Asked on Jan 13, 2019

How do I repair an aging porch?

OlivaKelli L. MilliganMr ATC

Answered

My 'L' shaped wrap-around back porch was built on old telephone poles set directly into the ground. If memory serves, there are about 4 of them. It is sinking a little, the back door won't shut completely. The ground around the house slopes and the porch almost rests on the ground on the side near the front, it's about 3.5 - 4 feet off the ground in the back. I built a dog-run underneath to give my dogs a protected area to play year-round. I made a trap door for them to enter and exit their area.The porch is covered, has half-walls; I've put up some storm windows I collected over the upper portion so while not sealed, it is more or less enclosed. The roof extends from the house and has a metal roof. We get snow and below freezing weather, living in the Northeast, so won't be able to do anything until Spring, but want to get prepared. What is the best way to fix this so that my porch doesn't keep 'falling in' and my back door will close properly? I have a few skills, but not a precision woodworker...(I know a hammer from a screwdriver, saw, etc.) My tools are a cheap table saw, electric drill, pry bar, drill press, bench model belt sander, Saw's-all, jig saw, hammers and screwdrivers and the like. I know how to use what I have fairly well, I've done a few small projects, nothing major. My husband is disabled, we are low income, I can get some things but am on a tight budget. If I can know what to do, I can work on doing it as able. Thanks for the help and blessings to you!

3 answers
  • Mr ATC
    on Jan 13, 2019

    Do you maybe have pictures of the Porch?


  • Kelli L. Milligan
    on Jan 13, 2019

    I am so sorry for all those issues. I really don't know what to tell you but it sounds like a exspensive fix. You need to get a new foundation under your porch to replace your telephone poles I fear. I hope someone else has a great fix you can afford.

  • Oliva
    on Jan 14, 2019

    Without a photo, it's difficult to picture the full situation, but I think you may need house jacks to support your porch while the poles are stabilized or replaced with footers sunk into the ground below the freeze line in your location.

    As your husband is disabled, perhaps Social Security, your church, or a similar agency in your county can offer assistance, given your income level and limitations.

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