What's going on with these porch columns?
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.