I have this home - Don Gardner Merrifield (W-G00-235)
which was built in 2000 and we purchased in 2008. I noticed a year or two ago, that one of the covered porch beams (that extend down from the roof to the ground) seemed to be "dangling" - that is not secured to the small concrete pad under it. I paid it no attention. Until last weekend. I got intimate with several of the beams and come to find out, several (there are 10 total - as shown in the diagram) are indeed "hanging" there -- not touching the pad. With shrubs and the porch itself in the way it's hard to confirm each one, but clearly there are more than one that are not supporting any weight. But there are some that do rest on the pads -- in fact the corner two for sure.
Also.. the pads they sit on -- there is a larger concrete pad, about 16" or so in diameter that is about 4 to 6" thick. That pad sits on a smaller pad that is maybe 6 or 8" in diameter. I'm assuming the small "pad" actually extends down below frost line (I'm hoping really). In several cases the larger pad is free floating atop the smaller pad. On those where the beam is not touching the pad -- I could pull that larger pad out if I wanted. In a few cases the smaller pad protrudes through the larger one, and the beam rests more-so on the smaller one. The beams are 6" x 6" rough sawn cedar I believe. They do measure a true 6" vs 5.5". And they sit or "hang" directly onto the larger concrete pad (there is no metal bracket). My 1st concern was beam rot. There is some -- and I need to clear away soil and debris to further prevent. But now my new concern is the issue with 1) the beam not contacting the larger pad, 2) the larger pad just "resting" on the smaller pad and 3) the structural integrity of the smaller pad.
It looks to me like the larger pad was poured atop the smaller one (hopefully a pillar below frost line) because the smaller did not align directly under where the beam was. So they poured the large pad atop the smaller one. Then it seems something has moved -- either the pads downward -- or beams upward such that the beam no longer is in direct contact with the pad. It also seems that the weight of roof, etc is now being transferred to only the few pads where the beam is clearly sitting on the pad.
Those beams support the covered porch. There are floor joists to which painted t&g porch planks are attached. I have some rot in the outside 2x10 that is notched into the beam. There is also an inside 2x10 (or maybe 2x12) that too is notched into the beam. I need to replace the rotted boards, but before doing all that I want to be sure about what to do with the beams and supporting concrete pillars/pads.
Any help very much appreciated. I'll be tearing away some of the the porch decking and floor support, so now is the time for sure to remedy any major structural issues.