How do I replace the posts on my front porch?


I have 2, supposed to have 3? My old posts are 4x4’s. I want to put in 6x6’s! Thanks!

  10 answers
  • Elaine Elaine on Dec 01, 2018

    Embarrassing experience here...get long 2 x 4’s to brace near where you are removing the post, before removing the existing ones. If you remove a post, expect the roof to swing in, unless you have it braced. We were lucky and a friend was next door with a tractor so she could lift the corner until I was able to get the new post installed. At our old house built in the ‘30’s had 1 x 6’s boxed so it looked like a 6 x 6. It is amazing how well those 1 x 6’s lasted and they were able to help carry the weight of that roof as well.

    You have to know now or assume, the post is carrying the weight of the roof over the porch. It’s helpful to know what the existing post is sitting on. The first house, with the embarrassing whoops, the posts were on 2” block. But the posts were sitting on plywood which had become rotten. The landlord refused to do the work. When we ripped up the plywood, we found out we had to add some 2x6’s to strengthen the porch and where the posts were. We got all the new posts up and replaced the plywood with treated decking. The second house, our 30’s home, the posts were on solid concrete. It was a simple job of using 2 x 4 bracing, and replace, one at a time.

    To to see if there’s room for a 6 x 6 I’d make a box that’s 5 ½” x 5 1/2” fastening three sides and just holding the fourth so I could see if a six inch footprint would work on the bottom. Or put one nail in the center of one end so you can swing it closed. I would learn if I needed to shore something underneath the porch deck with that square. 6 x 6 are actually 5 1/2 x 5 ½ I’d also be able to check the top and make sure I didn’t need to add something as well

  • Janice Janice on Dec 01, 2018

    Another option other than changing out the posts to larger ones are to purchase wood and "wrap" it onto the 4'x4' posts. It will "beef up" the look f the smaller posts and you won't risk your roof.

    • Jean Jean on Dec 01, 2018

      I thought about doing this but was afraid of not doing a good job! Someone said it had to be meticulous or it wouldn’t like right or last!

  • Jean Jean on Dec 01, 2018

    I thought about doing this but someone said I had to do a meticulous job or it wouldn’t look good or last! I try my best but I’m not perfect and I’ve never done this before!

    • Jean Jean on Dec 01, 2018

      Reply to Janice

      Id rather wrap them! My posts sit on a concrete porch floor and I’m pretty sure the porch roof is only attached to the house! We have a 1970’s ranch style house and the porch only covers about 10 or so feet! My husband said it is hooked to the roof! I will have to put in at least one post where someone left one out! It sounds complicated to wrap but I sure don’t want to have a roof fall in!

  • Janice Janice on Dec 01, 2018

    A good outdoor caulk can work wonders to cover mistakes or cracks between pieces of wood, especially if you are eventually going to paint the posts.

  • Janice Janice on Dec 01, 2018

    I'm not sure about how the stain would work with the caulk. Maybe ask a knowledgeable person in the paint/stain department. Sorry to admit, I just don't know and don't want to cause you a problem. Good luck with your project!

    • Jean Jean on Dec 02, 2018

      Thank you all so much for helping me! Thank God for this sight!

  • William William on Dec 01, 2018

    The roof is attached to the roof but the posts also support the roof from falling down. Instead of the work and cost of replacing them just wrap them. Once you start removing any supports you would need to follow building codes, permits, and inspections

  • Janice Janice on Dec 02, 2018

    As ALWAYS, William provides sound advice and follows up with links for extra help and info. Wrapping is the way to go and was happy he verified my suggestion but explained it much better.

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Dec 17, 2020

    I like William's idea of wrapping the posts with other wood. It's a lot easier. Replacing the osts should only be done if they have structural damage. The roof needs temporary supports if the posts are removed.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Dec 17, 2020

    Hello Jean,

    You really need to dig them out and start again by using Quick "Postcrete" in the holes with water and hold it in place for about 10 mins each post. If that is not possible you might be able to use "Metpost" Post base systems. One type, you would have to cut the timber post flush to the ground and bolt the square metal holders in place, the other type has a long spike which you have to bang into the ground or into the timber of the old post to get a fixing. Best wishes.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jul 01, 2021

    Hello Jean, here is some instruction, but I like the idea of replacing the façade on the existing posts! There are so many great materials from faux stone to wood or composite that you can use