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So, the porch how has a new support post. Getting the old one out and the new one in was certainly *nteresting*. Since we're too cheap for a *real* contractor, Dad came up with this ingeneous plan of improvisation. When doing this job, professionals use something called a ceiling jack, which is like a great big, much sturdier car jack. My uncle Vic has one, but it's currently holding up his garage ceiling. And again, we're too cheap to rent one. So what does Dad do?

He improvises. *cringe*

He sets a bunch of boards on the ground about two feet along the bottom of the porch from the support beam that's rotten (the one we're removing). On these he sets two smaller beams, about the size of railroad ties. He places more boards on top, on top of these he places a car jack (a CAR JACK) an on top of the car jack he puts more boards. He wynches. And winches. And the porch goes *creeeaaaaaak* and lifts about two milimetres off the existing post.

Then (and this was the really *fun* part) he hammers the saddle (the thing attached to the concrete base in the ground - big metally thing with nails that attaches to the bottom of the post) out from the base of the post, and bends it so we can get the post out.

HIs original plan was to - get ready for this - CUT THE POST IN HALF and *ease* it out. But since there was so much space, what with the rotten bits falling off the bottom (very confidence-inspiring, isn't it?), we (my Mum and I) were able to just lift the bottom until the nails on top of the post pulled themselves loose from the post itself. Our house... is crap. They just sort of... slipped out. Yeesh. Makes me wonder how many other bits of this house will just give up the ghost and collapse in about five years. I mean, who builds a backyard porch, in BC, with *untreated* lumber?

Anyway. At this point, the corner of the porch was basically suspended in mid-air, with the exception of the little railroad ties holding it up from the middle on the edge. Dad has me and Mum (who don't have any gloves, because *he's* wearing the only pair) grab the new post, which is unsanded, and about one-and-a-half times my height, and at least double my weight, and shove it into place. This involved some more ominous creaking, some kicking, and some swearing. A lot of swearing, actually, but the best of that came later. After this, we pulled out the little railroad ties.

Finally, when we realized that the base of the new post was wider than the base of the old post, Dad had me go out onto the porch and... get ready for it... JUMP ON THE CORNER in order to shove the post down into the saddle.

Which of course didn't work, because I'm too little. Personally I think *he* should have gotten up there and jumped. At least then we would ahve known for damn certain whether the thing was stable or not.

We ended up angling another railroad tie against the top of the post and hammering down against it, which seemed to work.

It should be noted - because although it isn't all that funny it kind of is - that at some point during the removal of the temporary posts, Mum stood up with a railroad tie over her shoulder. Dad, doing what he usually does when he's in charge of a project, which is bluster and yell, caused her to stand up and turn just a *little* too quickly. And Dad didn't duck *quite* fast enough.

Understand I'm only laughing now because he didn't suffer any horrible injuries, barring a little lump. But I heard this *yeow!* and then Dad was sort of sitting all sideways on the ground. Mum put down the tie, and asked if he was all right. and Dad said "No, I'm just lying on the ground because I'm tired."

But he's fine. No concussion. I'm afraid I missed the actual conking on the head, but I did turn around in about enough time to see Dad go down like a felled tree.

He didn't do much more blustering today.

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chandri
Chandri MacLeod
Fantasi.net

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