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Old 02-24-2013, 10:27 AM   #1
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


Do these porch columns provide any support, other than keeping the soffit from sagging?

The previous owners of my house put up fascia boards without priming / painting the ends. We all know how well that works out. Water got in between where the 2 ends meet, swelled the wood, let more water in, and rotted the fascia boards. The water also rotted a small section of my soffit. The soffits are plywood. I've been working to replace the rotted fascia's and came around to the front porch area. This one has the worst rot out of all of the ones I have replaced.


IMGP4174 by r0ckstarr, on Flickr


IMGP4175 by r0ckstarr, on Flickr

The rotten area is here in the circle. It's the 2 ends of the fascia's and a small section of the soffit underneath.

This section of the soffit is a 4x8 sheet of plywood. I outlined it in this picture here:

IMGP41782 by r0ckstarr, on Flickr

In order for me to remove this sheet of plywood, the column will have to come out. Can I just pop the column out, replace the rotten wood, and put the column back? Does the column offer any kind of support for the roof structure other than holding up the soffit board? Also, I do not see any visible screws or nails on the column, connecting them to the soffit. Are they just slid in place or will their be some form of screw / nail attaching them on the inside of the soffit that I would have access to once I removed that fascia board?

The column will also be replaced. I believe the previous owners didn't prime/paint the bottom of it and rain got to it as well.

IMGP4177 by r0ckstarr, on Flickr

I'm thinking that if I remove just the rotted column, and leave the other in place, I would be fine. But, before I take a chance of making an easy job harder, I wanted to ask to see what others thought.


Last edited by r0ckstarr; 02-24-2013 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:35 AM   #2
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


Most likly there supporting post.
There reason there failing is there in direct contact with the slab.
They can be removed cut off and add the post base that was suppost to be there and replaced.
http://www.strongtie.com/products/co...BA-ABU-ABW.asp
The base can then be covered up with some 1 X 6 vinyl as a base cover and some vinyl base cap moulding.
Why remove the plywood. Just go over it with some vinyl beaded soffit, no more painting.

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Old 02-24-2013, 10:42 AM   #3
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Most likly there supporting post.
There reason there failing is there in direct contact with the slab.
They can be removed cut off and add the post base that was suppost to be there and replaced.
http://www.strongtie.com/products/co...BA-ABU-ABW.asp
The base can then be covered up with some 1 X 6 vinyl as a base cover and some vinyl base cap moulding.
Why remove the plywood. Just go over it with some vinyl beaded soffit, no more painting.
Can I safely remove them one at a time without putting any other support under them?

The plywood has a rotten spot. I would rather just replace the entire sheet of plywood. If I did the vinyl beaded soffits, I would have to do the entire perimeter of the house so that everything matches. This was an idea I had for further up the road, but not right now.

Thanks for the info on the bottom cap! I was ready to get a whole new column.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:46 AM   #4
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


Nope going to have to support and slightly lift to get them out.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:48 AM   #5
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


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Nope going to have to support and slightly lift to get them out.
Thanks. Considering the tight space there, and the fact that the fascia's are coming off as well, how would I support it and where?

Would it be wiser to just cut out the small rotten part of the plywood and replace it with better wood. It's a small section of the plywood that has the rot right under where the 2 fascia's meet.


IMGP4178 by r0ckstarr, on Flickr

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Old 02-25-2013, 08:32 AM   #6
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


If I was replacing the soffit area under your porch I would first cut an access hole to visually inspect what is going on in there. Those posts might not even be supporting anything. Best way to find out is to open it up and look.

Then plan your next move or ask the next question. We are here to help.
Goodluck.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:53 AM   #7
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


Should be able to just go up in the attic to see what's going on.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:04 AM   #8
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


Since it is going to be replaced, open up the soffit adjacent to the columns and see if they are actually structural. If they are, make up a strongback and jack and hold outlookers with a bottle jack that does not leak, then put a temporary post in. Remove and cut off bottom of posts, paint posts and install a metal post chair that is fastened to the concrete pad with a minimum 3/8 red head anchor.


I would miter the ends of the fascia with the angle opposite the sight line, and back screw a flitch plate, or better yet, clad the fascia with matte white aluminum with a drip on the bottom.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:17 AM   #9
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


Looks like there's just not enough over hang on those shingles causing the fashia to rot.
I'd also bet no one took the time to prime and paint the end grain before installing.
I prime or buy preprimed and paint all my trim before installing.
Where those piece but together they also should have been cut at a 45 deg. angle not not just butted.

When you do go to add beaded vinyl soffit for a great look go with the Soffit cove trim for the outside edges.
Gives a nice finished look.
http://www.certainteed.com/resources/cts154.pdf
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:20 AM   #10
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Should be able to just go up in the attic to see what's going on.
There's a wall that separates the soffit area from the attic area. There's only about 6inches on top and 6 on bottom that are open to see through, and at the angle of the roof, it would be impossible to see. I think my best approach is to pull the fascia board off and look inside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roofgroup View Post
If I was replacing the soffit area under your porch I would first cut an access hole to visually inspect what is going on in there. Those posts might not even be supporting anything. Best way to find out is to open it up and look.

Then plan your next move or ask the next question. We are here to help.
Goodluck.
You are absolutely correct. Thank you.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:58 AM   #11
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


If the post are under the soffit plywood---they are unlikely to be load bearing---

If the soffit ply is cut around them --then they may be load bearing----

As others have said----cut a hole and look---see if there is a girder above the post---
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:07 AM   #12
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


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If the post are under the soffit plywood---they are unlikely to be load bearing---

If the soffit ply is cut around them --then they may be load bearing----

As others have said----cut a hole and look---see if there is a girder above the post---
The soffit is not cut around them. It'll be 4 days before I can get back to work on it, so I will find out then. Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:33 AM   #13
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


If they were installed after the soffit ply---you are very likely to be fine removing them---

do check---but if the roof was self supporting long enough for the exterior trim work to be installed--then posts added that are not firmly tied into the framing---the odds are the posts are not structural----- but--do open up the soffit and check-----
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:35 AM   #14
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
If they were installed after the soffit ply---you are very likely to be fine removing them---

do check---but if the roof was self supporting long enough for the exterior trim work to be installed--then posts added that are not firmly tied into the framing---the odds are the posts are not structural----- but--do open up the soffit and check-----
I'll definately check first before removing anything. I also need to order the bases for the bottoms. Thanks again!
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:35 AM   #15
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Do these porch columns provide any support?


not totally sure but it looks as though the beam for the porch/roof goes from outside corner of garage across (over top)where the posts are and then has bearing over by the wall next to front door. ?? the roof rafters could have a knee wall off of the beam to hold them up otherwise what exactly is holding the roof up there across the porch? is that roof line sag in the framing or just incorrectly installed fascia?

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