Replace the posts when you can start to see damage for a healthy and safe deck. Photo Credit: etykwins
If you have an older house and can spot water or insect damage on the porch post it may be time to change it out. It can be a complicated process, so finding a contractor to remove and install a new post may be the way to go. If you’re dealing with a single story post or column, any handyman can successfully complete this job. If you have a two story replacement job, this requires scaffolds and tie downs; you’ll need a remodeling professional to complete the upgrade.
Before you can replace the old post, you’ll need its replacement on hand. Take accurate measurements of the original and head to the lumber yard or home improvement store. Before removing the column or post, build temporary supports to transfer weight.
The support structures can be built out of 2” X 4” beams that you picked up at the lumber yard. Cut the support beams slightly longer than the new post and place them on both sides of the old post. The idea is to prop up the deck roof, so when it’s time to remove the post, the roof won’t collapse right before your eyes.
First, nail smaller pieces of 2” X 4” to the underside of the roof. This is where you plan to position the temporary supports. Carefully wedge the beams into place, if you have to gently tap the bottom of the beams with a sledge hammer, do so. This will make it easier to position the new post correctly.
At this point the weight of the roof is now squarely on the 2” X 4”s. The old post should come right out, but if it doesn’t, you can always saw it in half to get rid of it. Now you’re ready to install the new post.
Be sure to prep, paint, or stain the area if the porch surface is wood. If its cement, you’ll most likely find a metal connector. The new post should be nailed to the connector. This will prevent the wooden post from absorbing water directly from the cement. Check for proper fit and height, and then use a level to see if it’s square to the roof. Now you can take away the support beam and allow the porch to settle. Finish the job by securing the post with addition nails or wood screws, and then apply a coat of primer and two coats of paint.
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