the porch is on the second level of the home. it has four columns that hold up the front portion of the roof. between the columns are railings and boulsters.
originally, there was a two-story staircase that went from the ground level, up to the second story. we "closed in" the porch by removing the step structure, and closing off what was the top of the stairs with boulsters and a rail like the remainder of the top deck, making it uniform and "closed" or a dedicated porch, if you will. it's similar to other southern-style two-story homes with the top story having a porch the width of the home and carrying some weight of the roof.
when we dug up the posts that were holding up the stair structure, they were literally 4x4s that were sunk into the ground about a foot and a half. the concrete holding them there was no larger than a soccer ball. my husband was able to just pull them out of the ground without digging.
the second-story porch rests on four brick columns the height of the first story of the home. within each column is a similar 4x4. and as far as we can tell, the 4x4s encased in the brick are resting on the slab of concrete that sits at the first story and is the same perimeter of the second story porch.
i am not sure if that gives a better picture of what we're talking about.