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Old 10-25-2012, 08:39 AM   #1
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Rebuilding Front Porch


I have a typical 60's rancher. The front porch had some cracks and some of the bricks were loose with a few falling off. I contracted with this kid to rebuild the porch with assurances that he knew what he's doing. So far all he'd done is demo, which is fine. He removed the steps and the ugly/faded tile on top, the bricks around the top, and some of the concrete under the tile go get a good rough surface. This porch has a tiny crawl space below and is poured on tin which looks to be in really good shape. About the time he was ready to start framing the top, he developed a very nasty abscess in his right bicep and has not been able to work. He had done a little bit on the framing, using 3/4 ancient plywood and now I'm really concerned that what he's doing will be way too weak. Shouldn't the framing be done with 2x6's and 2x4? So, what I want is the top of the porch repoured with a lip to cover up the stack stone veneer on the intact part of the porch, 3 poured concrete steps, stamped and stained top, stained steps, and place left in each front corner for cinderblock pillars to eventually (next spring) put a cover over the porch.

Any advice asap or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Alisa

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Old 10-25-2012, 09:20 AM   #2
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Rebuilding Front Porch


a photo or two would help in getting useful advise

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Old 10-25-2012, 10:38 AM   #3
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Rebuilding Front Porch


Here are 4 views of the porch as it is right now.

I look at the 1x6 boards he has to hold up the lip and I just don't think they will hold. The lip is supposed to come out far enough to completely cover the stack stone veneer and is supposed to be some where between 2.5" and 3" thick. On each corner, the plan is to put pillars half way with cinder block wrapped with stack stone veneer and then a square or craftsman style column up to the gable roof to cover the porch.

I think my husband and son will be helping him the rest of the weekend. My husband is an engineer and did a good deal of remodeling in our home when he was younger. He has back problems now and just didn't think he was physically able to do it, or he would have already had this done.

Thanks,
Alisa
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:08 PM   #4
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Rebuilding Front Porch


I provided photos, but so far no comments. Just above the line where the old concrete came to is where the concrete is supposed to be poured to. Just please comment if this looks okay so far or should I make him redo it and if so what do I need to tell him to do. I have less and less confidence in this kid as time goes along. He was supposed to have this finished in 10 days. He started working around the first of October and this is as far as he's gotten.

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Alisa
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:27 PM   #5
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Rebuilding Front Porch


Slab needs to be 4" thick, any thiner and it's going to crack, not near strong enough forms.
Time to find a differant mason.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:32 PM   #6
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Rebuilding Front Porch


Apparently you contracted with the "kid" to not only do the construction, but also provide the design for the project, since it sounds like you did not give him any plans to follow, any specifications, cite any code to follow, or any specific guidance. I cannot tell exactly what it is you are looking to do, from your post it sounds like you want to pour a new concrete porch, and maybe the wood that is in place is supposed to be the forms for the concrete.

Regardless, it is probably unfair to expect a "kid" with limited experience and knowledge to be much of an expert on forming and placing concrete, perhaps your husband can supply the expertise. As to what is there, I am unclear exactly what you are trying to do, so it is hard to know whether the "framing" that is in place is going to work.
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:09 PM   #7
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The only reason I went with the "kid" instead of an older contractor is that he swore he knew what he was doing, that he had been working with concrete for 5 years, been to school to learn out to frame and pour concrete, etc... Also, a sob story about a pregnant girlfriend and his last boss telling him that he was moving out of state the next week and his job was gone. He was so enthusiastic about the work and assured me that he knew what he was doing. He used a demo hammer try to remove more of the top, but the closer he got to the house, the harder it was to get up. He ended up roughing up the surface so that the new concrete would have something to hold on to. Some places will be 4" thick, but towards the house and right side of the porch will be closer to 3" as it stands now.

I do believe he's in over his head, and with all the health problems he's had since he started which I think were directly related to an abscess in his arm, I think it's time to cut our losses, ask for receipts for all the material he's purchased and anything he has purchased but hasn't used yet, and then pay him for the work he's done so far and ask one of the other bids to take it over. Really, most of the demo has been fine except for taking the top of the porch down further.

Thanks for your help,
Alisa
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:09 PM   #8
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Rebuilding Front Porch


I think the framing is "close" to strong enough for what you're looking to have done, and would presume his intentions were to beef up the bracing a little more before pouring. I would recommend at least a 3.5" cover & overhang depth at a minimum, but the 1x6 should certainly give you 5.5" of overhang, which is plenty even with thin stone installed.

As for the time frame, the "kid's" medical conditions, and your contract/financial agreement with him, there's little chance anyone here can really be much help when we're only hearing one part of the story.

One more thing, and this is just my opinion, but I having a feeling with the height of the new stoop, putting a roof over that thing is going to look awkward, unless of course it's going to be a large, steep gable facing the street????
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:41 AM   #9
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Rebuilding Front Porch


The plan is not to increase the size of the porch, put pillars at the front corners of the porch. These will be stack stone veneer about half way up and then either square or craftsman style pillars above that. The roof will be gabled with the same pitch as the roof line. This will keep us out of the stand pipes. Any wider (making the porch wider) and we will have to deal with stand pipes which will run into a lot more $$$ than we are able to spend. I really don't know what we could do about the height of the porch, short of extending the length and putting a full step out of the front door before reaching the lowered porch height. The porch was falling apart, bricks fall off and a big crack in the brick steps, so we were forced to do something due to the safety hazard. My dad build this porch back in the late 60's and though it's held up, he put way too much of a slope on it and I think had too much sand in his morter.
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:20 PM   #10
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Rebuilding Front Porch


Wow. This job has big problems written all over it. I did an identical porch earlier this year. Basically theres a concrete "shell" placed over the original masonry. I made mine 8" thick all the way around AND the porch and steps were one continuous pour. Everything was connected.

Because you will have a structural overhang, i drawing of some sort would be best to make sure theres no confusion as to what needs to happen here. Wish i was there to help. It looks like he didnt demo the brick sides? whats with that?

From the pics, the framing will not hold. Iv had forms blow out that were had way more reinforcement then pictured. But im sure that he wasnt finished.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:19 AM   #11
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TruePro, you're too far away to help me. We have not heard from him since a text message Thursday AM saying doctor was going to drain the abscess, but he would be back on the job Thursday after lunch. I tried to call him on Friday and Saturday but got no answer. I do actually know where he lives, but don't want to have to go to there and get his mother involved. At this point, we would like to pay him for the demo he's done, and anything he's bought for the job. I do know he has not bought the veneers yet, nor has he hauled off any of the demoed material as promised. He's bought some 2x4's and some cinder block. As far as the brick on the sides, he was told by the stack stone veneer dealer that he could lay it right over the old brick. However, like I said, my dad built that porch himself back in the late 60's and the big problem with it was that the mortar was too sandy, so I don't know if it will hold the extra weight of the veneers. Anyway, that's why some of the bricks had fallen off the front edge.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:24 PM   #12
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Rebuilding Front Porch


If you pay him anything, it will be out of sympathy. In the real world, he doesnt get paid a dime. He probably needs to be taught a good life lesson here. You made an agreement to do the whole job.

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