Fixing a Rotted Deck and Columns on the Porch

Carpenters replace a rotted deck, and a rotted porch column is reconstructed with concrete.

Clip Summary

Bob checks out the deck of the porch that had deteriorated to the point that it was a dangerous place for kids to play. The homeowner Ricardo and his brother Rolando Monzon did some demolition work and found rotted and insect-damaged joists. The wooden posts inside a stucco column had also rotted away. To fix this, a masonry base is constructed and the stucco column is filled with concrete through a hole cut in at the top. Steve Nott from Steve Nott and Son Carpentry works on the porch framing. Nott reviews some of the work he has done on the project, including replacing the ledger board and strengthening the porch support overall. With the deck frame set up, mason Kevin Latham shows the reconstruction of the stucco column.

Well it wasn't just the ceiling of the porch that needed saving. The deck was in even worse shape, with rotted structural members, making it a dangerous place for the kids to play.

Our homeowner Ricardo and his brother Ronaldo did some investigative demolitions to see just how bad it was and they found completely rotted and insect damaged joists. Worst of all , we discovered that the wooden post that once supported this stucco column had fallen victim to the insects also.

Completely hollow . It was gone. These columns are pretty unique so rather than cut this open and try to get a new post in we got a great suggestion from Nick Beasley, preservation carpenter whose project we just finished on the show a couple weeks ago, to fill the columns with concrete.

That, and the rebuilding of the deck took some close cooperation between the carpenter and the mason. Steve Knott has been doing carpentry right here in Melrose for many years. He's got a great understanding of these old houses. And he's restoring and living in one himself right here in the neighborhood. At this end I'm working at now we're doing a couple of toe nails just to hold it in place.

Then, I'm gonna put some joist hangers down underneath so that it'll actually help support the beam area here, which is code.

At this end we're going to do some face nails from the outside and that'll hold everything in a nice straight line.

Standard galvanized joist hangers, these actually go in two ways.
One, they have a special small hanger nail.

So, once you put this up underneath the joist you tap in a small nailer at the top.

Well, when we did the demo here we found that on this end we only had a piece of two by three which served as a ledger board for the decking to be nailed to.
one of the things we also found, there was not much exposure beyond the stucco itself , which restricted the amount of nailing that we could do and some of it is actually a little crack from the original nailing. So rather than rely on that, we also going to put another two by ten pressure treated up against this, and from being the outside ledger board, rim joist so that we have the same strength going all the way through the deck.

At this end, we won't be using the standard joist hanger as we were before, because on the back side there's no place to nail that joist hanger to, so instead we'll go the old fashion route, which is toe nailing into the beam down here, and then the additional stability will come from nailing into the original two by three ledger. For strength, you really want a minimum of four nails down here when you're toe-nailing into the beam. And then we put one every sixteen inches into the original ledger.

With the frame set up for him, Kevin Latham made quick work with the base of the column with just concrete, brick and mortar.

Then he cut a hole near the top and filled in with a fairly wet mix to be sure the concrete bonds with the lath and the wire mesh of the existing stucco.

There you go.