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I just took apart a very badly made porch attached to an old brick house (built circa 1890). I do not want to go into the details but the old porch was so badly built (cement blocks as footings, ledger bolts loose, mishmash material w zero detail...bad bad. etc.) that it pulled apart some of the old brick which I then had to re-point!

I now have a solid wall and I would like good advice on a sure way to attach to this old house. The brick wall is soft brick built with lime-putty then 1-inch space, black tar-paper then 12-inch boards nailed on top of 2x6 frame.

My plan is:

  • To rest the roof of the structure onto a beam supported by two 6x6 posts on the house side
  • First doing proper footings below frost line (around here is 3.5feet) then build a deck.
  • Then build a porch roof with 6x6 four-post structure with lean to metal roof or just a pergola for more light.

Trying to cover lateral forces blowing from the west/east so what is the best & strongest way to attach the 6x6 posts against the brick house this old?

Is there a better way?

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  • What can you tell us about the framing inside the brick? Is attachment even necessary? – isherwood Apr 12 at 20:54
  • Behind the brick there is a gap of 1" or so space then 12x1 boards attached to 3x6framing. The wind loads from the WEST are getting ever so heavier so I want to make sure I cover the lateral forces.. – Argo Apr 12 at 21:48
  • So If I understand correctly, there is a wood frame between the brick wall and the porch. If that's the case, you should be able to connect the new posts and joists to the wood frame. Am I missing something? – r13 Apr 12 at 21:55
  • For that I would have to take apart a wall from the inside to create a connection to the outside bolts?! – Argo Apr 12 at 22:14
  • As you can see, there's a bit of confusion about what you're describing. Maybe edit your post to provide a sketch of how the wall is constructed and your proposal for the addition, or at least your thoughts on the attachment method. It doesn't have to be a fancy CAD drawing, just a neat hand-drawn sketch with parts clearly labeled and dimensions drawn on. You know what they say - a picture is worth 1000 words! – FreeMan Apr 13 at 11:42
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If your brick wall is solid and sturdy, you can through-bolt a wood header the same width as your new porch, and connect the joists to it using hardware for T joint.

Ideally, your posts shall be set away from the house to allow room for good foundations. You can add bracings or diagonals to maintain the squareness of the deck, and to resist the lateral load.

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  • What I would like to do is NOT use a ledger on the buiulding itself rather use posts to support the load. So u are suggesting that I do not need to attach the posts to the wall rather let it "float" away from the house as a seepeare structure...then I guess the flashing is out of the question?! – Argo Apr 16 at 17:31
  • As proposed, the posts will take the load, if adequate bracings are added, the deck is essentially an independent structure. However, I'll still tie the deck to the wall so they will move together without the potential to have a huge gap. The deck should be a few inches below the house floor to prevent water from entering. I don't think flashing is needed as the deck is constructed using pressure-treated lumber. – r13 Apr 16 at 18:11
  • So the question is how to 'tie in' to an old brick wall most reliably. – Argo Apr 16 at 18:35
  • @Argo As addressed in the response - through-bolt a wood header the same width of the deck on the brick wall. The header shall have the same depth as the deck beam/joist which is to be tied into the header. – r13 Apr 16 at 18:51

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