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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Had to ride down the Jersey Shore this morning, - - to look at a job for a friend's Aunt (she's the 'super' of a small 'condo-plex'). Anyway, amongst a bunch of other brickwork repair, vinyl soffits, fascia-wrap, etc., - - she needs 4 columns replaced on the main front porch.

They're only about 4' out from the front of the building, - - I don't think they're actually 'bearing', (I think the roof is supported by cantilevering), - - but I'll treat them as such anyway.

Initially, I would consider treated 4 X 4's, wrapped with 1 X's, then wrapped with PVC coated Aluminum (she just wants basic square columns, nothin' fancy), - - trouble is, these columns are 16' 6" long, - - I'm not even sure P.T. 4 X 4's come longer than 16' and I'd be worried about the instability and twisting of P.T. anyway.

Anyone done this type of job and got any alternate suggestions?? Thanks.
 

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I didn't do 4 of them but did do a single column for a job this summer. What did was remove the old column (it was rotted on the bottom) and insert a steel jack post (it was 8'6" high). I'm not sure if you can get jack posts for the height you need but maybe you can look around. Anyway, after the jack post was in place, I made a new column by using 2x4's to frame it and then covered the frame with 1x's. I also capped off the corners with a 2x4 that I had notched out.

There's a picture on my Before & After Photos page on my website.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Decks, - - beautiful work, - - yeah, that's the trick, - - finding something continuous and stable that's that long.
 

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you might want to see if a pressure treated paralam post would work for your application ,not sure of sizes and lenths availible but i have seen them up to 16 feet in a 6x6 .
 

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trouble is, these columns are 16' 6" long, - - I'm not even sure P.T. 4 X 4's come longer than 16' and I'd be worried about the instability and twisting of P.T. anyway.

Anyone done this type of job and got any alternate suggestions?? Thanks.[/QUOTE]


Tom, I think after about a month those 16' 4x4 will be as crooked as my back is now! :cheesygri :cheesygri :cheesygri
But seriously, you could use 16' and then make an upper and lower "cosmetic" bearing plates for your posts to make up the 6" difference.
 

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btw, the column I did was done completely in cedar (except for the jack post, of course).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
TimNJ said:
you could use 16' and then make an upper and lower "cosmetic" bearing plates for your posts to make up the 6" difference.
Right, Tim, - - yeah, I might have to do that if necessary, - - main thing is to find out what else is available and stable. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
bergenbldr said:
you might want to see if a pressure treated paralam post would work for your application ,not sure of sizes and lenths availible but i have seen them up to 16 feet in a 6x6 .
Thanks, Berg, - - sounds like it might be an option, - - I'll make a few calls on that tomorrow.
 

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DecksEtc said:
Count yourself lucky Mike. 16's are the longest I can get.
That's because all of the 20s are shipped to us! Actually they are special order out of the rail head, but they are available the next day, very rarely in stock or on hand actually at the yard.
 

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Tom R said:
Sheesh!, - - I'd read him the 'anti-paint-holdin-tannen-riot-act'!!
I tried to tell her but I was just wasting my breath.
 

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Mike Finley said:
Around here I can get 20' cedar 4x4s or 6x6s.


Tom, Give Diamond M a call. They definitely used to have this. The last time I was there though the yard seems to be dwindling down. I think once Arthur goes you'll see that place close down.
 

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This is thread is very timely.

A just met a client yesterday. She has older home and she wants the porch on the front of her house replaced. Well there are two load bearing columns that are about 10 feet high. What is the best way to replace these?

They rest on cinder blocks. I know we have build something to support the weight while we are replacing them but I am wondering if someone could give me some details.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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You can get 4x4 laminated (LVL) posts in 8'-40' lengths - straight and strong. When I worked for HP we used them exclusively for large gang forms. I've seen a 4x4 steel columns used - and then 3/4" plywood attached to it to back the final finish. Attach to the steel with self-tapping screws.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks Rich and everyone else for all the options, - - I'll let ya's know what I end up using (if I end up doing the job, - - which I probably will).

I did do it with the steel once, - - then plywood spacers, then cypress from the swamps of good ol' Louisiana.
 
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