replacing a porch post


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Old 04-07-04, 03:52 PM
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replacing a porch post

I had my sagging/cracking porch repoured. It now has a good base of compacted rock beneath the concrete. My existing post (a 3.5"x5.5" rectangular post made of wood, cedar I think with at least two coats of thick paint) was removed. The contractors did not brace up the overhang since they said it was not a load bearing post and the rafters supported the weight.

Now I would like to replace the post. Oddly, the only posts sold by the home centers are 5" squares or 8" rounds. My old post fit into a groove of a 5" horizontal beam that is clad in aluminum under an aluminum soffit of my porch overhang.

I would like to replace the rectangular post with a round column (wood or aluminum).

Where do I begin? The 8" one seems to be the best choice (tho the 8' height will need to be shortened to just under 7'). How to I attach to a beam that is narrower in diameter? How to I avoid getting bugs, birds and rodents from entering the hollow posts where it meets (or in this case does NOT) the horizontal beam?


HELP!!!!! Yet another 1/2 day project turning into a headache.
 
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Old 04-07-04, 03:55 PM
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aluminum or wood? round or square? old (refinished) or new? any plastic rounds that are affordable?

I need detailed instructions on how to install. Very detailed. I have never done this before. There is no bracket or plinth on the crete. I'm talking, do I need a jack, a plumb-bob, a level, what?!


 
  #3  
Old 04-13-04, 02:55 PM
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bumping this up...I hope...
 
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Old 04-26-04, 07:17 AM
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bumping this up...I hope...
 
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Old 04-28-04, 07:00 AM
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still looking for suggestions
 
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Old 06-14-04, 01:35 PM
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bumpity bump bump up to the top. I need help.
 
  #7  
Old 06-14-04, 05:23 PM
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uh-oh-oh1,

Wait a minute -- you've got a 4X6 post. You would have to post a picture or invite me over to look at it to correct me, but a post like that was placed there because it IS load bearing. I'll take issue with your contractors -- rafters, don't support anything but the roof above them. From there, the rafters need support -- that's why this post is there.
 
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Old 06-15-04, 05:07 AM
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I'll measure it again. They took out the post and it's been that way for months now. The house is boxcar style - shaped like an L. The garage intersects with the house (long boxcar run). There is a gable at the front of the house. Just above the windows is slight roof overhang to divert water and this extends over to the doorway (between the windows and garage). There is a beam (I was told decorative when I questioned load bearing). The post I had was mortised into this. Our home inspector once told my spouse that if we ever wanted to remodel, we could remove any interior wall, bc the home was built in such a way that the rafters in the attic supported all the weight of the house (this seemed unusual to me).

Does that help explain things better? I don't know how to post a picture without directing you with a link to a personal website. Can I upload a picture to webspace on this address? Please advise.
 
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Old 06-15-04, 07:26 AM
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Put the photos on a personal website (Yahoo!, Photobucket, etc.) and post the URL to that site here.

It's possible that your house was built with trusses which don't rely on any interior walls for support.
 
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Old 06-16-04, 06:41 PM
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http://home.earthlink.net/~uh-oh-oh1/post.htm

I'd have to check my home inspection report to verify that question about the trusses, but that sounds right if that means the way the attic/roof is constructed.

I want to replace this post with a column for aestethic reasons. I was told it is not load bearing.
 
  #11  
Old 06-16-04, 06:45 PM
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A "4X6" is actually dressed to 3.5" X 5.5".
Just get a pressure-treated 4X6X8'.
BTW, I agree with lefty. That post is load-bearing, unless the roof is cantilevered, which I very highly doubt.
Good luck!
Mike
 
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Old 06-17-04, 03:20 AM
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did you see the photos above? is this cantalivered?
 
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Old 06-18-04, 09:21 AM
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bumpity bump bump
 
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Old 06-22-04, 11:25 AM
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bump - see photos above
 
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Old 06-23-04, 04:11 AM
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uh-oh-oh1,

The post needs to be there for support. Use a 4X6 as the new post. If you can't find one at a home center, go to a lumberyard.
 
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Old 06-23-04, 07:49 AM
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okay, so the consensus seems to be that this post is necessary for support.
Back to my original question:

I would like to replace the rectangular post with a round column (wood or aluminum). Can I use the HOLLOW ALUMINUM POST?

Where do I begin? The 8" one seems to be the best choice (tho the 8' height will need to be shortened to just under 7'). How to I attach to a beam that is narrower in diameter? How to I avoid getting bugs, birds and rodents from entering the hollow posts where it meets (or in this case does NOT) the horizontal beam?

Sorry for bumping this, but the home centers only sell - no advice.
 
  #17  
Old 06-23-04, 10:46 AM
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You would have to make sure the hollow post can support the load that the original post was intended to bear.

From the looks of that, the support area appears to be about 3ftx1ft hard to tell from the picture, then whatever the designated load on the roof is supposed to support x that area.

I'd say a very rough estimate that you'd be safe with is a post that can support a 300 lb load. I'd run it by a structural guy just to be safe.

Get a small section of 4x6 to put in the notched out area, and somehow fit your new post into that(possibly trimming out part of the 4x6), and brace it on the bottom and you should be fine. Connecting the hollow aluminum post to the 4x6 might take some creativity, depending on how much you want it to show. Probably can drill through the aluminum into the wood with screws easily.

Keeping birds and rodents out; screen caulk, or whatever you have handy, again, it's hard to say without actually seeing what the column looks like. Maybe cut part of a wood block out to put in near the top?
 
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Old 07-14-04, 03:24 AM
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hmmmm...never considered wrapping the original post to make it more aesthetically pleasing. I might have to investigate this option. Thanks!
 
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Old 07-23-04, 05:22 AM
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went to the home center and they said this was not doable. ~sigh~

I'm ready to give up, strip the years of old paint off the old 4x6, sand it, repaint it and reinstall.

Advice on how to do this? Jack up overhang? Toenail the post to beam? Do I need a plinth (didn't have one before)?
 
  #20  
Old 07-23-04, 08:24 AM
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I (think) I have seen the type of round post that you're talking about. (aluminum, round, got...kinda like....grooves running vertically). I'm pretty sure they make those that wrap around(come in 2 pieces) dimensional lumber, therefore would not end up hollow and in need of pest control. If you went to a big box store don't expect alot out of 'em. No offense intended for anyone that works there, but with 1000 or more customers a day, they don't have alot of time to give you the attention you deserve, not to mention...(and I know I'm gonna take a good lashing on this one)....but alot, NOT ALL, of the people working there wouldn't know a 2x4 from a sheet of plywood, and certainly lack the knowledge on how to use either correctly.
 
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Old 07-25-04, 08:31 PM
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Dammit, i wrote a nice reply and lost it when i hit "Enter" !! Oh well, here i go again...(This time i'll "Copy" before i enter the post)

I'm not a contractor but i think this would work (It's what i would do if i was in the same situation.) I'd pick up a 3" adjustable steel lolly column and a decorative 8" cast column. You can simply cut the cast column to fit using a skill saw (Cut from the bottom) but you'll need to cut a lil' more to gain access to the adjustable steel column. Place the steel column in place and plumb it, make your markings and remove. Sleeve the steel lolly column with the decorative column and slide your upper and lower boots over the decorative column. Use tape to hold the boots out of your way and put the whole thing in place. Chock the bottom of the decorative column to gain access to the adjuster on the lolly column. Line the lolly column to your marks and adjust it to fit tight. Then remove the chock and lower the decorative column. Use some sort of bracing to hold the bottom of the decorative column in place but make sure the lower boot will cover it. Lower the boot, toe-nail it to the column then work on the top of the decorative column in the same manner.

It may not be what others would do but thats what comes to mind. It's something i would do if in the same situation.
 
 

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