Is Your Porch Safe?

Spring is finally here and you are about to start using that old rickety porch for another year. Is that stairway really safe? If you are a multi home owner are you willing to bet another season on that?

We don’t mean to scare you, but it is a serious concern. The last thing you want is to have unhappy tenants or worse – a story on the evening news after a collapse.

At Porch Builders, we are experts in Chicago porch code violations. We don’t need to sell you on anything, but we’d love to come and make sure your porch is safe for a long time to come.

We promise, there will be no pressure to rebuild anything if things are looking great. But we do trust that if you call us, there is probably a valid concern, and we hope that you will take our expert opinion seriously.

So don’t wait, pick up the phone or contact us via email today at (773) 251-9879.

One company, less stress

Are you confused with all the choices when planning your deck or porch? There are many types of wood, composite, steel and concrete.  Even concrete has many options! Trying to figure out what works for your needs can be an exhaustive decision.

There are many things to consider outside of the building details as well. Including your city’s codes, regulations and building permits. You may have a thousand options running through your head and you do not know where to start.

Let Porch Builders be your help! We can answer and guide you along the way. We can work with you to have the porch of your dreams. Porch Builders is one company that can do it all from beginning to end and will directly work with the city to handle the codes and regulations that it takes when building your porch or deck.

In the meantime, here’s an article that may help you decide on the materials of your deck project.  Happy planning and give us a call today at 773-251-9879.



Spring and a new porch

We don’t know about you, but we here at Porch Builders are extremely excited for this nice weather! So as our work continues through the winter, the season is here for us to get outside and fix more porches. And no one is happier than us to do it in this nice weather.

It is also the time of season which our call volume kicks in. With snow melted,  it’s now evident what damage is done to your porch.

Whether you have a porch made of wood, steel or even plastic,  we can help with code violations, damage or complete rebuilding.

Give us a call today! If you are located anywhere in the Chicago area we can come out and give you a quote right away so you know the options and features of a new porch.

May is National Deck Safety Month

According to the North American Deck and Railing Association, there’s been an increase in the number of decks that have collapsed, fallen apart, or otherwise failed. So now is the time to really have your deck inspected just in time for all of the warm weather gatherings. Make this an annual inspection especially in cold weather climates such as Chicago where the elements tend give more wear and tear.

Here are some of the things to consider:

  • Material – check for splitting or rotting wood. Check for holes that insects or animals could have made.
  • Check the gap between the house and the ledger board and make sure it isn’t shifting.
  • Check the flashing behind the ledger board and make sure it hasn’t shifted or is rotten.
  • Make sure all railings are tight and not loose.
  • Check all support posts and make sure they are in alignment.
  • Make sure you deck is sealed correctly to prevent wood from warping.

Making sure you deck has all of these checks and balances can save you from injury and also save you money in the future. Hiring the right deck builders is very important and we at porch-bbuilders will guide you through the complete process. We do all the work and never hire contractors, so you get hands-on experience. Call on the experts Porch-builders. We can give you recommendations and advice on any concerns you have with your current deck or building a new one. Give us a call today, 773-251-9879 or visit us on the Web, for more detailed information on deck and deck building!

Chicago Porch FAQs

Our customers have many questions regarding Chicago Porch Violations and how to correct them. Below are some frequently asked questions that will help you out!

How do I know if my porch is safe?
While the city of Chicago has resources available for owners to inspect their own porches, your safest bet is to use a professional like Porch Builders. They have the experience of looking at all types of porches every day, and knowing what to look for.

My porch looks or feels unsafe, what should I do?
Of course, you can again call us here at Porch Builders to help you evaluate if your intuition is correct.

Also, in Chicago you can also dial 3-1-1 and ask for an “owner-requested” porch inspection. Just leave a contact name and phone number with the 311 operator.

If you are a tenant and notice any questionable conditions, make a note of the specifics and inform your landlord/property owner. If they fail to act immediately to remedy the problems, call the same 3-1-1 number.

What do inspectors look for?
Building Inspectors perform porch and deck inspections according to a set checklist. Inspectors look at all elements of the porch, including joists, beams, columns, stairs, hand and guard rails, ledger boards, connections, and footings. Per ordinance, all elements of porches and decks must be able to support 100 pounds per square foot.

We recommend you call us today to have your porch checked out. It’s best to beat the city inspectors to the punch!

Why now is the best time for home improvements

It’s time to renovate! After years of downturn, the housing and home renovation markets were showing the first signs of real recovery in 2012. According to a Jan. 23 report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, U.S. homeowners increased spending on home improvement projects by about 9 percent that year compared to 2011.

Now is also a great time to prepare your home to sell: In 2012, existing home sales reached more than 4 million units for the first time since 2007. The value of remodeling projects was also up in 2012: According to Remodeling magazine and the National Association of Realtors’ 2013 Cost vs. Value report, in 2012, the cost-value ratio of home improvement projects improved for first time in six years.

Now, if you know it’s time to make a change to your home but you don’t know where to start, consider the following:


  • Outward appearances matter. If your goal is to impress your neighbors – or potential home buyers – make sure the outside of your home is stable, attractive and up-to-date. You don’t want a potential buyer to sour on your home before they even walk in the door – the door that happens to have peeling paint, a broken hinge and rests atop stairs with broken concrete. Also, according to the Cost vs. Value report, external projects such as the deck and deck additions have some of the best returns-on-investments when it’s time to sell.
  • What will increase yours and family’s enjoyment of your home the most? Consider where family, friends and other visitors congregate the most in your home. For example, if you hold the family Thanksgiving at your house every year – and your kitchen’s design and countertops have been stagnant longer than your Aunt Jean’s stuffed cabbage recipe – now may be the time to install that island surface and new countertops to make yours and family’s cooking more productive and enjoyable.
  • And, most important: Your safety. Homeowners have put off many renovation projects during the downward economy, some for many years, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. But, if it’s been a while since you remodeled your porch, deck or stairs, they may pose a safety risk to your family and your home’s visitors. That money you put aside in 2008 for a future home improvement project may also be at risk if your stairwell or porch falls under a City of Chicago Building Code violation, which can cost upwards of $500 a day (or more) if you are cited.

If you need help making the change to your home, or you fear your home’s longstanding infrastructure may be unsafe, please Porch Builders of Chicago at (773) 251-9879 for your free estimate today. We’ll help you capitalize on today’s new housing market by ensuring your house is ready for family, friends, and potential buyers – as well as City of Chicago building inspectors.

How to Avoid Chicago Building Violations

You have the perfect idea for a do-it-yourself project renovating, replacing or adding on to your deck, porch or stairways.  You draft a plan, get ready gather all the materials and are ready to get working on your dream design.  But what are you missing? What are the other steps you need to take in order to make your project a reality?

The following are some of the common City of Chicago Department of Buildings standards and regulations and violations you need to consider:

Item A,

Item B

Item C

Item D

Confusing yet? There’s more:

Item E

Item F

Item G

While they may seem like a lot, these standards and regulations will help make sure you and your family are safe – as well as visitors to your home. But if all the little details become too overwhelming and begin to make your new hobby or project a chore, you’re in luck! We can take care of all these details for you so you can focus on what really matters -making your dream a reality, from design to completion. Come see us at the beginning of your project and we can begin expediting the building permit process for your porch system. Our staff is trained to handle all Department of Buildings procedures as quickly (and inexpensively) as possible.

If you know you want to make a change to your home – but need help imagining what this would look like – we can also assist. Our strong engineering and architecture background allow us to help you visualize your home’s new look, with your input, and we will take care of all the little details that are holding you back.  Contact us at (773) 251-9879 today!