Introduction

Projects
- Kitchen
- Dining Room
Porch / Foundation
- Living Room
- Guest Room
- Master Bedroom
- Deck and Patio
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Things I have
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Front Porch and Foundation

One side of the front porch and the front corner of the house [Dining Room] had settled. I thought that this may have been the result of the footings not being adequate since almost every house in my neighborhood has a similar issue. I later learned that Salt Lake City had a sizeable earthquake in 1926—three years after my home was built. Since my area of the valley is former lake bottom and was under cultivation for many years, the result during the earthquake was liquifaction and the result is seen in the homes of my area. I explored several options on how to address this issue before settling on the piering system shown in the progress pics below.


Latest Project Progress

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04 September 2006
I painted the steps in early spring. I will have to put down another coat before winter arrives. I bought some Black Clay Stoneware pots—they are from Vietnam and supposed to tolerate Utah winters. With the long driveway, they help define the entry and just make it look nice.

Chronological Progress

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30 July 2005
Disassembling the porch stairs in preparation of removing the front porch.

07 August 2005
Taking up the last of the porch boards before removing the joists so the steel piers can be driven along the foundation of the house and porch.

10 August 2005
Remainder of the porch supports removed—everything ready for the crew to start prep work.

16 August 2005
A photo of the steel brackets that will be positioned under the edge of the foundation. My foot for scale—size 12 shoes!

16 August 2005
The steel piers being hydraulically driven down to solid bedrock or equal load-bearing strata.

16 August 2005
The weight of the house, anchored to the steel brackets, is carefully transferred from unstable soil to rock-solid piers.

16 August 2005
A close-up showing the bracket in place under the foundation—the water is from a little downpour that came over.

16 August 2005
After the nuts are locked down, the area is backfilled and the dirt compacted.

26 October 2005
When the porch was lifted, some bricks were displaced. I have hired the mason that worked on my fireplace and chimney to re-mortar all of the loose bricks along the porch and the brick column. As you can see in the background, there is still plywood over the front door opening. Still working on the final coats of finish and then I will hang the door.

06 November 2005
Seems there is a concrete shortage and since my job is so small I couldn't get anyone to do the concrete work I needed. So, I poured two small pads for the porch supports that were removed and a pad with anchors for the porch steps. After this cured, I filled in the part of the driveway that was cut out to gain access to the foundation.

12 November 2005
All of the brick work is complete and the porch joists are back in place on the new concrete pads. Everything was perfectly level—either good planning or dumb luck—probably a little of both. When the porch was lifted, it moved outward a little bit. As a result, most of the existing boards are now too short. You can see the gap on the left side of the front fascia board.

13 November 2005
Starting to re-lay the porch boards. I considered using Fir, but it would be just too expensive, so I am using select grade pine. I can use some of the original boards around the front door lintel, but the rest will have to be new. Eighty years of paint has made the boards thicker than standard lumber, so I sanded and planed a few to get them down to the height of the new boards. I will be milling all of the lumber—creating new tongue and groove boards.

20 November 2005
Porch decking is down and finishing up the stringers for the stairs. I've been very lucky that the weather has held for so long. I need to get everything nailed up, primed and painted before the weekend brings SNOW! [Note the ever-present Diet Mtn Dew!]

22 November 2005
As with most projects, the steps have taken longer than I had planned, planing down the treads really slowed things down. One more day of good weather, so I need to pour the last bit of driveway and get primer and paint on all the new wood tomorrow!

26 November 2005
I was able to complete the concrete on the driveway and get primer on the porch and steps. Winter has officially set in with cold temperatures, so I guess primer will have to do until the Spring and warmer weather.

03 December 2005
Dressed for the Holidays. The new front door and lockset installed. I was able to get a coat of trim paint on the doorframe before the weather got too cold. In the Spring I will take the door out and address the issues I had with the final finish—it's now too cold to just have the sheet of plywood over the opening.

09 April 2006
New house numbers. The previous owners had installed a wood plaque with the house number—they glued it directly to the brick. It took a while to pry it off without damaging the brick, but then I had to use solvent to get all the glue off. I finally installed the new black-on-ivory porcelain address tiles that I purchased from Rejuvenation. They are modeled after originals found in the Portland, Oregon area.