Long story short, I'm going to start some work next week at a house owned by some people I've done work for in the past. It's a super rad house, and there's no real way to overstate that. Unfortunately, the GC - a big-shot, HBA member, custom home builder - that ran the recent renovation work, the part that involved rehabbing existing stuff, it's garbage. Really. I can't say enough bad things about the work these guys did; shoddy work is wrong to begin with, but when a GC is getting paid as much as this joker did...inexcusable.
Some of what I'll be doing next week is work to a covered porch. The original porch, it's crazy old (may not be original to house, but it could be, and the house was built in 1858). Some of the porch had to be demo'd to make way for an expansion of the main house. The GC simply needed to button up the remaining porch - nothing major, as the porch is slated to be replaced in a year or two - and attach it to the newly constructed addition. This is where the GC pretty much shit the bed.
The work they did, aesthetically, is beyond bad. The work they did, structurally, is 1,000 times worse.
But rather than bitch and whine and point out all the ways these guys failed, I figured it might be a hair more entertaining to go about things in the following manner:
These are pics of what some preliminary deconstruction revealed. A piece of big box store Lauan had been used as skirting (visible in pic #1), and the point of this particular skirting was to hide some sins. Pic #2 shows the original porch, which is the painted stuff on the left, and the "new construction/repair" unpainted work (the post isn't new, but the stuff above and below it is supposed to be) on the right. Oddly enough, it's the new stuff I'm being hired to make right, whereas the stuff that's 100+ years old...perfectly acceptable for what's currently needed. Tells you a lot about, in general, the builders in previous generations vs. some of the current builders out there.
Anyhow...behold, a quiz. Take a few seconds to study the pics, and then let's see how discerning your eyes are for picking out laughable construction in the lower half of this catastrophe (we'll cover the upper half next time). Side note: the paver and wood you see that's under the porch floor (and what holds it and the roof above it up), there's nothing but mud underneath it. No stone. No concrete. No solid anything.
I got stung by a yellow jacket today while digging into this porch. I'm confident that whatever hole in the ground those things live(d) in was exponentially more structurally sound than the work done by the GC-that-shall-remane-nameless.
I think I have a decent plan for going about making this thing halfway solid without breaking the bank or going overboard on a structure that's going to come down for good sooner or later. But I also think I haven't yet uncovered all the surprises.