Back Porch Replacement – Day 2

Today’s task was to prepare for and pour the concrete.

So here’s the story on the new column. A lot of load from the 2nd & 3rd floor comes down on the steel beam that spans our back porch area. Then half that load rest on a small masonry pier between our back door kitchen window. Well let’s just say when we had the walls opened up during the kitchen renovation the masonry in the corner didn’t look too good. We patched up the masonry from the inside but also decided at that time that when we redid the back porch area it won’t hurt to add a column for some additional support… So here we are today.

The old steel had to be drilled so we could bolt the column’s top plate to the beam. The beam itself is actually two channels put together back to back with decorative rosette bolts holding them together and they are thick! But the secret to drilling steel is to use oil to lubricate the blade and don’t apply too much pressure. It will take some time, but it will go through and you will still have a working drill bit.

We then worked on installing rebar in the footings. Yes plural. At the other end of the porch we discovered the masonry wall was just sitting on the 4″ concrete slab with no footing! The wall
was added to give additional support to the other end of the overhead beam just like we are adding the column… But it needs a footing to really carry any weight. The good news is its well anchored to the original masonry wall since there was no movement even with no support below.

We also compacted the gravel base which is actually the rubble from demolishing the old slab.

The column was given to us by Kelly’s Dad since he did not need it. Unfortunately it was too short so we added a concrete pier to make up the difference. The anchor bolts will hold the column in place and the rebar will help hold everything together. The bar is also tied back to the brick to give it some more support.

Lastly we put down the wire mesh slab reinforcing.

Of course what happens as soon as we are ready to mix concrete? It pours rain! We quickly covered all the bags of concrete with a blue tarp, so hopefully they all make it through…

This summer thunderstorm brought lots of rain! We have never seen that much water flooding down the alley.

So day 2 ended wet and slightly behind schedule.

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