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I am looking to replace these pillars on the front porch. My questions are, Is there something specific I should look for?

How were they put in when it was a new construction?

Is there a metal rod going through the middle? If not all the way, is it only 3-4 inches from the top and bottom?

How does it stay in it's place? Just the weight of the roof? I don't see any screw holes, but that doesn't mean anything. It could have been putty'd over and then painted.

Are the pillars 'load bearing'? I'm going to put up a 4x4 in it's place while I fit in the new one just in case, but I'd still like to know.

I'd like to replace it with something that looks exactly like it, but I'm afraid it will be hard to come by at Lowes or Home Depot. Know anywhere where I can get one?

The house is built in 1982 if that helps.

Would you guys do it yourself or hire a contractor? I feel like I am able to do it myself. I remodeled my entire bathroom myself (shower, tile, vanity, can lights & toilet). I replaced the front door and storm door (w/ help) that's in the pictures. I put in garage doors and garage door openers. I've never done pillars before.

Here are some pictures. If you're like me, I like pictures. :thumbsup: If you need more pictures or close-ups let me know. I can take more.













Any help is appreaciated. Thanks!
 

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How were they put in when it was a new construction?
I don’t Know
Is there a metal rod going through the middle? If not all the way, is it only 3-4 inches from the top and bottom?
No & a probable NO
How does it stay in it's place? Just the weight of the roof?
Probably
Are the pillars 'load bearing'?
Yes but not huge
I'd like to replace it with something that looks exactly like it, but I'm afraid it will be hard to come by at Lowes or Home Depot. Know anywhere where I can get one
Forget the Big Box stores. Go to the local lumberyards and ask. But then you may only need to replace a section of the bottom or if there is some rot at the bottom & the top then depending on the amount you may get by with a PT 4x4 piece, transplant on both ends.
Would you guys do it yourself or hire a contractor?
Myself
Here are some pictures…..I can take more.
Enough with the pictures at this point. One would have been enough to illustrate the problem. The problem with lots of Pics is that when folks hit “Quote” to respond, then the entire OP is copied including all the pics unless responder manually deletes them.

Now to get started Do one post at a time

  • Do the local research as to who, how long & how much for a replacement Pillar
  • With a Permanent marker draw line on all four sides of the top & btm of the pillar so that the replacement will be in the exact same spot
  • Put in a temporary 4x4 support post. Use a 4x4 that is about an inch more than the pillar. Lay a 2’ scrap piece of sheet metal on the concrete porch about 6” from the pillar to be removed. Angle the top of the temp post about a foot from the top of a pillar. The bottom will be angled back towards the front of the house and resting on the sheet metal. Now with a sledge, hammer the btm of the temp post out toward the sidewalk. When you hear a creaking noise, or you get extreme resistance then you’ve gone far enough. The temp post does not have to be perfectly plumb. It is the there to temporally support the weight of the overhang.
  • Now Tap the btm of the pillar with the sledge.It should be loose. Then go to the top and work it back and forth until free.
  • Remove the pillar and do the forensics to see how much rot is in the pillar. If the turned area is OK and the rot is held to the 4x4 sections then you can get by without buying a whole pillar

When you get farther along I can give you some tips on installing a California style elevated Post Base and skirt to keep the new base off the concrete.
http://www.strongtie.com/products/connectors/epb44t.asp

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