Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>Replacing (really) old porch boards & can't find the right size.
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Replacing (really) old porch boards & can't find the right size.

My house was built in 1914 and I need to replace 2 original boards on my front porch.

I purchased 2 new tongue and groove 1x4s, removed the damaged ones, and went to replace them...they are not as tall or as wide as the old ones.

Where I can find cedar 1x4s that are the same size? The old ones are 3-5/16 wide not including the tongue (3-1/2 with), and 7/8 thick...the new ones are 3-1/8 wide not including the tongue and 13/16 thick.

The guy at the lumber yard said I wouldn't be able to find the right size because of the way they measure lumber now......not really a woodworker...so I have no idea...figured this would be really straight forward, wrong again!

I could replace an additional 17 boards over to the end of the porch at $12 a pop for $204 and then sand the 1 joint down, or I could have someone mill the correct lumber for probably half that. Just don't have the tools and want to explore my options before shelling out $100 for 2 boards.


Re: Replacing (really) old porch boards & can't find the right size.

Not sure if it would be possible but perhaps you could carefully remove the remaining boards and reinstall them next to the boards that are remaining and then use the two new boards on the end instead of replacing all of the boards. Other than that it sounds to me like you would have to have someone mill them for you for an exact match. Hope this helps you out.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Replacing (really) old porch boards & can't find the right size.

not sure if you have western red cedar or eastern cedar.
wrc seasoned at 1-1/4" (5/4) nominal comes out to about 7/8" thick time, compression and a little surface sanding should be a close match. matching the dressed face is going to be more difficult unless you have a nominal 6" dressed down.

just be sure to go with seasoned wood since the measurements you are giving for what you have sound more like green cedar. you might want to also check the moisture content of your existing decking and what you plan to purchase.

if you are sure you have cedar and not fir i'd say first hunting in closets, converted porches like under kitchen flooring, maybe attic or under stairs closets, for sourcing at the house, otherwise hunt some salvage places first for some reclaimed seasoned pieces.

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