Replacing the Cottage Porch Columns

Hi guys!

Today we are sharing our progress on the cottage porch columns.

When we bought the property and the cottage, the porch had rusty steel columns on the front, which I’m sure were intended to be “decorative”. They were also covered in the same lead paint as the rest of the house exterior.

When we removed the unibrow from the front, we decided to replace the columns with something more substantial. We chose 6×6 cedar columns, that we will be sealing and staining in a natural color.

The first step to replacing the columns was to add a header board, which we discussed in a previous post. Since the house is not framed properly, this wasn’t a replacement but an addition of the header board to the structure of the porch. After getting the new header board up and braced, Jordan drilled holes in the cement porch to install the braces that would hold the new posts. We then went one by one and replaced the temporary supports with the new posts, jacking up the porch as we went so that we could slide them into place. The tops were secured to the header board using long screws, and were cut to overlap on the back side.

I think it looks so much better with the more modern and substantial cedar posts.

While Jordan was out installing the sixth post, he got started on the next portion of the project, reframing and reinforcing the house. The interior of the house has wood paneling (calling it shiplap would be generous), that appears to have a moderate amount of structural integrity. Note: shiplap should NOT be holding up your house. Now that the front of the house is well supported, he is going to work his way around the sides and remove the paneling as he goes, installing new supports since the existing framing is insufficient.

Once he has the new framing complete, we’ll tear off the old siding and install new OSB, which should be weathertight for 6 months. We can then work on the interior so that we can get the house ready to move into ASAP, and come back and put on the new siding whenever we are ready.

Here’s what the front rooms look like with some of the interior paneling removed.

Before the paneling was removed
After the paneling was removed
After the paneling was removed

We will also be removing and replacing the subfloor as we go around the house, as well as reframing (framing?) the windows since they aren’t actually framed in, they’re just screwed into holes in the exterior siding. We’ll be ordering new windows so once we get those in we can frame them appropriately.

That’s it for now! Hope everyone is having a great week!

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