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kendoit 05-04-2010 09:40 PM

Replacing Deck Boards on Screened in Porch
1 Attachment(s)
Hi All,

Rookie here. Trying to get some advice on my screened porch deck replacement project that I started this past weekend.

Deck is about 300 square feet and is set on a diagonal with pressure treaded wood. After a lot of splintering over its 7 year lifespan, we have decided to replace with new decking.

My question is concerning the 'coasters' that have been created by the screened in porch being built on top of the existing deck. Should I leave the 'coaster' (IE: sawzall around it and leave it in place) or jack up the porch, remove the full piece and replace with a square piece of 3x3x(5/4) to fit the void left by the removed piece? See attached photo for a picture of what I'm talking about. I suppose another option would be to jack up the post, put in the full length piece, and lower the post back onto the new 'coaster'.

I'm leaning toward just trimming back the former piece on the 5 posts that are holding up the roof and just bring my new piece to the 1/8" mark up to the post. Possibly adding a 1/4" round around the posts for added 'design feature'.

Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Photo below is during demolition of the old deck with my trusty sawzall.

cocobolo 05-04-2010 11:42 PM

Hi kendoit, welcome to the site...

What will you be using for the new floor? Pressure treated wood again? Or did you have something different in mind? If the deck is out of the weather, plywood might be an option...

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "coasters". Is this where the support posts are attached to the present deck?

If you need to support the whole assembly while you remove the whole deck surface, you can do so by sliding the present posts outward until they are clear of the floor. Erect a temporary wall beneath them and when you're done on the floor, slide the posts back in place.

I am assuming that you plan on keeping the existing posts

kendoit 05-05-2010 08:50 AM

More Detail on the Porch boards
Thanks cocobolo....

We are replacing with composite decking. I didn't want to post the name as I didn't want to have it be a discussion on best products to use. But, for the answer, no, we are not using pressure treated again. The porch is directly South facing, so it gets pretty weathered despite being 100% roofed.

The 'coasters' that I described are pretty much what we have with the posts sitting on the decking. It was just a description similar to a bottle sitting on a coaster on a table. I would think that cutting out the shape of the coaster to exactly match the shape of the bottle (again with the analogy of coaster/bottle) would be sufficient.

I will try to include some more pix of the structure. But, this is a porch with a roof on it, shingles, etc. I don' t know that I would be able to kick out the posts without having in come down. These are supporting maybe a 4000 pound roof. I understand what you are saying though, about building a wall to support the weight. I'm just wondering if just leaving the piece currently between the post and the frame of the deck is less risky of an option. I would think I would need to jack up the posts somehow.

And, yes, we would be keeping the existing posts.

12penny 05-05-2010 10:22 AM

kendoit....its allways easier when you can look at it in person, but I think I would lift the posts as well. You dont have to go far. Often a 1/16" is enough to to slide one board out and another in.

kendoit 05-05-2010 12:56 PM

I've been convinced
:thumbsup:Thanks for the feedback. I think I've been officially convinced to do this the right way. I will be raising the posts with a pair of lally columns (adjustable steel columns) on either side of each post and replacing with the full length piece of new composite board. We actually have the columns in storage, so this should work out well.

I'm still open to any safety suggestions or other gotchas that I need to be aware of, if anyone has any input on the topic.

Thanks again guys. I will probably post progress and end result if anyone is interested in checking back (in another week or two).

kwikfishron 05-05-2010 01:59 PM

199 Attachment(s)
What's with the plastic on the joist?

cocobolo 05-05-2010 02:52 PM

Hi kendoit, sorry I'm so late getting back to you again.

A few years back there was an article in fine homebuilding magazine where they needed to replace an old rotted deck and underpinnings in a heritage style house.

They did support the roof somehow (the old grey matter doesn't quite remember exactly how) but you may find a reference to that online...not sure. I seem to recall some long studs from the ground to the underside of the roof at an angle.

I think if you were to build a pony wall about the same height as your present deck surface, with a stud immediately below each post, you would have good support. Add a cross brace or two to the pony wall. You could lift the roof and posts together I imagine, perhaps using a small hydraulic jack which would give you good control.

And as 12penny says, You would only need a tiny amount of lift, just enough to allow movement of the posts. If you are concerned that the posts might suddenly flip out on you, then tie a longer 2 x 4 - or whatever - directly to the post on the pony wall and the post on your deck. It should be fine.

The best way to do the actual lifting is to use your jack right on the ground, with something like a paver, or maybe a piece of 2 x 12 underneath to spread the load. Use a 4 x 4, or doubled 2 x 4's as your jacking wood, and just take the pressure off the posts.

I think you will find that it doesn't take as much as you might think.

Start at one end and move down a post at a time.

Something else you could do would be to insert a thin wedge under each post as you go along the deck, with the fat end of the wedge on the deck side. This might facilitate the actual moving process of the posts themselves in one smooth motion. I would be inclined to get a couple of buddies to help. Just leave the beer in the box until you're done.

Good luck...we're all anxiously awaiting your pix to show us how it went!

kendoit 05-05-2010 04:08 PM

kwikfishron.....its not plastic on the joists. They actually screen the walls and the joists under the deck boards. No bugs here.

cocobolo .....I'll keep those items you pointed out in mind and will probably use some of the suggestions; especially the part about saving the beer to the side until we are done. :)

cocobolo 05-05-2010 06:15 PM


Originally Posted by kendoit (Post 437989)
cocobolo .....I'll keep those items you pointed out in mind and will probably use some of the suggestions; especially the part about saving the beer to the side until we are done. :)

Well, yes, I would think so. After all, that is the most important part! And besides, the work stops as soon as the beer starts! You don't need that!

kendoit 06-08-2010 10:36 PM

Near Completion
2 Attachment(s)
Thank you all for your suggestions and comments on my deck replacement project. I ended up removing the full boards and the project came out great. I'm at about the 96% mark. Just have some minor fixup to gutters and carting off the old wood to the recyclers to close out the project.

And, sorry for taking a bit of time to repost: we managed to squeeze in a beach weekend in there and I only worked about 1-2 hours during the week with my work schedule cramping my completion of this project.

So, I ended up replacing each full board one at a time. When I reached the point of removing the board under the porch post, I split the old board out and the post remained elevated. I did counter-clockwise around the perimeter until the whole deck was complete.

Thank you again for your suggestions. I'm glad I didn't cut any corners and decided to replace the full boards. Deck came out beautifully. Total time spent: about 25 hours.

cocobolo 06-08-2010 10:53 PM

That looks like it came out extremely well. I would say a job well done. Looks terrific!:thumbup:

stadry 06-09-2010 03:20 AM

VERY nicely done,,, next time think ' aspecto-coat ' & save yourself lots of work,,, no financial interest :no:

jworks 01-24-2017 01:34 PM

Re: Replacing Deck Boards on Screened in Porch
Kendoit, I have the same issue. I need to replace a porch board thats under a 6x6 support post that supports the overhanging roof. I have a question. You said:
"When I reached the point of removing the board under the porch post, I split the old board out and the post remained elevated".
I'm not sure what you mean by that "split the old board out".

In my case, I think the posts have nails toe-nailed into the old porch board. I'm not sure what to do here to get the old porch board out. If you can elaborate I'd appreciate it. You could also email me privately at

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