Replacing Your Front Porch Columns? Read This First

Is it time to give your front porch a facelift? Replacing worn or rotting porch columns is one of the best ways to instantly improve your home’s curb appeal. But before you dive in, there are some important factors to consider.

We’ll look at planning and material options, demo of the old columns, proper installation techniques, and how to finish your new columns beautifully.

replacing front porch columns

Planning Your Porch Column Replacement Project

Careful planning is crucial for a smooth porch column replacement. There are a few key steps:

Choose Column Size, Location and Number

Evaluate your existing porch layout and determine if you need to add, remove or reposition any columns. Measure porch span distances to ensure proper structural support. For a classic look, space columns evenly. Standard column width is 6-8 inches.

Select the Right Column Materials

Today’s porch column options include:

  • PVC – affordable, weather-resistant, low maintenance
  • Fiberglass – durable, won’t rot or warp
  • Composite materials like Trex – stain/fade resistant
  • Wood – traditional look, requires frequent upkeep

Consider factors like cost, structural needs, climate and how columns complement your home’s style. For load-bearing columns, strength is vital.

Check Local Building Codes

Most jurisdictions require permits for structural work like porch construction. Ensure you have any necessary approvals before starting.

How to Demo and Remove Old Columns

Demo is key to prepping for new porch columns. Here are some tips:

Support Roof Load Before Removing Columns

Place temporary supports under roof beams before detaching old load-bearing columns. This prevents sagging or collapse.

Methods for Taking Down Columns

Carefully pry off siding/trim around columns using a prybar. Use a reciprocating saw to cut lag bolts and remove column sections. Wear safety gear like gloves, goggles and a mask.

Detach Columns from Roof Framing

After removing a load-bearing column, disconnect it from roof by removing remaining nails, screws or adhesives. Remove old base blocks, trim and debris.

Installing New Porch Columns

Installing columns properly ensures they support the porch roof for years to come.

Position and Fasten New Columns

Place column centered on the footing. Use level and plumb to align it. Fasten with construction adhesive and lag bolts into roof framing according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Add Decorative Elements

Once structurally sound, attach column capital, base trim, flanges and other details. This completes the look.

Finish and Weatherproof

Caulk gaps then prime and paint columns completely. Use high quality latex or oil-base porch and floor enamel paint.

Maintenance Tips for New Columns

With proper care, your new columns should last for decades:

  • Inspect regularly for damage or deterioration
  • Repaint as needed to maintain protective finish
  • Repair cracks, rot or other issues promptly

Although it’s a big project, new columns can totally transform your home’s curb appeal. With proper planning and installation, you can enjoy stylish, structural columns that stand the test of time.

For more guidance, check your local building codes and consult an experienced contractor. Enjoy the satisfaction of a beautiful new porch!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *