Columns have long been recognized for their decorative value as well as functionality. Whether free standing or integrated to support a roof, columns add beauty to any porch. Porch columns come in a vast range of sizes and styles. Four styles used widely because of their beauty are listed below”
Doric – Doric columns are the style used in ancient Greece and Rome. They have grooves that run from top to bottom and the ends are smooth. These columns are simple to install as they do not use a separate base.
Ionic – Ionic columns show intricate scroll designs at or near the tops of the columns.
Corinthian – Corinthian columns make use of inverted bells and laurels as decorative items.
Romanesque – Romanesque columns are generally square and have a trapezoidal base that they sit on.
In addition to coming in a wide array of styles, columns can be created using several different materials. Fiberglass, wood, and aluminum are commonly used to fabricate columns. Wood will require more maintenance on your part, but it is typically treated to resist insects, stains, mold and mildew because it will be used outside in the elements. Additional treatments are usually added to prevent warping or swelling for added stability.
A great deal of care is required when installing wood columns. Failure to take certain precautions can cause the columns to fail much sooner than would otherwise occur. These steps include but are not limited to:
Properly seal the ends of the column. If a cut is needed to achieve the desired height, paint the exposed end to seal the wood against the elements.
Provide adequate ventilation. Wood needs to breath to avoid rotting. Either place a small block at the top of the column between it and the soffit, or drill a hole into the soffit above the column to allow for air flow.
Avoid thick shrubs in the immediate vicinity of the columns and keep sprinklers aimed away from the columns. Natural rains will assault them enough without adding to it.
Make routine inspections of all sides of the columns. The elements will affect them and degrade them over time. Regular inspections can reveal potential problems and allow time for correction well before any serious damage occurs.
Fiberglass and aluminum are both lighter weight alternatives to wood for columns. They also require less maintenance as the weather will not effect them as much. Extreme care must be taken when obtaining measurements for ordering purposes, as cutting and adjusting will not be options when installing these columns. Aluminum columns have a high enough tensile strength to be used as support beams for a second floor if the home has two stories. In addition, it is possible to add outside finishes to fiberglass and aluminum porch columns that can give the appearance of stonework if this is desired.
Whatever material you choose to work with, porch columns will beautify your home and give it an old world look and feel. Hopefully this article has assisted you and informed you on how to Decorative Columns can improve your deck or porch.