Screened in porch footers

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Old 10-25-14, 06:21 PM
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Question Screened in porch footers

Hi everyone,

I'm building a screened in porch and started digging my footers today. While digging I realized that my house has French drains that go all around my house (about 6 inches deep). Unfortunately I need three support posts to go up against the house, but the French drain is in the way of the footer. Other than dig up and moving the entire French drain, is there any way to build a footer on top or around a French drain? Thanks so much for any ideas or suggestions!

Scott
 
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Old 10-25-14, 06:33 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Why do you need support posts against the house? Can you not tie in a ledger to the house, similar to a deck and build the porch from there? Yes, you don't want to mess with a french drain system.
 
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Old 10-26-14, 05:47 AM
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Hey! Thanks for the quick reply. I could tie the deck into the house, but it seems like I need something more substantial to hold the weight of the roof. I guess I could just move the beams a foot off the house and then tie the deck to the house. Hopefully the inspector is cool with me changing that in the plans.

Also, I accidentally cut a small (dime sized) hole in the French drain while I was digging, and also ripped some landscaping fabric surrounding it. Do I need to repair the French drain before I bury it again? I've never messed with a French drain before so I appreciate the help!

Scott
 
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Old 10-26-14, 03:36 PM
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Have you gotten zoning and building permits for your construction? You mentioned an inspector so I hope so.

I'm a bit confused. You mentioned "footer" and then say "posts". What type of construction are you doing?

You've already hit the French drain. If you dig further (as needed) you will probably hit the footer. So, there is a reason you do not set posts right next to the house. The solution generally is to not set posts right next to the house. You either support the deck or screened porch from the existing structure or you move far enough away to avoid the existing foundation and drainage system and cantilever to bridge the distance. The other option is to excavate, pour footers and build foundation walls for your addition.
 
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Old 10-27-14, 04:40 AM
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Your roof will bear on the outer wall anyway, so there should be minimal weight on the house end, should you decide to attach it to the house. What dimensions are you planning on this porch?
 
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Old 10-27-14, 07:31 AM
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Yes, I had a setback survey, and got a permit for the job. I just dug my footers, so I can also ask the inspector when he comes... Im just trying to get ahead to make things go smoothly.

I apologize for any confusion - Im a construction newbie, so I may not be using terms correctly. I'll try to explain again (hopefully more clearly). My design is to dig footers at all corners of the deck (and midpoints too), then to attach vertical 4x6 posts to the footers to support the weight of the deck and roof.

It sounds like I can't have the footers near the house because of the french drain. I think the alternative is to just use a ledger board to attach the porch directly to the house, but I just want to make sure that the ledger method is strong enough to also support the roof. I should note that this is a small (10'x10') porch.

Is it a bad idea to use a ledger board, then to also have a footer (and vertical post) about 2 ft off the house to avoid the french drain and help support the roof weight?

I could also attach the roof support directly to the house wall, but the walls are not currently load bearing at that location, so I would have to build up support to make that work.

I really appreciate everyone's patience and suggestions...

Cheers,
Scott
 
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