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Home > Removal and Inspection of Porch Posts

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Removal and Inspection of Porch Posts

Removal and Inspection of Porch Posts

Reasons for removal
One or more Porch Posts may need to be removed for the following reasons:
1. Inspection for rot or to determine paint condition on Post ends.
2. To repair or replace rotting Posts.
3. To repair or replace broken Posts.

Removal Steps:
1. Remove the balustrade sections on either side of the Porch Post.
2. Unfasten the top of the Porch Post.
3. Use a temporary brace and bottle jack to relieve weight from the Post just enough to permit the Post to be removed.

The easy way to remove balustrade sections
The ease with which a Porch Post can be removed depends on the way in which it was installed. If the Vintage Woodworks system for balustrade assembly was employed, then simply unscrew the metal end brackets that hold the balustrade sections on either side of the Post you want to remove and set these sections aside.

The other way
If balustrade sections were built in place, particularly if the Balusters are nailed to the Rails, then removal will be somewhat more difficult. The steps for doing this will depend on the manner in which the balustrade was originally installed so we are unable at long distance to advise precisely how to proceed. However, consider taking this opportunity to reinstall your entire balustrade using the Vintage Woodworks system.

Actual Post Removal
Once the balustrade sections on either side of a Porch Post are remove you can remove the Post itself. For this you will need a temporary support made from two 2x4's nailed together and a small, inexpensive bottle jack of the type sold at Walmart and many other stores. (Google "bottle jack" to see pictures.) For most porches, a 2-ton bottle jack is more than suffient.

The temporary support must shorter than the actual Porch Post because you will need to position the bottle jack under the temporary support. It is also a good idea to place a piece of scrap wood between the jack and the temporary support. Otherwise, end grain of the support may be deformed by the pressure of the jack head.

Position jack and temporary support close to one side of the Porch Post. Top of support should squarely beneath the overhead beam and base of jack should be in line with Porch Post. While a helper holds the support in place, pump the jack to slowly relieve pressure on the Post. Only lift the overhead beam enough to slip the Porch Post out.

Porch Post Inspection

Reinstalling Posts
Even if Porch Post bottoms were initially painted, the paint is still in good condition, and no bottom softness is detected, it's still a great idea to prepare their bottoms prior to reinstallation. If bottom softness was detected you may be able to repair them. Either way, please see Repair of Porch Components.

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