We, and our neighbour, are planning to demolish a common structure front porch on a 100 year old, brick, semi-detached house, in two stages. First, we want to remove the roof and then rebuild the roofs and decks separately. One contractor has told us he would come in with a back hoe type of machine, which has a claw attachment, and take "bites" out of the porch's roof to demolish it. We are concerned about damage to the bricks where the roof is attached. There are joists jutting from the bricks, holding it on, not a ledger board, and we are also wondering about possible damage and disruption to the neighbours on either side. The houses are only about six feet apart.
Does the suggested demolition sound right or might it be too aggressive and rough for such an old structure? What is the best way to approach this demolition?
The machine sounds like a bit of overkill for work such as this. However, it has always been our practice to demolish carefully by hand especially in older homes as you don't know what is there, how they constructed the porch and as you indicated how the porch is attached to the house. As it pertains to the feasibility of constructing the roof and deck seperately, the answer to this really depends upon how the porch was constructed and the degree of remedial/rebuild required ie foundation/structure work. In our experience with porches it is always best to start from scratch unless you are absolutely certain that the existing structure and foundation is sound.
Kingsway Construction Inc
Kingsway is right, a machine like that seems to be overkill especially on a home of that age. Bricks get brittle, and you never really know how things are attached in a home that old as a lot of things didn't have the same codes and procedures that we have to follow these days. Step one would be to see how the porch is fastened and attached before any thought of machines, and even still it should be removed by hand carefully. If you'd like a second/third opinion we at Ultima Home Improvements with our 50 years experience would be happy to help.
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