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Old 06-08-2018, 10:05 AM   #1
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Replacing posts on a porch


There is a concrete apron about 4 feet deep and 20 feet across in front of my house. Then a 3 foot planting area and then a concrete walk to the garage on the side of the house. There are three posts (4x4) supporting the porch roof. The roof appears to be cantilevered off the house second story floor joists. All the concrete will be removed and replaced with pavers including the planting area described.

The first photo shows the current apron/porch area with three posts. I want to remove the leftmost post altogether and just keep the two on either side of the entrance path. About 2/3 of the base of the posts is sitting on the apron and the rest is simply hanging over the edge. The rightmost post is actually swinging in the breeze as shown in the second picture.

The top of the posts are held in place by 2 nails through the fascia and not attached to the 1x6 that appears to be the only header like part of the structure as shown in the next two pictures, front and back respectively. This obviously provides little in the way of major structural support.

The goal is to put a header composed of two pressure treated 2x6 or 2x8 for the 16 foot span from the end of the porch at the house to the new left post and another covering the 4 foot span between the posts. The middle post in the picture will be moved to the right to make the 4 foot opening between the new posts. This is probably overkill but better safe than sorry.

The porch ends at the garage wall and the cleanest way is to simply use a joist hanger BUT, The front fascia is covered in an aluminum sheath and the actual wood underneath is scalloped and just decorative. It is also covered by the rain gutter which complicates things. An alternative method is to put a third post against the house to support that end of the roof. That is what I am considering unless there is a technique I am unaware of so suggestions are welcome.

The other question is how to attach the new exposed header to the existing 1x6 currently acting as the header for the existing posts, and the new posts to the new header without showing any brackets if possible. I intend to paint the new header and the posts will either be wood and painted or composite if they can be trimmed to size.

All suggestions are welcome.
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Replacing posts on a porch-img_20180608_092030.jpg   Replacing posts on a porch-img_20180608_092144.jpg   Replacing posts on a porch-img_20180608_092119.jpg   Replacing posts on a porch-img_20180608_092131.jpg  
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:20 AM   #2
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Re: Replacing posts on a porch


The posts seem to be set on top of the slab with no footings. In many places, that's against code. I would correct that when you install the header.
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:10 PM   #3
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Re: Replacing posts on a porch


If that is truly Cantilevered, those posts are decorative, and support nothing.

You might can remove them, but consult a structure engineer first.

If you want to keep them, build a proper footing, use sono-tubes , and dig deep, then replace the posts, and lay your flagging over the footings.


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Old 06-08-2018, 04:59 PM   #4
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Re: Replacing posts on a porch


I have had three outfits in to look at the posts and all agree it looks like it is cantilevered but without ripping it apart there is no way to be 100% sure. The reason they all think this is because the second story floor joists extend roughly two feet over the bearing wall of the first story and into the overhang. If you look closely at the right side of the first picture you can see this. Also, where the roof rests on the post in the 4th picture the original wood soffit was pried back enough to get a glimpse above the 1x6 that's acting like a header and there is nothing above that except the roof joists. The conclusion is the support for the porch roof are the second story floor joists.

As for not being in code, if that were the case then this entire development of 50 or more homes would be in violation because they are all the same.

If anyone can offer suggestions to my original two questions it would be helpful.
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:11 PM   #5
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Re: Replacing posts on a porch


The cantilever can only be 1/4 the length of the joist.
So you have to prove the joist is continuous and extend to an interior bearing wall 3 times the width to the outside ends of the rafters.
Skirt roofs up to about 2 ft are just nailed to the wall and will hold a lot of weight and you could have that effect holding this up, that's not to say you could trust it to continue holding all the weight with the posts removed.
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:11 PM   #6
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Re: Replacing posts on a porch


Quote:
The conclusion is the support for the porch roof are the second story floor joists.
That's too big of a bet for me.


Quote:
As for not being in code, if that were the case then this entire development of 50 or more homes would be in violation because they are all the same.
You only care about your home not theirs.
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:20 PM   #7
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Re: Replacing posts on a porch


I have added another photo that helps explain why they all think it's cantilevered. As you can see, the second story is supported deep into the porch roof.
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:28 PM   #8
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Re: Replacing posts on a porch


The extra pic is helpful. However, I still don't understand why someone would add posts as decoration. Posts are not decorative no matter what, IMO.
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Old 06-08-2018, 05:34 PM   #9
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Re: Replacing posts on a porch


You need to get in the ceiling. That looks like a skirt added to the cantilever if that is the case and engineer should look at it.
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:46 PM   #10
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Re: Replacing posts on a porch


The permitting office is supposed to have copies of the plans for all buildings, Search there for detailed plans for your house, and see what it is supposed to be.

Hopefully the builder did not change structure without notifying the permit office.



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