Help! Need to cover porch columns

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Help! Need to cover porch columns

Post by virginiamarie »

My house is over 135 years old (and shows every day of it!) I have no idea when the porch was added or enclosed, but the columns are wood, round and tapered. They have some splits but are still pretty sturdy -- also pretty ugly, and I was hoping to be able to find some flexible vinyl trim material to cover the outer portion of the columns. It doesn't seem to exist though. Does anyone know where I can find some material to cover these posts?...easy to work with is a really important part of tihs project as my husband and I are not professional anythings when it comes to dealing with this house. Or maybe someone has a better ideal altogether? Filling the cracks with wood filler and painting again is not an just encourages them to peel again!

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Post by Schag »

Vinyl is a dirty word around here.
I think that you'll find that filling and painting would be more appropiate.
If doing a job right entails a little more work, it's usually worth the effort.
I think paint would look better anyway.
Do you have any pics of the columns to show us?

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Post by beachbons »

Don't go with the vinyl for several reasons. 1) Yeah, it IS ugly. 2) When you cover the existing columns, you may "encapsulate" any moisture problems and, thus, will promote further rot. 3) If the columns were not tapered, the job MIGHT be easy, but, since you mentioned that they are tapered, then imagine wrapping a rectangular piece of paper around a conical shape and getting the seams to meet up perfectly.. Pretty hard to do unless you know the math involved.

Good luck


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Post by Starr-Point »

Greg's point (3) is really the nail in the coffin. It will look like a sloppy job.

The problem with these old houses is that nothing's easy. Scrub, scrape, and sand. Primer, paint, and protect.

And having had a set of composite posts on my last new house porch, they are hardly "no maintenance". As the saying goes, just lower maintenance. Bets of luck.

The Gingerbread Man
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Post by The Gingerbread Man »

Trying to dress them up with something flexible would be a major problem and I don't think it would ever look right. Also I've never seen a product for doing that. There are what we call column wraps. Column wraps are made to "cover up" completely, the sound structural post. We make these for homes where the builder or h-o builds a porch using plain 4x4 post but wants a beefier designed column with some style. We use a hardwood composite that would need to be painted. Other companies offer them in vinyl. Both products are resistant to rot and termites. On a scale of 1 to 10 for installation difficulty, I would give these a 6-8. You can run into problems if you don't have many tools or the skills to make something fit something else that isn't straight or square.
You may also consider replacing the turned posts with a turned post that is more to your liking.
Replace the posts with a square post and add exterior trim to give it some detail.

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Re: Help! Need to cover porch columns

Post by olivermasone01 »

I think filling and painting is better option than cover the outer portion of the columns

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