Thanks for the reply and your recommendation. The contractor knows and knew that I wanted to put columns around the post but went right ahead with building the patio cover as per the architects plan anyway. I think the contractor is just too busy to take up any more time on this. Would you happed to know anyone in "the know" that could come up with some recommendations, such as substituting the wood knee braces with heavy duty metal braces: would that work? I just found out today that the tile on the rood weighs in at 3000 pounds! Anyway, thanks for you reply.