Exterior View Before Renovation Starts.

This is the exterior of the home. It has been painted many times. While it's not very obvious, the porch has a serious problem. The center support has failed and the porch sags in the center. It's getting worse by the day. Also, if you look closely, you can see a rope holding up the electrical service entrance pole. It's not very visible in the pic, but the pole has taken on a severe lean. I have already had the power company out and they have cut the power lines for me so I can replace the pole and service entrance. The pole is not rotted, but was initially set wrong. Unfortunately, the new electrical codes will not allow me to re-use the pole. Current code requires a minimum Class 7 round pole. My pole is square.

Solutions:The porch will be removed when we are ready to side the home. Since it is attached to the home with screws penetrating the aluminum siding, removing the porch would cause more leaks. When I do remove it, I will salvage as much wood as possible and build a smaller porch. I estimate a total cost of about $200 for replacement posts, screws and fasteners, and concrete. That cost could easily quadruple if I am wrong in the amount of wood that is still OK to use. The skill level required for this type of repair is medium DIY.

The power pole is a much easier fix. I will remove the old pole and salvage it to use as two light posts at my horseshoe pits. A new 25' Class 7 round pole will cost about $200 delivered. The existing service cable is SEU cable. I am replacing it with 2" conduit and a weather head along with 4/0 aluminum or 2/0 copper (whichever I can get my hands on cheapest). The new meter base is free from the power company. A new 200A disconnect will cost about $100. Two new 5/8"x 8' ground rods are $11.00 each. Whether I use copper or aluminum, the service entrance cable from the drip loop to the meter base won't cost more than $50. So, $400 should cover the cost of replacing the entire electrical service entrance. However, before the electric company will re-connect the power, I will have to have an inspector come out and sign off on it. The average cost is about $150. There is no DIY skill level applicable to this type of repair. A licensed electrician should do all electrical service! If I were to hire this out, I would expect to pay about $1000.

I don't intend to replace the pole until spring. Since the entire electrical system in the home is being replaced, it doesn't make sense to place the pole before I need it. For temporary power for tools, I have a 100' 12/3 power cord that I run from my home next door. It is plugged into a 20A GFCI outlet for safety.