Old house from late 1800s has wrap around porch. The footings/everything underneath is a different story but a small section of the porch entrance is sloped down & seems to have sunken where even the roof is slightly detached from the side of the house.

2 things:

  1. We need to replace the 2 columns where it sink. The current columns sit on a wall that's at an angle & it's very obvious that it's not supported properly but we have no idea where the porch header is, we thought the white beam the columns hold is the porch header but arent sure anymore; more wood pieces are on top of that & the rafters dont sit on the white beam, it's just very confusing.enter image description here

  2. On the side of the porch, the longest side, there's a crack in the white beam (the header??) & put jacks to hold it temporarily until we figure out what to do.

Does anyone have any idea what's going on with this porch at all especially in regard to which is actually the porch header or if there's more than 1, what is clearly important/structural, or what's a concern or anything. The house has no plans/blueprints just "enigma bandaids" on top of enigma bandaids.

We've had professionals come to look at it but get a bunch of different answers so hoping someone can shine light on this so we can approach this not so blindly as we're desperate.

cracked area

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slanted column

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  • 2
    Please clean up the pictures that you posted to eliminate the black. As it stands this is almost impossible to look at.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented May 19 at 18:54
  • The pics are difficult to look at, but what is evident is the framing looks like a poor collection of pieces. The best bet is that roof structure needs to be torn off and rebuilt properly.
    – RMDman
    Commented May 19 at 20:58
  • 1
    Also, you should clarify what you mean by “The footings/everything underneath is a different story…” This need to be more descriptive. A different story than what? If the porch is sinking then the footings appear to be failing also along with the framing. This would mean they seem to be the same story.
    – ArchonOSX
    Commented May 20 at 0:04
  • It looks like the white beam is the header, but the rest of the framing is chaos and not necessarily supported well. What opinions have the pros given you?
    – KMJ
    Commented May 20 at 15:14
  • @MichaelKaras I tried my best, sorry about that & hope it is good now.
    – DR L
    Commented May 20 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


To answer your asked question, it looks like the porch foundation is sinking, causing some posts to no longer be vertical, which is causing undesired pulling on the roof structure which, then is causing it to pull away from the your house.

The only real fix is likely to tear it all off and start over, or at least start with the porch foundation and get that fixed first. There's a very good chance that the porch foundation isn't down below frost line or solidly anchored in the ground, and through the years it's shifted and sunk, causing your current issues. Until you get that fixed, it will continue to shift/sink, and even if you get what's above the ground fixed for now, it'll eventually happen again as the foundation continues to shift/sink.

  • There's a reason houses are built from the foundation up and that the foundation work takes so long, then a whole house suddenly appears (almost) overnight on top of it.
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 20 at 18:16
  • @Milwrdfan that makes a lot of sense & I appreciate the hard truth, thank you. The porch foundation is very weird, I explain in a previous comment how the original footings (above ground stone footings) were disconnected & different underground ones were put in for a knee wall in short, but oddly enough there none of these underground footings by where it droops although the 2 columns were also cut from the original footings, makes no sense. The frame of the floor resembles what you'd see to frame floors in a house, the past random work done in with no info is very confusing/overwhelming.
    – DR L
    Commented May 20 at 18:39

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