Wooden front porch.

1 Oct 2008
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United Kingdom
Hi there. Not to sure if this is the right place to post this but as its wood related i thought this would be the place to start.

I've recently moved into a small cottage and the porch by the front door is rotten pretty badly in a couple of places.

The porch itself is stone up to about waist height with wooden side above this, with leaded windows in the side. On top is a small tiled pitched roof. The part of the porch that is in need of attention is the area between waist height and head height around where the windows are and also on the front of the porch. This it starting to go quite badly so i'm looking to replace these side bits between the stone lower bits and the roof area.

The question i have is which type of wood should i be looking at to build these replacement sides out of. As you can probably tell im not the most experienced person with this type of project but i am very keen to take this project on myself albeit with a little help.

Any tips and pointers would be most greatfull.

If pics would help i can put some up.


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The old fashioned way was to have the window ceils constructed from oak and the window constructed from redwood (deal) or Scots pine. Top grade softwood the grade is known as unsorted. So you would be looking to construct the window frame out of unsorted upper gulf redwood. If you have corner posts this to can be constructed from oak.

If you would prefer to use hardwood instead of softwood then you could use a timber known as Idigbo this timber is all most knot free and is a reasonable priced hardwood, again use oak for the ceil.

"From Tree to Timber"

A guide to the different methods of converting logs into usable timber outlining the properties and yield of each. The guide includes flaws, defects and movement problems in natural timber.
What are these bits of wood on the porch?

Are they the actual door or window frame jambs, or are they cover or infill pieces?

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I would use some normal treated softwood.

If its large sections, then you may have to get some rough-sawn and smooth it down yourself.

It seems like it has got rotten due to moisture getting into the timber from the cill below and the paint has trapped it in

So when you put in the new sections, make sure to have a DPC between the timber and the cill. And also a mastic seal at the timber stone junction to stop water getting in

And cut out 100mm past any rotten timber

You could possibly use some stair half-newels for the decorative timber on the front edge
I am not much good at woodwork, but I would say the timber needs to be spaced off the top of the wall to prevent it standing in water. Rain is sure to find its way into the gap, and will then soak in and promote swelling and rot.

If you can position the trim so that the drip falls outside and below the timber that will also help.

It loos like it is assembled from bits of softwood so there are plenty of joints and endgrain for water to get into.

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