As promised, here is an update on Nate's sister's front porch. After about 7 hours of scrapping (at which point I decided to stop counting the hours since it was getting depressing) we hit a bit of a snag. I had ripped off the carpet on the floor, and when I did that I noticed this:
Yucky rotten wood. We decided to ignore it since it wasn't structural and I kept scrapping... that is, until I, by mistake, knocked the base of one of the columns... ooops. Since the rot was an indicator that the rest of the porch might be compromised, we convinced Nate's sister, after pricing it out, to let us replace the floor and sure up the rest of the porch. This didn't take too much convincing since she already didn't like the floor of the deck.
The first thing that we did was rip up a few boards in the porch floor to check underneath for any other rot.
Luckily, the support beams looked like they were in good shape, but one of the front support beams was going to need to be replaced. Nate and I ran off to Lowe's to price out the materials we would need to get this porch in tip top shape.
After pricing everything out and having Nate's sister make the final decision for what she wanted done, we had a plan. We wanted to make this a noninvasive project for her since this was a surprise cost and so our goal was to do the entire thing while she was at work.
First thing in the morning, we headed back to Lowe's and picked up everything we needed. Then we got to work.
We weren't sure if the columns were load bearing, so the first thing we did was jack up the roof and the columns
Then I ripped up all the gross floor boards and Nate took the stairs off. We also replaced all of the rotten wood on the structure. We kept any wood that was structurally sound (so you'll see some cosmetically non pretty wood in the pic)
The support beams were only supported by some rusty nails so Nate put proper hardware on all of the support beams and the stairs.
It took about 6 hours and about $100 (plus a belated birthday gift of a circular saw from us) to get it done but we did it and we pulled off the surprise!
If you are ever trying to get a big project done quickly, make sure you do a few things. Do eat and drink (which I did not) and clear things out of the way, especially if it is raining, so you don't fall (which I did multiple times). This way when you go out with your family for dinner, you don't sit down on a non existing bench and you are not brought a special water glass and a pitcher of water because your water glass needs filling too often (yes those both happened to me)
Oh and by the way, here is a pic of the scraping I've been doing.
One side basically done, about half of the other side left to go!