Mr. Porch applies highest standards to porch replacement and repair

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Chicago Construction News special feature

Over the past 15 years, Mr. Porch has constructed almost 2,000 porches throughout Chicago. Focused on multi-story units, the company applies experience gained and a focus on going above and beyond, to ensure safety and longevity of its finished product.

Owner Frank Knight comes from a background as a hardwood floor specialist. In early 2000 he recognized that, as building codes changed, exterior porches were falling behind in safety ratings. There was also a demand for replacement due to aging wood, damage or repair.

Today, he and his team of 60 work with property owners, condominium associations and management companies across the city to replace or repair these structures. “We are required to stay on the same footprint as the original so we bring in an architect to redesign what is needed based on the latest Chicago Deck and Porch Design Code.”
This code dictates details such as footings, height of railings, connections and joists.

“Beyond what the code requires, we apply upgraded standards for metal connections and use a higher grade lumber than required to ensure the porch will last and be safe longer term.”

Though the team works primarily within the city of Chicago, completing anywhere between 250 and 300 porches a year, Knight says they have many repeat customers and they have worked in nearby suburbs when requested.

Knight says the work can be challenging, both for the physical aspects and because it takes place in a residential area so safety of residents, passersby, and the convenience of all must also be factored in. Each crew, he says, is headed by an experienced foreman with a focus both on getting the job done, and ensuring the safety of the crew and those in the area.

The team can conduct inspections, and then provide repair or replacement services and offers both wood and steel replacement. Mr. Porch also offers architectural drawings and offers tuckpointing. The latter involves removing and repairing deteriorated, damaged or missing mortar between brick, block, stone or other masonry work.

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