Replacing a wooden load bearing exterior pillar

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Old 10-09-15, 05:03 PM
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Replacing a wooden load bearing exterior pillar

Disclaimer: I have no prior experience at doing this

Pictures: here

I am about to tackle replacing a wooden pillar with a composite one (doesn't rot) and in the fact gathering stage. The pillar is 66". I have a general idea of the steps but need more specific answers before beginning. Any help would be much appreciated.

[New pillar]
What is the best composite material I can get to replace this with? Aluminum or PVC or fiberglass or other?
I assume I order a standard size and cut to custom size?

[Support beam]
From what I have read, I need to make a T-support by placing a piece of wood (2"x6") diagonally at the corner of the roof support (top of T) and put a support beam under it. Is 2"x6" strong enough at the top? What size beam do I need for vertical support pillar (4"x4" deck beam?) or bigger?

[Old pillar]
This is where I am most confused. I cannot tell if this is a solid piece of wood with trim around or not. From picking at the loose pieces, the wood feels very light and not at all very strong. I wonder if there is a support beam in the middle and if it is secured to the roof and base. What is the best way to tackle removing this once I have the roof T-support secured? Remove top and bottom trim then...?

[General questions]
What is that piece of material at the bottom of the trim touching the concrete? It looks like fiberglass. Do I need this piece? What are those plastic popsicle stick pieces also at the bottom of the trim for?
Looking at the top of the old column, I see that it doesn't sit flush to the roof - I assume I will need a plinth for the new column to push against (from what I have seen, the PVC etc are all hollow). What is the best material for this plinth? Do I use the same top plinth for for the bottom plinth or can the new hollow column rest on the concrete?
Are there any other things I should know before getting started?

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 10-09-15, 05:51 PM
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Column not a pillar.
Need a picture showing the whole thing not just the bottom.
There's dozen of company's that make columns to match what you have, just Google "column".
It rotted because there was untreated wood in direct contact with the concrete.
2 X plate at the top and bottom, a bottle jack, a 4 X 4 is all I've used when lifting enough to get out the old one.
 
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Old 10-09-15, 06:08 PM
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Hey thanks for correcting. The link should show five pictures - one of them shows the whole column.

I just looked up bottle jack on Home Depot. So the bottle jack sits on a plate with the 4x4 directly on top of the jack (and plate at top of 4x4)? it seems like it would be wobbly at first thought. What would you use for the plates? 3/4" plywood? Cheers
 
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Old 10-09-15, 06:50 PM
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In your case nothing is needed at the bottom, makes you feel better add that 3/4 plywood under the jack, add one piece of 2 X 6 at the top to preventing damage to the coil stock.
Not sure how a 4 X 4 is going to be wabbly once it's under pressure.
Only going to have to lift it about 1/4" to get it all out.
Need to have your new post on site before doing anything.
I guess I take things for granted, I have up to a 50 ton bottle jack on hand, steel pipe welded to 1/2" steel plate to set on my pistons on the jacks so they do not punch through the 4 X 4's.
For what your doing a a simple 2 ton jack should work.
Any Northern Tool, Harbor Fraight, Tractor Supply will have them.
 
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Old 10-09-15, 07:04 PM
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Awesome man.

Yeah the steel plate would make me feel more comfortable - I googled "bottle jack porch" and the images where the 4x4 touches the top of the bottle jack looks sketchy.

Do you think the top and bottom of the old column is screwed or attached in some way or do I just slide out the column once the support is in place? This part I'm kinda confused on.
 
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Old 10-09-15, 08:42 PM
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No way anyone off site is going to know how it was attached, if at all.
A sawsall with a bimetal metal cutting blade will cut through anything holding it in place.
 
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Old 10-10-15, 05:04 AM
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While I've never installed any columns like the one pictured, I've painted numerous ones. They come in wood, plastic or fiberglass [?] and aluminum. When using wood, the bottom edge and as far up as you can access up the inside should be primed before installation .... most builders skip that. I'd opt for a non wood replacement.

btw - welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 10-10-15, 08:06 AM
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Thanks joecaption.

And great to be here marksr! Yes, I agree about non-wood replacement. Currently trying to get as many quotes as possible.
 
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