What's going on with these porch columns?

mearsMay 5, 2012

I have an enclosed 19' wide and 4' deep porch that I'm renovating. Currently it has 3 porch columns: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/aKQfBIkTnbDIRmWf83kwYJNI4D1ZCVBHGdmCgqGXr6s?feat=directlink

What you can see is 1x4 and 1x6 boards boxing in the column and then the "V" at the top are 4x4 posts. I thought that the 1x4 and 1x6 boards were simply wrapping a 4x4 post for decorative purposes, but when I pried one of them back, the post is hollow.

I originally planned on removing the 1x boards and then wrapping the posts (which don't exist) with Azek or Fypon column wrap. Now I am at a complete loss at what do do and have more questions than answers.

1. Is the current setup safe? I've never seen 1" boards used for structural support? This stuff isn't even pressure treated. That being said, it's been standing for 20 years.

2. In the current setup, are those "V" 4x4 members at the top of the columns structural? I originally thought they were decorative, but now I'm not sure.

3. What's my best course of action: Removing the original posts altogether an replace with 4x4 posts which I'll wrap or leave these posts as-is and wrap them.

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No clue from the limited description given

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:43AM
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It's possible that the posts are purely decorative.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:38AM
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works much better if you post photos in your thread directly.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:21PM
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I'd replace them with 4x4 PT posts. Wrap or unwrap--your choice.

My sister's front porch is made from these, and a few years back when we went out to do some work for her we found termites in one of them. Yep, water + wood = termite food. So best to replace them with something less attractive to insects.

Just make sure you prop up on either side when you remove each post to avoid cave-ins.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:26PM
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