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Question DetailsAsked on 11/6/2015

Who Do I call to Replace steel columns holding up flat roof on deck

I have a porch with a flat roof supported by three steel columns. The columns are now rotted out and in need of replacement. Who do I reach out to and the approximate cost. The columns are by the pool.

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Hard to put a price on it not knowing height, size of porch roof, wind and seismic loading in your area, etc - but for a normal maybe 8-10 foot high porch roof maybe 15-20 feet wide and extending maybe 10-15 feet off a building typically around $1000-1500 plus or minus a few hundred range probably - assuming the foundations and connections are good so only column replacement is involved. If foundations are damaged (say anchor bolts are corroded away too) then could be 10-100% additional to that depending on design and how far into the foundation they have to go, especially if the columns penetrate into the ground.

If very tall, or free-standing structure so columns carry all lateral load (so heavier members) might run 50-100% more than that number for a TYPICAL installation.

If the columns are bolted, a Deck and Porch contractor (one specializing in porches, not just decks) should be able to handle it - if welded connections then you probably need a General Contractor or Steel Erection (not an AL category - Metal Fabrication and Restoration in Services area is closest they come but I don't think that is really the right category) company experienced in welded structural steel work.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD


One thing I did not say - you said "rotted out" so I assumed heavily rusted through at the bottom. If just rusted, without significant reduction in material thickness, you may be able to have the same tyhpe contractors just rehab them - possibly by cutting off the bottom if only an inch or two is really bad and putting on a new mounting base bracket bolted or welded to it; or if just rusty but intact then remove, sandblast or wire bush as apporpriate, prime with rusty metal then zinc primer or clean metal zinc primer depending on degree of prep, then put on several coats of rust or chemical-resistant paint before reinstalling. I said chemical-resistant because if these are in the splash zone for pool water, that treatment should be done for at least the bottom 3-6 feet of the posts, depending on exposure to the acidic chlorinated pool water. The zinc primer because it acts similar to galvanizing to protect the metal.

That sort of fix may or may not actually save money depending on the contractor - if his labor is cheap the rehab may be cheaper, is labor is high then new steel posts would be cheaper - though they should still be primed and probably 3-coated BEFORE installation. Plus touch-up afterwards as appropriate to touch up any nicks or scratches - an experienced contractor would likely do the final coat in-place to handle that and make it all look the same. Note - the top-coats can be colored if desired.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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