Tongue & Groove-y!

One of our clients in the Glenwood-Brooklyn neighborhood had an old tongue & groove porch, well over 100 years old.  It wasn’t in horrible shape but needed some love, and they thought it best to have the whole thing replaced.  We agreed, and since we’d done it before, recommended a great replacement T & G product.

With materials ordered and delivered we went to work.  But once we started tearing out the old porch and joists further issues were discovered…as in, the whole anterior structure of the house was badly rotted and in desperate need of repair.

In short, there were multiple, patchworked  “fixes” done over the  years, all of them rotting and failing.  Here’s some pics of what we discovered:


ROT…ROT…and more dry ROT…






After taking a look at it the clients immediately agreed that this would need to be addressed.

(And really, there was no need to put a brand new porch on a house which was structurally failing at key frontal points; it would be like putting a stage on broken scaffolding.)

So, what was supposed to be a relatively short project turned into a multiple week affair…

Para, no problemo…

We turned a few of the big ol’ 2x10s into big ol’ leverage bars, to hoist up several sections of 2x10s that we screwed together.

This took several days to construct and hoist into place with our bottle jack, working our way down the front of the house from left to right.


With all of the new solid infrastructure we’d built, hoisted and screwed into place, and electrical lines secured and routed in, we were ready to build the porch…or so we thought.


The clients were very pleased that the front structure of the house was now basically rebuilt, but there was the issue of the failing columns and otherwise existing masonry.  Indeed, the masonry was in really bad shape and needed rebuilding.

We’re not masons, nor are we equipped to handle that, so the clients called the builder who’d referred us and asked about a good stonemason to handle this part of the project.  With the mason hired we broke off the job for two weeks so he could do his thing; he’d call us when he was finished, so we could come back and resume where we’d left off.  This was a good thing — a new foundation wall would be built, making our jobs much easier going forward.  We’d  have a new, level (more or less) foundation wall on which the new porch would sit, along with the new joists.

A few weeks later we returned and got back to the original plan — building a new base structure, joists, and the installing new tongue & groove flooring.



The T & G was now in place but we returned a few days later for some punch list stuff:  removing the side steps (the client deemed them unecessary), and replacing some (really old) siding that had to be sacrificed during the rot repair work.

With that done, it was ready for the client to paint.  (We suggested a really thick, rich, quality paint:  Benjamin Moore in Battleship Gray).

So there you have it!  The clients love their new porch and were really happy to be able to get the rotting anterior foundation repaired and shored up.  In the long run, both improvements will increase the resale value of the house.

It was a bigger, longer project than originally planned but, this is often how things go in the remodeling world; demo uncovers unseen problems that have to be addressed.  All in all a good project!

(I’ll post some follow up pics soon, with the new paint job.)