An Adventure In Old Home Recovery

September 16th Update

Back Porch Fix recap:

I’m going to take this moment to thank the people who were able to come over and help us with such an overwhelmingly daunting task, namely Catherine, Constantine, Marius, and Winna. I thank Æsa as well for her part in this crazy adventure.

After breakfast at Floyd & Bobo’s, we picked up where we left off with prep work yesterday, successfully building 4 brace poles 19.5 feet long out of 12 foot and 8 foot 4×4 pieces of lumber. We added 3′ long 2×4 to the top like a big letter T to hold as much of the structure as we could.

They are being used to hold up the balcony roof while we fix the footings of the lower porch.

There is also another set of braces built like Stonehenge arches to hold up the balcony floor/porch roof.

Then we went to look at the underneath to see what we would be dealing with. First, the wire mesh along the side was just shoved in place.

Second, it appears that the only thing really holding up the porch, the balcony, and the roof is a 1.5 inch round metal pole, that is currently leaning outward, away from the house.

Third, the ground that said pole is on is not much more than masonry shard fortified dirt. When we dug a hole to pour the concrete footing into (8″ circular, 12″ deep with a 4″ above ground cap), we found broken bricks, ceramic pieces and rocks of varying sizes.

We also cut the new steps to size and realized that we’re one stringer short of a staircase.

With concerted effort we put 4 out of the 6 braces up to the house. The only 2 left are the T for the short side of the roof.

Eikaterine went gangbusters on the toilets to try and get a semi working one in place. She discovered that whatever was used to “winterize” the house corroded every gasket and all connectors to have a functioning ceramic loo. So, yeah. Still working on that.

Now we wait for the concrete to cure. Once done we’ll use that as the base for the bottle jack to lift everything back to the height it should be, which appears to be around 4 inches taller. When that is up, we’re replacing the pipe with a 4×4, adding another 4×4 to the other side of the stairs, and replacing the stairs with all new material.

Here’s to a happy conclusion in a few weeks.