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Old 06-27-2017, 06:39 PM   #1
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Second Story Porch Support Question


I have a first and second story porch that has an "L" shaped support on each corner made out of 2x4s and 1x boards. Hopefully the picture is clear enough. Somewhere along the line, someone sided them, along with the house, with Dutch lap vinyl siding. If they would have at least went with the narrow clapboard look, I could consider painting it. It must have been beautiful in its day and it would be great to return it to its former glory, but that's impractical for various reasons and it's going to be the vinyl for the at least some of the future. So, while I'm doing some work on the porches, I want to take off the clapboard and redo the vinyl so that it is at least close to on the same plane as the wood trim. It really looked stupid sticking out past the trim. I like the trim details and want to keep it.

My question is: Is there anything to be gained by making the supports more rigid by replacing the 1x boards with OSB or some other sheet material, at least on a couple of sides? The attic extends all the way out over the porch and the attic joists above the porch extend back into the attic far (16 ft.?) like a cantilever. The 2x4s on the outside edge of the supports extend the entire length from attic to bottom porch. So I'm thinking that it's more that second story porch is suspended between the top and bottom rather than the whole thing being supported by the "L" shaped structure. That makes me think it's probably not necessary. Still, on the lower level, the front edge is tipped out toward the top 1/8'' per 4' and on the upper level, the bottom is tipped out by the same amount. So, something has moved, it seems. Does anyone have experience with this or just thoughts and opinions? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:14 PM   #2
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Re: Second Story Porch Support Question


If it was build today the post would be something like a 6 x 6 holding everything up and everything that you see is just decoration.
It looks like you have an opening at the bottom, what you have inside there should be very close to what you have in the upper one.
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:30 PM   #3
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Re: Second Story Porch Support Question


Thanks for the reply. If it was built today, it would certainly be built very differently, as you say. I might not have been clear. Since sheet materials like plywood weren't commercially available when the house was built and box-like shapes built with sheet materials are much less susceptible to racking than those built like this one, is there any significant structural advantage in rebuilding some or all of the surfaces with a sheet material, such as OSB? Or, since the roof of the upper porch also serves as attic floor and the attic joists run back into the house by (I think) 16 feet (forming essentially a cantilever) is there no point in doing that, from a structural standpoint? I'm thinking about the supports racking and the second story porch potentially pulling away from the house or really heavy winds, etc. Thanks.
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:04 AM   #4
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Re: Second Story Porch Support Question


If you are replacing siding or working on it, it would be good time to get in and inspect the bottom of both the upper and lower, Proving things are solid and safe is a good idea.
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