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mfdcfrank
Fix, or demo and Replace. Stucco wall

situation: Best friend is 71 yo, still working, want's to retire, sell current home, and move in with sister, who is 78 yo. House is 3 bed. bungalow, 940 sft, 3 bed, 1 bath, slab, carport. Nothing special, except front porch. 40+ years ago, then homeowner covered and built front and one side (carport) with stucco and added stucco two arched wall, 6.5' in front of house, with side arches attached to front wall of house. Roof was corrugated fiberglass sheets. Current homeowner buys house 35+ years ago. Ten years ago, has side walk under roof removed and porch concrete slab floor installed.

Problem: St. Louis, Missouri experience heavy freeze/thaw cycles. Piers have failed under all three support columns causing frost heave that has cracked the concrete slab and pulled the top of the arches attached to house about 1" from house wall. Top of wall is attached to house with seven 4x4" that were replaced five years ago and are secured. Stucco wall is approx. 18-2000 lbs. without any real live load. Concrete slab has been removed. Opened the base of one of the columns, 4x4" wooden internal support (wrapped in concrete and stucco) is termite damaged at least half way up column. speed-bump.

Planned solution: Was going to support and lift wall under the two arches with four house jacks, demo/replace existing piers and secure posts to new piers. Would then try and draw side arches back to house wall.

Question: Should I open one side of column and try to replace 4x4"s as needed, or fill void with concrete (this would add additional weight), and do I do this prior to pier replacement? or other suggestions? Or demo whole thing and start over? (Of course the demo and start over would be easier, but more expensive. Note: my labor is free on this project, ouch!)

Thanks in advance for any help.

A. Spruce
Re: Fix, or demo and Replace. Stucco wall

I would not recommend any cosmetic "fixes", these will only come back to bite the owner in the butt when they fail in the next freeze/thaw cycle.

1 - The termite damage has to go, so you will have to demo whatever amount is necessary to replace the posts.
2 - Frost heave is likely what caused the whole thing to pull away from the house. Set the post footings below the frost line and in accordance to local code in how they are constructed.
3 - Because heave is likely what caused the whole thing to pull away from the house, lowering it slightly will likely help pull it back together. Here you can either choose to leave it as is and repair the crack, or peel off all the stucco and make sure the framing is secured properly, leveling the entire structure in the process.

Without an on site visit, we can't see the extent of the damage to know just how deeply you've got to go to correct it properly. With money being a concern, it might be cheaper just to demo the whole lot and NOT have a car port, let the next owner figure something out.

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