Portico question

All,
I recently had a new walkway put in front of the 30-year-old house and onto the front portico. The portico had two columns supporting it, height 8' 2". One of the columns had extensive insect damage, thus we need to replace it.
I went to Home Depot and bought two precast replacement columns. However, the measure only 8 feet. Each one has a cap and base, but they are only for "decoration" - they provide no support at all.
The question: Is the portico typically self-supporting? That is, if I put in the replacement columns in place, two inches short, does it matter? Did the old columns actually support the portico, or were they just for show as well? For what it's worth, the old ones were wooden, and they did fit well, but they were clearly resting on the trim wood, not on an obvious load-bearing beam.
The precast columns do not look like they are made to support anything except themselves.
Any opinions? Thanks in advance.
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onto
2".
it.
for
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Can't see your porch from here, or your old columns. A small portico may be self-supporting, but anything that extends more than, say, 4-5 feet from house, probably does need stifflegs. Did portico move when you pulled out old columns? (cracks in paint, trim joints opening up, etc?) If not, support probably isn't a problem. Even if old columns rested on wood boards of porch, there was probably a joist or such underneath that. 2 inches ain't much- a cast metal water base, or even some carefully cut squares of pressure-treated, would fill that hole. You say the new colums aren't structural looking? Is there a round or square pocket up the middle? Did the colums come assembled, or did you have to glue 2 halves together? Many modern trim pieces like that are designed to dress a 4x4 or 6x6 wood or steel column that carries the actual load.
If just piecing stuff in till it looks right doesn't give you a warm fuzzy, I'd call in a pro for advice.
aem sends....
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However,
be
support
the
fuzzy,
Thanks for the info.
Each new round column came as one piece, and it appears to be a casting material, like plaster or some other composite material. It is hollow down the middle.
The portico didn't seem to move at all when the old column was removed. The old porch was concrete (not wood) and is now covered in flagstone.
I figured that I'd create a veritcal beam to run down the empty middle of the new post to support the portico, just in case it actually needs it. Opinions on that?
Thanks again.
H
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That will work, but you still want to plug any gaps or the hollow column will become living space for SOMEthing..
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