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Question DetailsAsked on 10/27/2016

How much should I expect to pay to replace front porch beams, resupport front porch foundation and put in railing?

There are 6 beams (2 10ft, 2 5ft, 2 6ft) which have termite damage.
The railing would be about 3 feet high, 10 feet wide, to match the railing already there on one side of the porch.

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1 Answer


You don't say what size beams, so you could mean 2x6 to 2x12, or if you mean the main support beams (usually along the front of the porch) perhaps 4x or even 6x up to 8-16 inches deep, so quite a size variance there. Or perhaps you mean posts ?

Railing - wood or iron or what - and how fancy ?

What you need is bids from Deck and Porch contractors to repair this damage - and if the posts go into the ground unless they were well-treated ground-contact wood likely they need replacement too. In termite country I would replace the in-ground portion (if any) with concrete to at least a foot above ground.

Be sure scope includes (if termite damage extends along joists or edge beam to the house) inspecting the ledger board (the piece the joists tie into) for possible termite infiltration into the ledger board or even into the house - this is a fairly common entry route to houses, through hollowed-out wood posts from the ground to the support beams to the joists, then through the center of one or more joists to the house itself. I have seen cases where there was zero sign of the termites until the deck/porch members were cut into.

$ obviously depends on the size of the members and whether these can be taken out one by one, or the whole porch (or a good portion of it) needs to be temporarily supported during the work. Also on whether there is ledger board damage - because if that is the case either major supporting is necessary to hold upthe prochduring the repair, or more commonly the entire porch has to be stripped and redone from scratch, with new materials as needed. This job could be in the ballpark of $1000 or so maybe if you are talking individual joist or post damage - if you mean the main support beams out under the front ends of the joists then could run into the $2000 range more likely - and if the termites are in the ledger board or house then you are probably into the range of a new porch - typically in the $20-60/SF range depending on construction and on how much of the materials can be reused.

A word to the wise - to the extent compatible with appearance requirements, use ground-contract rated copper-treated wood (the green treated wood) to deter future insect damage. Certainly for any wood near or in contact with the ground.

One other thought - be sure your porch roof posts are inspected too - termites can get into uyour roof through them, and that is a MESS to clean up and repair - commonly requiring a reroof job with some sheathing replacement.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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