Queen Anne Porch Columns

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

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Tayloraut
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Queen Anne Porch Columns

Post by Tayloraut »

Our house is currently sided with aluminum siding. This summer we are going to remove the siding on the porch. Upon looking at the columns, we discovered there is nothing inside the aluminum columns. They are hollow. We assumed there were round columns in there. Kind of scary when you think about it. What kind of columns would a Queen Anne have? Round or square? Here is a picture of the house.

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i86/T ... 010046.jpg
Last edited by Tayloraut on Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Greg
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Post by Greg »

In the picture I see a round column on the outside corner. Are you telling me that is a hollow aluminum column? It must be thick aluminum. Thicker than the siding material, anyway.

Hollow wood columns are pretty common. If it is not a turned, fancy column it was usually made up of several pieces of wood and was hollow in the middle. I have square fluted columns on the front porch of my Queen Anne, which are hollow, and solid fancy turned columns on the back porch. I think a round column like the one on the picture would be appropriate for that house.

Tayloraut
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Post by Tayloraut »

Yes they are hollow aluminum columns. They really aren't that thick, at least in my estimation. :roll:

bethany14
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Post by bethany14 »

I know nothing about architechural history, except for what I picked up while sleeping through ARCH101. So, my un-educated opinion is to not match round columns with all the sharp rectangular spaces on your facade. But if that's what they did originally, it must've looked fine. I hope you find out! I'm sure it won't matter too much any way you go, it's a gorgeous home and it'll stay gorgeous :)

oldhouseluvr
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Post by oldhouseluvr »

I checked the Queen Anne's in the Field Guide to American Homes and it looks like both the turned and round posts were used about equally.

Have you checked out other houses in the neighborhood? Are there any Queen Annes like yours with a similar porch? Maybe looking at what the neighbors used for posts can help you decide what will look best on your porch.

My only caution would be to watch the scale. You don't want to use turned posts that are so skinny they look out of proportion to the size of your house.

Jack Willard
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Post by Jack Willard »

The current round column looks out of scale to me. Not only does it appear too large in diameter, but it also doesn't line up with the roof beams. And in turn, the solid-faced railing is offset to the outside instead of being centered on the column. Perhaps that is the proper look for a solid-faced railing though. It just doesn't look right to me.

The many Victorian houses in our area have either 6" turned posts or 4" square ones. These sizes look much more appropriate to support a simple porch roof like yours and mine. The only time I see larger diameter posts is when they are supporting a balcony where a heavier loading is possible.

Personally, I prefer the looks of the 6" or 8" square turned-and-tapered columns, with painted accent colors to punch their detail out visibly. Unfortunately our posts are the 4" square ones, and after looking at the cost to replace them with the turned type we decided to stay with the square ones.

Instead, I replaced the old falling apart hand railings with a new very decorative sawn baluster design that I found on a website in Canada. This really added alot to the porch and is complimentary to the square posts. I made all of it by myself, so the cost was very low.

Since your house has an all-horizontal linear look, without the decorative shakes or gingerbread features, the square porch columns would look best on your porch I think.
Jack Willard
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Tayloraut
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Post by Tayloraut »

I don't know that the porch rail is that wide on top or not. When we peel the siding off, hopefully we can see what is left of the original porch if anything. I am trying to locate a picture of the house, but have had no luck. I would love to restore the porch to what it should be. Any ideas on what the rails would look like?

Jack Willard
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Post by Jack Willard »

You're going to peel the siding off the porch railing? Why? I imagine the faced railing probably is common in your area. It varies by area.

If your railing were not covered, the only types I can think of that would be complimentary to your house would be plain old 2"x2" square balusters or maybe the flat sawn type.

What is it that you would like and envision for your porch?
Jack Willard
ImageOn the way to California in 1972
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The Gingerbread Man
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Post by The Gingerbread Man »

Your house has been remuddled by a PO.
I don't think the round columns go with the house at all.
I would think there is a support post in the center of the column.
More than likely there were decorated column wraps around the post that would give it dimension.Someone has also removed all decorative trim (gingerbread). There should be something in the way of gingerbread on your house.

Tayloraut
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Post by Tayloraut »

We are going to remove the aluminum siding from the whole house. There is wood siding on the house underneath. I imagine our porch probably had nice open railings with tapered square posts or round turned posts. I would love to find a picture so I could see if my vision is close. Any ideas where I might find a picture? Thanks :lol:

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