Much of my work these days is repairing or replacing windows, doors, and porches on homes that were built fairly recently, some even within the last 15 to 20 years. In most cases, the damage was caused by poor workmanship, such as reversed or nonexistent flashing. It’s frustrating because these features would have lasted a lot longer if the contractor had paid more attention to details; on the other hand, these problems create a good business opportunity for me.

The porch described in this article offers a good example. Built at the same time as the house in the 1980s, it seemed to be in reasonable condition until one took a closer look. The cracked and peeling paint finish on the fir decking concealed the beginnings of rot, the wobbly railing needed replacement, and when I dug around the bottom of the corner support post to evaluate the footing, I found a couple of inches of rot and no hardware to connect the post to the footing. In addition, the homeowner wanted to replace an extremely heavy access door to the area under the porch with a lighter one that would be easier for him to operate.

Read More