09:55AM | 04/01/03
Member Since: 09/22/02
4 lifetime posts
I own a home from 1910. The house has a closed front porch that I am looking to fix up this summer. My biggest problem with this project is that the porch has a slant on one corner. I enjoy doing work on my own home and I would like to straighten it out myself. I am not sure where to begin or how big of a job would it be. Is this something that I can do, or should I hired a contractor to do it?


02:24PM | 04/02/03
Member Since: 12/27/02
545 lifetime posts
Not seeing it, it's a tough call, but hey.. you know that.
Typically porches weren't given much support, my 1907 had only a few courses of brick.. so you would most likely need to beef up the foundation.
For that part I would call in a pro, then once it's sound you could tackle the fun part of restoring it.
There is a lot to doing the foundation such as type of soil, loads, connections etc. Mine I had to jack up, and pore a spread footing & stem wall and since it's an earthquake zone then engineered for the steel, and stresses.
Yours may only reqiure piers dependent on the structure and part of the country or zone. A local carpenter will be able to explain more of that process to you for your area.


06:36AM | 04/03/03
Member Since: 09/22/02
4 lifetime posts
Thanks for the information. I know that it is very difficult to give good advice without looking at what I am talking about. So, in an attempt to get additional information regarding my prospective project, let me give you additional information.

My home is located in the state of Minnesota, city of St. Paul. Thankfully, I don't need to worry about earthquakes, all I need to worry about are Tornados.

The home faces the south. I have a three season porch (10' x 7') that leans to the southwest and only on one corner. From what I can see underneath the porch, the porch does not sit on a foundation, it looks like it is sitting on 5 piers.

I have been told by other people the have seen it (not professionals), that it looks like I could just jack up that southwest corner and level it on a pier.

I need to know if; 1. Would this be a big job? 2. Is this something that I can do or should I get a professional to do it? 3. What type of jack would I need to use? 4. What would be the best type of material to use for the pier? and 5. When I level the porch, will this cause damage to the roof and/or windows that I may need to wory about?

Thank you in advance for any advice that you might be able to provide.

Mark Hammond

02:09PM | 04/04/03
Member Since: 05/09/01
246 lifetime posts
I just read your letter and can suggest some things. Under the circumstances I would suggest, as did altereagle, that you get rid of the existing piers and pour new footings where they now rest. You will need to know how deep to pour these footings in your area so that the frost will not push them up and ruin the job. Your local building dept. can help with that info. but I would guess they will have to be at least 4' deep. They do not have to be much more in diameter than the size of the new wooden posts that should be installed to replace the piers. I would use 4x4 or 4x6 posts of pressure treated stock for the posts. You can also use post ties feet to keep the posts from direct contact with the footings where they might absorb moisture. They can be nailed at the tops with galvanized nails.
All this will take place after you have done the jacking. Use a screw type house jack to do this. They can be rented if you don't own one for pretty short money. Once you bring the jack up to contact with the bottom of the porch I would turn them one turn per day until they bring the porch back into place. This should be slow enough to avoid any damage or pull things loose. Don't go any further that you have to. The jack should be placed on a secure footing, (I use a piece of 3/4" plywood), about 2 feet square layed flat on the ground beneath the jacking point. Try and replace one pier at a time so you don't get any sag. The jack can also be used to hold up the other areas near the other piers without actually lifting them. Hope this helps...MJH

Mark Hammond

02:19PM | 04/04/03
Member Since: 05/09/01
246 lifetime posts


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