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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am aware that it doesn't make sense to ask for price estimates here (and I have read the sticky too).

I'd like to hear what others have encountered when having a new open porch put on a 3-flat preferably wood but interested in what was involved if it was done in iron too. A ballpark range in cost would be VERY helpful as well. But any info on the process would be appreciated -- like how long the building was without an usable rear exit.

We have a 3-flat with an open porch and it needs paint and at least one upright 4x4 replaced. It should probably have all of the rails and pickets replaced at some point too. We are wondering if/when it makes sense to get an all new porch made of treated (unpainted) lumber -- i.e., sooner rather than later. But I'd hate to call people out for estimates before we are really committed to having it done.
 

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But I'd hate to call people out for estimates before we are really committed to having it done.
This is where your thinking is wrong. First the only way to get a real price is to talk to people that may actually do the work.

Second, the work that the contractor is doing today he likely had scheduled months ago. The job he's doing today is maybe for someone that first contacted him a year ago (or more).

This time of year when the phone rings I'm praying that they don't want it done until fall or later.

You can't start the planning processes to early and how can you plan anything without real numbers to work with?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This time of year when the phone rings I'm praying that they don't want it done until fall or later.
If you are that busy do you still not mind coming out to look at a job, taking measurements, crunching numbers and all that when the customer might not even want to have the work done at all? I am trying to spare the contractor that trouble.

BTW, I am still asking people who have had similar work done to share their experiences. I am interested in hearing about more than just cost.
 

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If you are that busy do you still not mind coming out to look at a job, taking measurements, crunching numbers and all that when the customer might not even want to have the work done at all? I am trying to spare the contractor that trouble.
Taking measurements and crunching numbers is just part of the job. What you're describing (replace a post and paint a porch) is pretty straight forward and shouldn't require to much time for someone that does this stuff every day to give you a number.

I appreciate the fact that you do not want to potentially waste someones time.

The internet is a great tool to get answers now but that's not the case all of the time and your situation is one of them.

You said you read the sticky, it's there for a reason and that is to help you get pointed in the right direction.

I'll back off now...good luck with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What you're describing (replace a post and paint a porch) is pretty straight forward and shouldn't require to much time for someone that does this stuff every day to give you a number.
Then I wasn't clear with my post. Option #1 is replacing the post and repainting. I know what that will cost. I am thinking that if I add on the replacement of all of the railings (and I know what that will cost) I will be almost half way to Option #2 which is to replace the entire porch.

But replacing the whole porch seems to involve a lot of other issues including some that I don't even know about. One issue for sure is the fact that all apartments will only have one exit for a period of time and I think that is a big safety issue. I am looking for input from others who have had a whole porch torn off and replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's not a 24 foot 4x4 holding up the porches, is it?
The corner and the lookout beams are all 6x6 the other uprights are 4x4. All of them are 8 foot sections.

There are thousands of porches like this in Chicago and the older ones have a butt joint (with nails) joining vertical sections! These days it is all lap joints that are bolted together.
 

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You have a lot more in play here than the porch. Since this involves rental property everything must be done to the latest code and inspected if it is replaced. By local code you may even be required to provide temporary emergency exits during the work.

Here it is even possible that wood would not be approved for a 3 story application of this type.

You need local, professional advice from someone with a license and insurance.
 

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Around 15 to 30k in my neck of the woods. Depending on many factors; condition of existing foundation, roof, the presence of asbestos and lead paint, the size of the property, (can we stage the work area without trespassing on your neighbors or public way) etc....
Do you want wood or composite, railing style, condition of siding, doors? etc, etc. etc........
 

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I had a deck built on the back of my 3 flat back in april of 2014. DY Improvements did an excellent job. They have 2 locations. Orland park il and schererville in (maybe merrillville). I wish i had the number for you. I will look for it, and post it if i can find it. Theyre a smaller company but do quality work. The managed to do my deck and stairs under a difficult situation. There was absolutey no parking at my house here in wrigleyville. It was a week long job and they managed to get it done at ease. They also did several repairs in my neighborhood for others after my neighbors approached them after seeing the quality of work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks all who replied. As a follow-up the estimates we got ranged from $13.6K to $16K. The work will probably happen in the fall and I can post photos if there is any interest.

They all say they start by boarding up the rear doors which was one of my concerns. I thought that any blocking of an exit like that would violate fire codes which would require a vacant building. The time frame is about 2 weeks including pouring new concrete footings for the vertical posts.
 
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