I am rebuilding a porch on our 200+ year old house. It is in a historic section so I am limited to what materials I can use. The porch is 16' wide by 7' deep. I will have 3 wood posts across the front, and 2 half posts at house side. The full posts are 4.25" square, with a hollow center. Their load limit is 6000 lbs. I am hoping to find a 4x6x16 beam to span the front, but making the connection at the corner posts is where I have a concern. The old design was a half lap, where both beams were in shear. I would like to avoid that. And since I am trying to make this close to what it was, I am also wondering how to attach the beams to the posts. I don't want to see any hangers, or stongties visible.

  • There are two ways to go. 1. An engineered design for exposed joinery executed by a carpenter skilled in traditional technique. 2. An engineered design using standard construction materials and methods wrapped in finishes compatible with the historic context of the building. The first is suitable for notable buildings and/or large budgets necessary to retain skilled specialty trades. The second simply requires reasonable design sensitivity at the professional level and normally skilled execution. – ben rudgers Sep 25 '14 at 12:18

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