Our company was called in to replace the bases of six large columns on the two-story porch of a Colonial Revival house in Bernardsville, N.J., 30 miles outside New York City. The column shafts had a diameter of a little over 27 inches and a circumference of around 86 inches. Installed when the house was built in 1907, they were showing degradation at the bases, and there was some concern that they might be failing.

The original plan was to replace just the bottom portion of the columns. An engineer’s inspection revealed no problems with the upper shafts, and there were good reasons to avoid pulling entire columns. In particular, the two end columns were tied into second-story porches at mid-height. One of these columns had a concealed structural post...

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