Decorative columns?

These lightweight ‘wrought iron’ columns supporting this minimally designed and constructed (i.e. homeowner installed) patio cover seem decorative to me rather than weight bearing and that’s how I plan to report it unless someone knows or thinks differently. Any thoughts?

If they weren’t there, would the roof fall?

IMO, if they werent there, gravity would win. :wink:

How is this attached at the house?

There were numerous other issues with the cover…no lags on the ledger board, didn’t use hangers for the joists, etc. I’m more concerned with whether I should even mention the columns though. Regardless, I likely will at least point out that they are marginal, like the rest of the cover, and suggest the client consider adding inexpensive 4x4’s for support that are properly anchored and attached at the cover.

Boxed steel is going to support as much if not more than a 4x4 piece of wood. The columns wouldn’t concern me at all.

Yeah, Mark, I’m sure your probably right. The compression strength is likely adequate but I wonder some about the lateral strength. I could wiggle these columns pretty good and they gave me the impression they could collapse if hit head-on pretty hard, okay very hard. Kind of like the viral video that went around a couple of months ago showing the pick-up truck with the trailer taking the bank’s portico down. Not that there would be anything that catastrophic occurring in this backyard. :smiley:

Wouldn’t you have pretty much the same scenario if they were 4x4 wooden posts? If they are loose, then that would be a concern. But as far as structural strength, I’ve haven’t see a lot of porch columns that could hold up to the pick-up truck (or even a couple of drunk college football players thinking it would be funny to play tackle dummy with the post.)

Seeing there is no snow load to worry about, my concern would be the rotation of that single member holding up the roof and the rusting of the metal wrought iron support at it’s base.
I don’t think this would hold a 20 year warranty against failure of some sort.
Write hard and speak softly. :mrgreen:

I’m with you Mike, the whole deal looks pretty flimsy to me. How is it attached to the house, traditional DIY method is to face nail to the fascia. I seriously doubt this would have survived hurricane Ike if it were in Houston.

I would just include it in the laundry list of possible issues with it.

I think this disclaimer on the column manufacturer’s website pretty much sums it up:



I would have to say that they are supporting the roof and that I would not mention them at all unless they showed excessive corrosion and/or were unfastened or excessively loose at the top or bottom.

Wood will rot before those corrode…I see no problem…unless you want to get outside the scope of a home inspector and provide engineering data on those columns they are fine.

Oh, btw, how many columns do we look at that while attached to the headers are never properly secured to the porch…yet not a word.