Front porch nightmare!

2 Replies

So I bought a house in Michigan to flip and the front porch was broken and up on cinderblocks, the whole thing needed to come down and be rebuilt. I thought no big deal, factored in about $1000 in labor and materials. 

Now it's time to do the porch. I rented a post hole digger and went to dig the footing only to find a huge slab buried about 12" deep. It's like 30' long and 20' wide right where my porch needs to go. 

So I thought well maybe I can put a precast concrete porch in, those don't require footings, easy peasy. I called the building department, they said it was fine as long as it had a landing, so I started hunting for one with a landing. When I was discussing it with my husband, he recommended that I get it in writing from the building department before I have the porch installed. I didn't think I really needed to but I decided to follow his advice.

After several days of the building inspector not calling me back, I finally got ahold of him and asked him to send me something in writing. He refused and said 'well actually we changed our minds but I forgot to tell you. You need to pour 42" footings'. Forgot to tell me???

Thank god I listened to my husband before I spent $1500 and had a huge porch delivered that I couldn't move and wouldn't pass inspection. 

Now it's my last project left, it's holding up the sale of my house, and I have to figure out what to do with a gigantic slab. I think it's an old foundation.

Moral of the story? Get everything in writing, even things from the building department. Listen to your husband sometimes. And make sure and have a reserve in your budget!!

Originally posted by @Stephanie Goodman :

Moral of the story? 

Listen to your husband sometimes.

This made me giggle out loud.  Luckily I had NOT just taken a sip of coffee or I'd be wiping it off of my screen.  The real art is knowing when to listen and when to pretend to listen.

What kind of porch was it?  Couldn't just repair the existing porch? doubt it would have moved much with a slab under it.

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