Re: Covered Porch Beams not Resting on *anything*!
If I read the plans right, it's as you describe - with the framing sitting on concrete pillars that are several feet in the ground (below frost line). Then the framing is atop the pillars -- and in fact, the joists hang in between 2x8s that run from the house ledger to the pair of 2x10s around the perimeter. So the joists run parallel to the house and are supported by 2x8s that run perpendicular to the house and are hung on the ledger and the pair of 2x10s atop the pillars. The flooring than sits atop the joists, so it then is running perpendicular to the house -- which makes sense. Most flooring I see comes in 8' or 12' lengths. A 12' length cut in half is just the right length for my porch.
As mine exists -- the joists run from the ledger to a 2x10 that was only screwed to the 6x6 columns. Clearly they saw that as a problem, and screwed a 2x6 underneath that 2x10 so the 2x10 rested directly atop that 2x6 that then ran down to the concrete pier. The problem is , my concrete piers are faux. There seems to be a 6" diameter pier, but it's not directly beneath the column. So they poured another 12" "pad" -- that sits atop the 6" pier. But even then, the column is not centered on that pad, so in some cases, the column is offset from the center, so the pad is tipping, and in some cases all of it must have settled because the column is "dangling".
So clearly the right way to do this is to rip up all the t&g flooring -- most of what is rotted I've removed already. So I guess I can remove the rest, maybe salvage 50%, then tear out the framing, and decide if any of that is worth reusing -- none of it is treated. I suppose with a good floor above it, treated is not critical -- and with the floor running in the proper orientation, it will be much easier to pull out a few boards and fix any future problems.
My biggest challenge -- other than the amount of effort and cost -- is going to be to hold up my roof while I tear this out, and somehow re pour the piers. I was thinking maybe I could rest the new piers directly on the ground -- but that makes no real sense to me for a covered porch. A shed maybe, but the roof to my house -- I guess I better pour an 8" pier down to 3' -- although maybe a 6" pier would be enough if I pour it where it needs to be! Then I build my frame atop the piers.. and finally cut my existing columns and rest those on the floor (which is directly atop the framing and piers). Nothing like starting over.
What I need the most help with is the piers - how can I do that? There is going to be that old 6" pier in the way. I guess I can dig by hand around it.. drop in an 8" casing and then backfill around that? In otherwords, the old 6" will be inside the new 8"? Unless I find the 6" only goes down a foot or two -- in which case, I yell a bit louder and do my best to get it entirely out of there.
Now -- all this said -- should I even consider some sort of retrofit to what is already in place? Get rid of the porch entirely and just pour a concrete porch?
How do I support my porch roof while all this is taking place.. and given it's going to take me a good bit to do the work?
Thanks for putting up with me. Kind Regards, Kevin