Aw, Jesus. Where do I even start?
Let’s start with these comments, left by an incredibly smart and helpful reader is way smarter than I’ll ever hope to smart:
You need to install a line of temporary shoring to support the roof TODAY. Support the “beam” (it might be a hollow box) in line with the current posts. jack posts between each post (with a plate on top), sitting on a double 2×12 plate, secured top and bottom. Get your roof properly supported and then you can deal with the deck framing.
I’d ditch the stone. I’d pour a sonotube 6″ above grade and run 4X4 pressure treated posts all the way up. (you can hack your round columns in half to hide the 4X4’s) Then build out, and trim base of the the posts to suit your house.
Something like this:
You guys. Brad is totally right. If you ever start a project like this
and you find a problem like this,
you should absolutely do everything Brad says. That is the right way to fix it.
You know how I know Brad’s smart? He knew that he had to appeal to my aesthetic side in order to convince me to do things the right way. Because we all knew logic and reason weren’t going to work. And those columns in the picture he used are way prettier than what I’ve got going on here. And then I could justify having fancy Victorian spindles in the railings.
But…that all sounds like a lot of work.
And I already bought my spindles, and they are not fancy.
And quite frankly, that post in the middle has been leaning like that for at least 10 years.
And the deck framing we just tore out was providing no support whatsoever, so I know we didn’t make it any worse when we tore out the framing.
And the two columns on the ends are straight, and the footings themselves are actually solid and level — it’s just that they’re completely weathered away in the middle — and if there’s nothing wrong with the footings, and the roof is still supported…
You know what? Future Sarah is super excited about dealing with new columns.
For now, we used a floor jack to push the actual load-bearing one closer to vertical, we stacked and mortared new “stone” (okay, concrete block, same thing) in the places where it was completely gone, and I filled in all the other gaps with concrete. When we took the jack out, the stone stayed in the slightly-more-vertical position to which we had jacked it. Success!
For the non-load-bearing one, I un-stacked the top stones, then stacked and mortared new “stone” (okay, concrete block, same thing) in the places where it was completely gone, and I filled in all the other gaps with concrete. When I stacked the remaining stones back up, the stone looked slightly more vertical than it had previously been. Success!
And if you ever hire a contractor to fix a problem like this:
and they do this:
DO NOT PAY THEM.
They did not do what you hired them to do. They did not FIX anything. At best, all they did is stop the bleeding.
But…we’re good for at least another 10 years, I guess.