treated lumber. I hope not to have to replace the first joist in all the way around the house.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:39 PM
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The treated should work. Put copper green liberally (politics rears its head) on the end of the post where you cut it.

If you want to do the pedestal effect later, you could mock it in. Depends on how groovy you want it to look.

I looked at photo #2 again and I don't see why you couldn't put at least one pillow block under each of the those wide runs. I would normally run my joists the short way.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
I would normally run my joists the short way.
If you did that in this instance, wouldn't the floor boards run lengthwise playing havoc with rain runoff?
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:00 PM
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Are you leaving any gap between the planks (like a deck) or butting them tight (sort of like tongue and groove)?

Any ventilation in that space underneath or will the wood seal it more/less tight? Any inspection port-type thing?

When I bought my house, the home inspector wouldn't sign off my tiny back porch (maybe 6x6') since he couldn't see up underneath it to look for termites - it was completely boarded up. I'd take photos to show the absence of termite/critter damage while it's opened up.

x3 on trimming the rot off the columns, then a block or two underneath. Maybe one square, then one oversize round, just for interest. Do a search for 'column base' for ideas. If you're cutting a lot, maybe make it symmetrical top and bottom cap/base so you don't have a 6" tall stack of blocks under the column.

I think that code for the steps is that they be in equal increments +/- a fraction of an inch, so that each step is predictable. You may need custom stringers to finish the job right.

Also - galvanized or stainless hardware with the treated lumber, right? Common nails/screws will rust, stain and corrode away.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:15 PM
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Take an ice pick to the bottoms of the columns to see how bad the rot is before you cut them off. West System Epoxy might be your friend here- designed for wooden boat repair, I've used it for all kinds of wood repair projects and last summer for the bottoms of the turned 6x6 porch columns when we fixed the porch.

Check out their info- its pretty hardcore stuff, not inexpensive.

A detail I added after the floor was replaced (T&G D fir, painted top, bottom and sides) was to run a saw underneath the overhang to make a drip and then coated the rounded over ends and the drip with West Systems to seal the end grain before we finished painting the floor.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:18 PM
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I'm using galvanized hardware.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by kerry View Post
If you did that in this instance, wouldn't the floor boards run lengthwise playing havoc with rain runoff?
Believe it or not, I did that mental calculation shortly after posting that bit above. I think I can recall porches done the way I suggest but it does seem that doing it as in the photo above would be better for runoff and maybe longevity. But 16 feet seems a bit wide for the joist span. And I still don't see why it needs to span that length.
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