The first step in replacing the front porch is to take off the existing porch. I took off the roof of the porch a few years ago because it was too short to accommodate the new front door. Before I could take off the porch, I had to move the mailbox and our delivery bin. I mounted the mailbox to the fence by the front gate and put the delivery bin underneath it. Despite this, UPS is being difficult and doesn’t want to deliver now.

Old porch

The peeling paint on the porch made it look like it had been there for ages, but underneath it turned out that it was built not terribly long ago out of pressure-treated lumber. I took off the heavy wrought iron railings. I used an angle grinder to cut the ends off the concrete stoop. By the time I got the last piece out to the alley a scrapper was already loading the first ones onto his truck.

Removal in progress

The old porch used approximately 50% of the lumber it should have, with large spans between joists, stringers, and mediocre at best support. The porch itself came down in a couple of hours. The support posts had zero footings, and literally rested on the surface. I’m surprised it didn’t sink into the ground. It was a positive as far as I was concerned, because it made it that much easier to tear down.

Porch removed

What wasn’t so easy was the front stoop. The bottom step of the porch was a 16″ thick block of steel-reinforced concrete, and I declined to rent a demolition hammer, instead mostly relying on a sledgehammer and a prybar. It took far longer to break apart the stoop than the rest of the porch, and my hands still hurt days later. Bits of concrete flew into both neighbors yards as well as the sidewalk out front, so even once it was broken up I was still walking around picking up little pieces.

Breaking up the stoop

I’ll also need to take out the front sidewalk, but we’re planning to replace it with pavers. Since the main paver project will be in the back yard (some time in the future), for now we’ll just cut the existing sidewalk back to where it needs to stop and do all the pavers together (later). I haven’t done that part of the demo yet. I have to figure out how to run the 20-amp extension cord that the concrete saw uses to the front yard when it’s not long enough to reach the nearest 20-amp outlet.


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