"Support" Columns

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Old 05-15-19, 01:49 PM
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"Support" Columns

Hello all, we're about to install a small deck at the front of our house, just off the existing concrete porch. At the edge of the porch, there are two decorative columns which appear to be made of large-diameter PVC pipe. We'd like to remove these columns. I have confirmed that these columns are hollow and not directly connected to the structure they are supporting. The spanning member appears to be doubled 2x10s. These columns appear to me to be purely decorative as they are not connected to the beam or porch, not centered under the beam, not evenly spaced across the span and the column bases are sitting on decorative brick instead of the porch concrete. How do I determine whether I can safely remove these columns?
 
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Old 05-15-19, 02:13 PM
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If you know the columns aren't connected to the framing above it, you can remove them. How did you determine that? What is above the columns? is the roof structure cantilevered out over the porch?
 
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Old 05-15-19, 02:26 PM
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Above the columns is a beam spanning the width of the porch. The span is about 18 feet. The beam is doubled 2x10. I am absolutely certain the columns are not connected to the porch structure in any way. The porch is inset into the house structure, so the roof is supported on both sides and not cantilevered. There is no home structure above the porch except the roof itself. I determined they are not connected by looking into the top of the column. There is no internal beam and there is no connection to the framing above.
 
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Old 05-15-19, 02:36 PM
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Best answer is that you need someone qualified to look at it in person. The columns may not be "structural" or may not even have been done properly but they are likely helping the beam resist deflection. Get a structural engineer or trusted general contractor to look at it in person.
 
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Old 05-15-19, 05:56 PM
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Too many variables for us to assess something we cannot see. As X said, best is to get someone onsite to render an opinion.
 
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Old 05-15-19, 09:17 PM
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Ok, thanks for the help. I was able to determine some basics, to include that the beam does indeed need some center- span support and that the current method (unconnected PVC pipe) is not adequate. Guess a new support column will be part of our deck build.
 
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