My porch gable is sagging. The gutters are filling up with water. I need to jack up the gable, remove the 4x4 fir posts and replace them. The posts are bowing. Also,they are sitting on a concrete post base, which sits on surface grade. The building inspector said that this doesn't even meet code. He said that I need to sink a Bigfoot or sonotube for each post, at least 3' deep. Our frost line is 6'. Anyway, I had planned to build the posts with 8" concrete block halfway, and use 4x4 cedar for the top half. I would then use Coronado river rock veneer over the block. Then, I realized that I could go old-school and take advantage of the tons of real river rock that I have all over my yard. I have always liked that big angled stone column bungalow look. I have never done any stone work. I was a masonry apprentice in high school, so I would have no trouble laying block. I watched my boss lay stone, and it looked pretty hard, especially round river rock. Should I use block or rock? How difficult is it to build a stone column? It would be much cheaper, as the veneer is very expensive. Plus, I could use up the rock that I don't want in my yard.