Planning for spring/summer redo of 1890's porch
needs a bit of TLC. I noted this summer that one post seemed to have moved a lot in just a couple of months, so I tore into it and discovered rot and ants had really affected it Interestingly it was ants & rot on the column itself and not under the porch floor. The T&G flooring sandwiched between was not affected other than age. Nor did there seem to be problems with the foundation. This pix was taken from inside:
So I proceeded to repair the column. I removed the railing and cut out the bad wood from the post. I removed the T&G under the column and stripped them and used wood hardener and epoxy to touch up many nail holes and dents from years of weight from the post, and repainted and reinstalled them. I stuck PT 2x4 up the inside of the column and completed the column and pedestal.
It’s hard to miss the previous repair of the porch, which wasn’t very elegantly done
The piers have sunk over the years but not excessively (IMO) except for one, and seem to be in good shape otherwise. The joists are notched into the rubble foundation and the structure above that seems OK too
It is just that almost all the columns are a bit out of whack. I’d like to get the columns straight and the porch floor back a bit more level. The porch is 79” front to back, so it should be about an inch & a half down with the ¼ inch to a foot drop (it’s about 2 ½” drop now consistently so I wonder if it was a mismeasurement?). Anyway, the exaggerated drop of the porch floor has led to the columns working their way out of vertical with vibrations from traffic and the expansions and contractions of weather.
I am also stripping the handrail & bottom rail. I hope to have new balusters made because the old are in bad shape
Some of the problems I am mulling over: Once I get the columns straight, how do I keep them in place, - or should I let them float as they’ve been doing? Can I mix plastic T&G or should I just bite the bullet and use wood for patching and strip and repair the old stuff? If I need to replace or match some of the T&G, I will need to cut it down to 2.5”. Is there anyplace that still makes the 2.5 size?
If there are any suggestions, or warnings or advice I would love to hear them all.