Porch Column Has Shifted
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swords99



Joined: 02 Jan 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:55 pm    Post subject: Porch Column Has Shifted Reply with quote

I have an 1889 farmhouse with Queen Anne porch and 2nd story balcony. The tall column on the balcony has shifted. The top has about a 2 inch gap.

Don't have any close up pictures yet, but was wondering if anyone can advise on how to fix this and what materials/tools are required. The Home Inspector said it wasn't serious and a skilled carpenter should be able to repair it.



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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2922
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice looking place, but you're right, we need to see some more photos to really help.

For column basics and an overview of repair methods get the report on columns:


http://www.historichomeworks.com/hhw/reports/reports.htm#Columns
(check out the sample pages)

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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swords99



Joined: 02 Jan 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnleeke wrote:
Nice looking place, but you're right, we need to see some more photos to really help.

For column basics and an overview of repair methods get the report on columns:


http://www.historichomeworks.com/hhw/reports/reports.htm#Columns
(check out the sample pages)



Here's a photo of the shifted column on the right. It also has vertical cracks. Click on the photo to enlarge it.



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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might stabilize the column to keep if from shifting more, by screwing on two boards from about the middle of the column shaft on a diagonal up to the inner face of the architrave of the entablature. (see the sample pages of the report for the location of these parts)

Figure out why the column has shifted. Probably the base or the floor that the column stands on and moved downward. There might be deterioration in the column base, or structural deterioration within the second storey floor system, or further down in the first storey floor system or even in the foundation at ground level.

The project may involve providing temporary structure support for the roof structure above, taking down and taking apart the railing and the column, repairing the column and railing parts, they putting it all back up.

When doing the part repairs keep all the original sizes and shapes, so it all fits as it goes back together.

You will probably need a carpenter or contractor who has plenty of structural experience, finish woodwork experience and also understands these older houses, how they were first built and how to maintain and repair them without simply replacing everything with plastic and cardboard building products.

More close up photos of the column capital and base would help in this discussion.

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by pen and thought best words are wrought
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