I'm relatively new to the home repair scene because it wasn't until
recently that my home needed some repair, I got the inside covered, but
the outside is in need of some help. I have a porch outside that is
your standard six step porch to the front door and it has a beam that
supports the small portion of the roof that hangs over the proch.
The beam itself is rotting on the bottom, well, not so much rotting,
but inhabited by chipmunks. It looks like the lower 7" of the column
needs to be replaced. There was also some moulding around the base of
the column which will need to be replaced, but I've done that before.
Any ideas on how to fix this sucker? Any help would be greatly
Thanks in advance!
This is far too disjointed and incomplete a description to have any
real idea what your situation is to give much of any real input.
A beam has to be tied into the house or be cantilevered out -- what
size is this, how is it attached and to what, is this one of the beams
on the side of the porch or the one on the outer edge, etc., etc., etc.
A column w/ a bad section probably could be repaired, but depending on
how it is built it might be better to replace it. How big is it, how
tall, what's it made of, etc., etc., ...???
Obviously, to do much of anything with it you'll have to support the
corner it's helping to support if it is actually load-bearing and not
I had to do this to my front two columns on my house recently because
they were both rotted completely and hollow. Since you only have one
it will be even easier. First go to a hardware store and buy a new
column. Don't try to repair it, a new one is around $80-120, at least
where I am. Remember to get the mounting hardware for the bottom (the
old column probably already has trim at the top you can re-use). Also
buy a large 4x4. Then, use the 4x4 to support the weight of the porch
roof by putting it in next to the rotting column after cutting it to
the appropriate length.
Remove the old column (including chipmunks) and measure the length
needed for the new column. Cut to length if needed, then install as
directions say to. I recommend a good post. The ones I bought have
some kind of steel pole in the middle, are full of some kind of
weatherproof insulation and have a hard plastic exterior. You'll never
have to worry about it rotting again.
I appreciate the information, I'll take a run to Lowes or Home Depot to
see if they have them. They are pretty long, and I'll have to figure
out how to lug it home! Thanks again.
bob_villa email@example.com wrote:
Beams are horizontal, posts are vertical. Column is another
word for post. You have a post.
There are two ways to fix the thing, both of them involve
putting temporary posts up next to the damaged one.
After which you take out either (A) the entire post, or
(B) the damaged section and replace it.
If you have chipmunks living in it, does this mean it's
a hollow column? If so, there's a good chance that
what you see is just a decorative shell around another
post that's doing the real support work, in which case
you can just carve out the rotted wood and fill it in with
bondo. (use a good section of the post to make a template.)
I assumed by the fact chipmunks live in it that he is as lucky as me
and has nothing inside, just 4 boards nailed together with a nice big
void for the 'real support'. 7" of wood to replace with Bondo would
be a pretty good amount of the stuff, wouldn't it?
The new columns look nicer and are good for a very, very long time.
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