Very long time readers may recall that in 2006 I built a new wooden porch off our kitchen door to replace some small concrete steps. It was a fun project, though it took longer than I expected. The structure of the porch is made of pressure treated wood, while the outer wood is plain and untreated other than being painted. Therein lay the problem, in one particular area.
If you look at the photo on the right, you see that the hand rails slant down and join to the bottom posts on the side of the posts. It looks nice. It also collects snow, ice, rain, and debris.
A couple of years ago I noticed that rot had begun to set into the top of the post on the left, and probably a bit on the right. Today I finally got around to repairing it. This is what the porch looks like mid-reconstruction:
Most of the wood on the up-step side of the left post was rotten. I was hoping to save some of the outer wood since I had routed decorative fluting into the sides, but the rot wrapped around on the bottom. So I made the decision to just rip it all out. The porch on the right did indeed have some rot, but I can repair that without complete replacement.
The handrail will also need to be replaced since the bottom end has too much rot:
I’m leaving it there for the moment until I put replacement on. I’ll need to unscrew all the spindles from the top and then screw the new rail onto them. I’ll use the old handrail as the pattern for the new.
My immediate plan is to let the pressure treated inner post dry out while I purchase some good quality treated 1x6s and a 1×4 for the outer post and the new hand rail. I’ll cut them roughly to size and let them dry out as well. This is necessary before I cut them to final size, angle the corners, and cut the new fluting. Then everything goes back together again.
When that is complete, I’ll cut some triangular pieces of wood and put them at the bottom of the handrails so that the rain and snow is diverted off to the sides. I’m hoping this is enough to save the post on the right from further damage.