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How to Choose Wood Porch Columns For Your Home

home exterior with porch columns

Whether you're buying them for a new home or replacing existing ones, wood porch columns have the power to transform your home's exterior. That said, it's important to pick the right type of wood and the right style to best complement your home. Keep reading for some helpful tips for choosing wood porch columns for your home.

Choosing a Type of Wood

When it comes to choosing the right kind of wood for your porch columns, be sure to pick a wood that is pressure treated and KDAT (kiln dried after treated). Pressure treated and KDAT lumber are better options than regular wood, as their chemistry makes them resistant to rot.

Pressure treated wood is designed to withstand the elements because it contains a copper rich preservative like Alkaline Copper (ACQ), Micronized Copper Azole (MCA), or Copper Azole (CA). Nowadays, there are many pressure treatments 

that don’t contain chromium or arsenic. These chemicals help the wood resist fungus, microorganisms, termites, and even water for decades, making your posts durable.

Pressure treated wood sometimes looks green due to the chemical reaction between the wood and preservatives. Even though the wood may be green, you can install it around your home without worrying about pollutants. Just don’t burn the wood. Burning releases toxins that are bad for your health and the environment.

Some pressure treated lumber is also covered in a water-resistant coating, which helps prevent warping. This type of wood feels damp when you touch it. It’s best to wait one to three months to let the wood dry out before applying a paint or stain.

All the wood products sold through S&L Spindles don’t require additional dry time because they have been kiln-dried after treated, meaning the columns are dried in a kiln after the copper preservative has been applied. This makes the wood completely dry. You can paint or stain the columns right out of the box.

Column Styles

Once you’ve explored the best wood choices, it’s time to pick the column style that works with your home’s architecture. The right column choice will add visual appeal to your home and make it charming. 

Most people don’t give columns a second thought, but they’re a small detail that can have a big visual impact. This architectural detail can be a defining element to your home’s exterior. Pick the right columns, add texture and color, and you’re on your way to creating serious curb appeal.

Consider blending the existing elements of your home with your porch columns for a safe and pleasing design. Porch columns are an architectural detail that is a major expression of the building’s style.  Make sure columns are the right proportions for your porch and that the shadow lines are crisp when you install them.

S&L Spindles offers four styles of an 8-foot long wooden porch column: the Colonial porch post, Plain porch post, Gazebo porch post, and Victorian porch post (pictured in order below). Each are designed to support the weight of a porch roof. All four styles are available in pressure treated pine or in western red cedar. 

The Colonial Porch Post

The Colonial porch post helps define a comfortable place to pause and relax. This style best complements the following types of homes:

  • Cape Cods
  • Colonials
  • Farmhouses
  • Italianates 
  • Prairies
  • Ranches

The Plain Porch Post

The Plain porch post is a simple embellishment that does exactly what it offers: supports a roof's weight. This type of porch post looks great on:

  • Art deco homes
  • Contemporary lodges
  • Cottages
  • Craftsmen-style homes
  • Dutch Colonials
  • Federal Colonials 
  • Greek Revivals 
  • Mid-Century Moderns 
  • Moderns
  • Spanish-style abodes
  • Townhouses 
  • Tudors

The Gazebo Porch Post

The Gazebo porch post adds an elegent yet comfortable style to your home's front porch. Consider opting for this post style on the following types of homes:

  • Farmhouses
  • French Country 
  • Georgian Colonials
  • Ranches

Victorian Porch posts look exceptional on:

The Victorian porch post evokes the look of a quaint dollhouse with more elaborate trimmings. This post style best complements these types of homes:

  • Farmhouses
  • Italianates
  • Mediterranean homes
  • Neoclassicals 
  • Ranches
  • Victorians 

If you’re interested in restoring a porch to transform your home’s exterior, remember, it is more cost effective to go with higher quality materials and then add a penetrating semi-transparent stain, water repellant sealer, or paint as a finish.

By choosing the right type of durable wood and finding a column that looks great with your existing architecture, you’ll get compliments from your neighbors and have a porch that mimics historic models.  

 

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