Fixing Ian’s porch column

So several days ago I noticed that the concrete pier on one of Ian’s porch columns, not very deeply or well planted, was trying to escape. I’m a couple of days behind schedule on fixing this but Tuesday turned very windy and yesterday afternoon I went to the biggish town about 35 miles away and was there all afternoon. But today I got’er done.


Jacked up the lumber over the column, curious to see what would happen. I kind of thought it might rise separately from the pole but it turns out they’re clamped together. That was the best possible answer, because that took the weight off the pier without my having to single-handedly wrestle a telephone pole.


From there it was super easy, barely an inconvenience. I dug out around the pier, pounded in some pre-cut lengths of rebar, tied the pole to the jacking timber and tightened the line till the pole and pier were straight…


…mixed about 100 pounds of concrete…


…and poured a new pad. Tomorrow I’ll remove the jack, cover up the pad and do some repairs to the overhead lumber which isn’t staying together very well.

Tobie…


…was a very good boy and behaved like a real mature dog for once, just hanging around and keeping me company without needing to be the center of attention. I have high hopes for him, once he finishes growing up.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to Fixing Ian’s porch column

  1. Hey Joel – I apologise in advance for picking at nits… But – wth. Looking at your pic of the jack and blocks my first thought was that the strength of most blocks is vertical on the web of the block. Put enough weight on a block laid that way and it can split easily – less so when centered on the vertical web. All that probably doesn’t matter that much as the porch framework probably doesn’t weigh all that much.

    Oh well – carry on!

    Btw – thought it was funny on your earlier post on this topic and you’ve got Toby tied to a pier that looks almost as tweaked as the one you’re fixing. Trusting sort, aren’t you!

  2. Addendum to the above:

    Putting a short length of 2×6 or so on top of the block gives the jack a place to sit on the web – and spreads the weight across the block.

  3. Malatrope says:

    Addendum to the addendum to the above:

    Yes on using a 2×6. The reason that concrete blocks collapse is that all the pressure will be on three points of contact (no how two things come together, there are always three major points) because the jack and the concrete aren’t compressible. The wood compresses a little bit and puts the load on everything equally, reducing the pressure from potentially many thousands of pounds per square inch.

    Of course, in this case you only have maybe fifty pounds of load, so it matters not and all this is sheer pedantry.

  4. Mike says:

    Nicely done. I had to do something very similar at the last place we lived in so I understand what a bear it can turn into.

To the stake with the heretic!