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Greetings all, I am going to replicate an existing porch (see image, couldn't rotate it). The house has another porch which will be demo'd and replaced with the new one. If you wouldn't mind, I'd appreciate some answers about how it was built. I scoured the web looking for videos or info on how it can be done but I'm not finding out what I need.

I've built small block walls, and have poured concrete slabs, I'm comfortable with the skills necessary for the job but had some questions about it's construction. I'm located in central NJ. If you can answer the following questions about the porch or provide a link to a video, it would be greatly appreciated.....

1) The stair treads are Limestone, are they to be laid flush against the risers or should a small amount of mortar be used. I understand the stucco finish will aid in finishing the joint.

2) I believe the inside of the structure would be hollow. What is the recommended fill material? I've heard that some Contractors just crush the original concrete/stone structure, and use it to fill the void. I've also heard sand can be used and/or a combination of whatever is around.

3) The "cap" or landing at the top consists of a poured concrete center, bordered by (3) 4in wide pieces of limestone. This is the main part of the project I don't understand. Is a form used to pour the slab, then after it dries, lay the Limestone, or is the limestone laid, then pour the concrete....I don't understand how you'd be able to screed the concrete without it getting all over the limestone.

4) Where can I get those nice brushed aluminum hand rails, feel free to recommend someone in NJ. Every place I checked only have the black aluminum ones.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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Greetings all, I am going to replicate an existing porch (see image, couldn't rotate it). The house has another porch which will be demo'd and replaced with the new one. If you wouldn't mind, I'd appreciate some answers about how it was built. I scoured the web looking for videos or info on how it can be done but I'm not finding out what I need.

I've built small block walls, and have poured concrete slabs, I'm comfortable with the skills necessary for the job but had some questions about it's construction. I'm located in central NJ. If you can answer the following questions about the porch or provide a link to a video, it would be greatly appreciated.....

1) The stair treads are Limestone, are they to be laid flush against the risers or should a small amount of mortar be used. I understand the stucco finish will aid in finishing the joint.

The tread material is what we call Indiana Bedford, and it looks to be 2.25" thick, which is very common material in this area. The main downside of it is that it is relatively soft in terms of stone, and can wear over time from foot traffic.

2) I believe the inside of the structure would be hollow. What is the recommended fill material? I've heard that some Contractors just crush the original concrete/stone structure, and use it to fill the void. I've also heard sand can be used and/or a combination of whatever is around.

Yes, it would be hollow, more than likely. Any of those options wouod be fine to fill it. As long as the concrete slab bears on the block by 2" inches, and there's a little bit of steel re-enforcement in the slab, it can easily span that short distance if the fill settles.

3) The "cap" or landing at the top consists of a poured concrete center, bordered by (3) 4in wide pieces of limestone. This is the main part of the project I don't understand. Is a form used to pour the slab, then after it dries, lay the Limestone, or is the limestone laid, then pour the concrete....I don't understand how you'd be able to screed the concrete without it getting all over the limestone.

Tape the stone edges or cover it. A palm sander can easily touch up the soft stone as well. If I were building it, I'd set the outside border first and pour the concrete infill after.

On a side note, I'm not too fond of that kind of lay out, especially in our enviroment, as the cold joint between the stone & concrete tends to allow water in over time, leading to seperation.

4) Where can I get those nice brushed aluminum hand rails, feel free to recommend someone in NJ. Every place I checked only have the black aluminum ones.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
The hand rails will likely need to come from a local railing builder or fab/weld shop. They're going to cost multiple times the garbage rainlings you'll find at the big box stores, but they're worth it, as they're built much better.

The only other thing I can add is that I don't lkie embedding hollow tubes into concrete, as water can collect in them & freeze, and crack the stone in your example. Solid stock under the top of concrete/stone is better IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jomama45....the rapid response is much appreciated!

locally here in NJ, the supplier closest to the project (about 2 blocks away) stocks what they called "Limestone". It seems to be the product of choice in the area as I have seen it used on literally hundreds of similar projects in town.

I think I can safely assume that the borders would be used as the "form" for the concrete.

The reinforcement makes sense for the cap, and if the fill is compacted to a couple of inches below the top of the block the concrete should be formed with a lip resting over the edge of the block.

I'm comfortable with that solution, thanks again.
 
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