Porch Column Replacement

Porch Column Replacement

Porch Column Replacement – Important Things to Consider

A porch isn’t just a pointless part of your home designed to boost its aesthetics and protect the entrance, it can also be a warming, welcoming living space. 

During the summer months especially, there’s nothing better than kicking back, cracking open a cold drink, and relaxing as you watch the world go by. For many, a porch is a great spot in the home to do exactly that. 

Porches are readily exposed to the elements, plus they’re load bearing which means that they have to be durable as well as functional. This is why many of them have columns as opposed to just posts. As great as these columns may be, eventually there will come a time when you either want, or need, to replace them. A porch column replacement, however, is much easier said than done. 

Replacing a porch column can be a fairly hefty construction project and is something you need to get right. If you’re ready to replace yours, we’ve compiled this handy guide to help. 

Here are several important things to consider when it comes to a porch column replacement. 

Research Costs and Set a Budget

If you’re looking to replace the columns on your porch, before you even consider beginning any work, or buying any materials, the first thing you need to do is research costs and set a budget. 

As you might expect, like seemingly everything else in the world over the last few years, building and construction materials have increased in value. Not only that, but as interest rates have increased, as well as inflation, construction service fees and labor fees have also gone up. 

What does this mean? Basically, if you’ve ever replaced a porch column in the past, or had similar work done, unless that was carried out post-2020, the chances are it would have been far more affordable then than it is now. 

Begin the process by pricing up replacement columns, looking at different materials, and of course, speaking to different handymen and construction firms to get an idea of how much they charge. Once you have a rough idea, you can then set a budget which you know you can realistically afford. 

Decide on Materials

Another very important step when it comes to replacing the columns on your porch, is to decide on which materials you are going to use. 

Because of the advancements in construction over the years, porch columns and posts are now available in a wide range of different materials. You can get them in wood, metal, stone, and resin. You can also get treated wood, laminated wood, or wood-effect resin. 

When replacing the columns, unless you have a specific style in mind, it’s a good idea to use materials as close to the original ones as possible. If for example, your previous wooden columns are being replaced due to rot, it’s a good idea to use wood columns as a replacement. 

Ensure the Roof is Supported

Another hugely important thing to consider when it comes to replacement porch columns is the overall safety. 

Many people attempt the work themselves, and if they have the necessary materials, skills, experience, and expertise, this is a great way to save a few bucks on labor. However, safety is paramount. 

Porch columns are load-bearing, which means that temporary structural support for the roof of the porch must be provided before you remove the columns. Fail to do so, and the porch roof will collapse. Not only will this result in even more work and expense, it can also be very dangerous as well. 

If you hire professionals to carry out the work for you, they should almost certainly be able to provide the necessary materials and equipment required to ensure everything is safe and secure while the columns are replaced. 

Understand the Time Required

Replacing the columns on a porch isn’t a huge job, but at the same time it’s not just something you do when you’ve an hour to kill on a Sunday afternoon. 

If you hire a professional, or a professional construction firm, they should be able to take care of the replacement for you much quicker. Usually, the entire process will take no more than a day. Depending on the weather, the size of the porch, and other factors, they should have the old columns whipped out, and the new ones put in in around three – five hours tops. 

Ensure You Understand the Process

Even if you aren’t tackling the column replacements yourself and are instead leaving it to the experts, it’s still a good idea to familiarize yourself with how the process works. 

Once you have all the necessary tools and equipment, including the replacement columns ready and measured correctly, the porch roof will first be secured in place. 

Experts have their own tools, equipment, and methods, but typically temporary replacement columns and/or posts will be jacked up to take the weight of the porch roof. Once this happens, the columns/posts can then be safely removed.

After adjusting the jack to level out the roof, the new columns can then be cut and fitted as required, with any holes or cuts being sealed. The plinth can then be put in place and sealed as necessary as well. 

Once the column is securely secured in place, the jack and temporary supporting structures can be removed. 

Finish the Columns

Finally, with your sturdy new columns in place, the last thing to do is finish them. 

Once the columns are securely in place, you can start adding the finishing touches to them to help give the porch a more welcoming, homely feel. 

If using wood, ideally, you’ll want to treat the wood (unless specified not to) to help make it weatherproof. You can then oil it, stain it, or paint it so that it matches the rest of your porches’ décor. 

You can now add things like hanging baskets, pictures, wall art, sculptures, candles, lanterns, and any other accessories you enjoy that you feel would enhance the overall ambience of your rejuvenated porch. 

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