Porch coloum help

Need a little help.

Are the two white colums on your right support coloums for the balcony and roof?

Base of bottom coloum is totally rotted thru.

Builder says no they are not, only decorative.

Appears to be structural.

If decorative only, he (the Builder) would have no problem at all their removal.

If they are decorative, the balcony and roof would have to be adequately supported by means of cantilever. Its hard to tell the depth of the balcony from the photo but it does appear to be a bit much. What was the approx cantilevered depth.

I agree that they appear to be structural.

Recommend repair as needed to maintain structural integrity…let him put it in writing that they are not structural, if he wants to.

The only decorative thing about these posts is the outer wood covering. Which is obviously rotted and needs replacing.

Inside these rotted decorative coverings are most likely the solid support posts that are supporting the upper structure.

I doubt that this portion of the structure is cantilevered when they have the option of installing solid support posts.

Thanks for all the replies, David reminded me in his previous post something I forgot to mention: The insides are hollow as I could stick my hand right in it and feel around … nothing was there, no inner post. Also the entire street was built by the same builder and all the columns are the same, rotted thru. The client took me around almost to every house showing me them.

Either way, it needs replacing. Let the Carpenter tell the clients what their in for.

I always “Recommend Carpenter to evaluate and estimate costs of repair to support posts at front entry and balcony”.

With the inside being hollow tell the builder they need to have vent holes to slow the rotting in the future. They have to breath or they will and do rot from the inside out!

I don’t understand what difference it makes, whether they are structural or decorative. It needs to be repaired. In my state, that means it automatically goes in the Summary as a significant issue. Why quibble about whether or not it is structural?


I agree with Joe F. it doesn’t matter if structural or not they should be replaced. BTW IMO they are not structural columns.

I have seen these columns in 100 year old homes [front porch] they are hollow and they ARE used as a structural column. They usually are roted at the base. The solution is to use an aluminum base.I have replaced 1/2 a dozen of these columns and used these aluminum bases. They can be painted and also allow water to escape. I’m very surprised that this builder has not used aluminum bases for these columns. Maybe cost?