There's no question that a porch looks and feels best when all of its components relate to the rest of the house's design. In an earlier column, we focused on how porch guardrails can complement a home (5/06); here, we'll talk about ways that porch columns, posts, and piers can do the same. Proportion and scale in particular are important when choosing vertical supports.

The terms "column" and "post" are often used interchangeably, but it helps to differentiate between the two. For the sake of this piece, we'll define a column as a vertical support, usually circular (but occasionally square) in plan, inspired by classical architecture, with a base, shaft, and capital. And we'll define a post...

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