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Trevor

02:47PM | 03/08/05
Member Since: 03/07/05
3 lifetime posts
Bvdecor
I have a 1904 Victorian home with a front porch that sits at one corner of the house. Above the porch is a small balcony. The balcony and a portion of the room behind the balcony form the ceiling of the front porch. Two corners of the porch have columns with the appearance of providing structural support to the balcony. I say "appearance" because both columns rotted through the porch floor. I then discovered that the columns were sitting directly on the floor without any structural support underneath. Before removing the columns I provided some structural support beneath the porch ceiling soffit.

The balcony is covered by tile and I am reluctant to tear it up. However, I am perplexed by what is holding up the porch. At first I believed it was beams extending out from the house as a cantilevered support. I can find no evidence of that. Where the posts were there is only some 3"x 2" framing. Reaching through the hole I can not find any evidence of the floor joists supporting the second story continuing through the porch ceiling either.

Does any one know how a second story balcony, on a home built in 1904, may have been constructed?

Trevor L Bryant

Piffin

03:54PM | 03/08/05
Member Since: 11/06/02
1281 lifetime posts
speaking as one who has done a lot of rort repair on hopuses over a hundred years old, including victorians...

There were fewer standards and codes back then. I have seen all sorts of ways of doing this, most of which worked.

Timbers were generally stronger then also , having been harvested from slower growth trees instead of fasst growth plantations.

I suspect that the floor stringers cantilever to begin with from way back under the room behind the balcony. Another thing is that we can often take a foundation out from under a third of a house without seeing it settle immediately. The sheathing and interior furring and lathe add slightly to a shear wall effect, not engineered to be so, but in practice, often effective.

The only way to be sure, is to remnove all of a portion of the cieling of the lower porch to see exactly how they framed it, and whether it has any rot in that framing too that needs repair. odds are 50/50 that you need to do more there anyway

Excellence is its own reward!


Trevor

07:34PM | 03/08/05
Member Since: 03/07/05
3 lifetime posts
Tomorrow I attack the problem by ripping out the balcony floor. The only sure route to success is through discovery.

Trevor L Bryant

Piffin

04:20PM | 03/09/05
Member Since: 11/06/02
1281 lifetime posts
Why not go at it from the soffit cieling under? It will be far eaasier to replace than a rof membrane and fllor finish.

Excellence is its own reward!


Trevor

08:21AM | 03/10/05
Member Since: 03/07/05
3 lifetime posts
Removing the ceiling would require removing the interior fascia. Also, there is no apparent damage to the ceiling. I am a firm believer in "if it ain't broke don't fix it." The floor, on the other hand, is a wreck, broken tiles and rotted boards. The railings and posts have already been removed and it will be relatively easy to demo the floor. As long as I don't fall off.

Thanks for your interest.

Trevor L Bryant
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