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I have a backyard porch that has 2 load bearing posts (the other side are attached on the house). The wood base trims around the bottoms of the posts looked rotten so I wanted to replace these trims. After opening the trims, I found the posts themselves were rotten by moisture from the bottom as they touch ground and there are working irrigation heads nearby. Now I wonder if these posts are repairable, and if not, how to replace them.

These posts are ~12 years old. Each post is 7 1/2 inch (width) by 7 1/2 inch (thickness) by 12 1/2 feet (height). They were secured on the ground with Simpson Strong-Tie CB88 column bases in concrete. Each post has 2 bolts on the top to the railings and 2 bolts on the column bases.

Each CB88 column base has 2 bolts. The external rotten area starts at the post bottom and goes up close to around the column base's bottom bolt height. I think inside these posts, the rot may progress even higher. I dug some holes on a post with a screwdriver; it was soft internally, and blackened by fungus infestation.

If these posts must be replaced, is it a DIY project?

Attach a few images showing the porch and posts' rot.

enter image description here

How to tell if these posts are still repairable? For instance, if I dry the wood, and apply lay up & laminating resin, then fill-it epoxy filler, perhaps add fungicide (Bora care or TimBor), will this buy me a few more years before replacing these posts?

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This could be a DIY project, but it's pretty big. Anytime you start messing with support columns you can get yourself into a big project. But, that said, this is most likely doable.

You need to get the bottom of the post off the ground with some sort of concrete footing and replace the bottom (or all) of the post.

Basically, if you hired a contractor, he'd prop up the roof using doubled 2x8's on each side of the post. Then he'd either replace the whole post or cut off the post about 2 feet from the ground. He'd probably (based on code) also dig a hole and pour a concrete footing and then bolt the new post base back in. The size and depth of the footing can vary by local regs and the contractor's preference.

If it were me, I'd prop up the porch, take out a post, dig a hole (2 foot+, unless you are concerned about frost heave in which case 4 feet+), put in a sono tube up to about a foot above ground, fill it with concrete and put a new post in.

Based on local code, this would probably require a permit (but depends on where you are and the nerve of your contractor - personally, I'd do this myself without a permit...)

You reuse the metal bracket by embedding in the top of the new footing (sand it and paint it with rust proof paint), but you might not need it. Home Depot has lots of various bracket to attach vertical columns to footings. Also, google images is your friend on how this can look.

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    Absolutely agree with getting the footings up out of the ground. That's a ton of rot in only 12 years. – Comintern Sep 30 '15 at 0:18
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    Couple of tiny comments: a pro probably wouldn't splice -- they'd replace the entire post. The way the top connects wasn't specified, so this could be a hard job, but in most cases, a post replacement is pretty straightforward. Doing it solo would be a pain, though. Agree about getting it off the ground, but that could be accomplished with a bit of concrete on top of the existing pad, assuming you've got something solid to build on. – Aloysius Defenestrate Sep 30 '15 at 2:28
  • Also bear in mind that while this looks like a lot of rot for only 12 years, these posts don't appear to be pressure treated. You'd expect an awful lot of rot in an untreated fallen tree in 12 years. – Craig Sep 30 '15 at 6:02

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