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!!

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