Q. Last spring I completed a house with manufactured stone columns on the porches on both the north and south sides. The columns on the south porch have cracked at the corners (see photos), while the columns on the north porch are fine. The cracks are only on the two outside corners of each column, not the house side. The cracking occurred right away and hasn’t gotten worse.

A. Steve Thomas, who worked for 15 years in the stucco and masonry industries, responds: First, in my opinion, you’ve done nothing wrong in not turning the corner with your lath. I’m not familiar with your mix, but the work looks very proper, given the photos you provided. The north-facing porch (with a 6-foot bottom chord and no “seasonal” sun...

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