Structural support beams can serve as an additional architectural feature in your home. Available in many materials and styles, you can use porch columns and porch column wraps to make your home more visually appealing and improve curb appeal.
Read on to learn all there is to know about column wraps for your home’s exterior – from the different types of column wraps to how to install them and more! Take advantage of the structural features in your home to get the look you want.
What is a Porch Column Wrap?
Porch column wraps are split in half, designed to fit around an existing column to improve its appearance and enhance the look of a building’s exterior. Column wraps do not bear any weight and are simply decorative installations. If you have structural support columns in your home that appear bare or unsightly, you could benefit from installing porch column wraps.
Different Porch Column Wraps
Porch column wraps come in numerous materials to create aesthetically pleasing styles that increase your curb appeal. When choosing your front porch columns, you should consider the material’s durability and what maintenance is required.
PVC Column Wrap
PVC has low greenhouse gas emissions and is highly durable and weather-resistant, and lifecycle studies show it is one of the more eco-friendly choices for your column wraps. PVC is a versatile material that can complement the exterior of many different home styles. For inspiration, check out the PVC columns HB ELEMENTS have installed on many homes in various shapes and styles.
Stone Column Wrap
Stone can be a luxurious addition to the exterior of your home, and stone column wraps eliminate the need to hire a stonemason, which can be costly. You can create a stone base for your existing columns, or you can wrap them from top to bottom – the choice is yours!
Cedar Column Wrap
Cedar is a popular wood choice for front porch columns because of its durability. It’s rot-resistant and has a high resin content. If you want a natural wooden look, cedar is an excellent choice. You may also consider pine wood for colonial wood porch posts.
Aluminum Column Wraps
Aluminum is lightweight and warp-resistant, making it an excellent material for column wraps. You can expect at least two decades of durability from them. You can paint aluminum column wraps to match your home’s exterior.
Vinyl Column Wraps
Vinyl is a relatively inexpensive material to use for your column wraps and is one of the most commonly used wraps for porch columns. Vinyl column wraps come in numerous colors to match your home’s exterior. Vinyl wraps require regular cleaning to keep them looking fresh and visually appealing.
Fiberglass column wraps are often used to create a stone effect for a much lower cost. Unlike wooden column wraps, fiberglass wraps are much more weather resistant, increasing their life cycle. Though they can withstand weather conditions and bug infestations, fiberglass wrap columns can be vulnerable to cracks which means that you must replace the whole column wrap.
Faux wood column wraps are a more sustainable alternative to wooden column wraps, making them a better investment. Faux wood wraps are made from PVC with a wooden effect to give a natural look without the risk of rot and insect damage.
Faux stone column wraps are made from polyurethane for a natural look at a much lower cost. Faux stone column wraps are easy to install and will not cost as much as authentic stone, creating a textured look for exterior porch posts and porch columns.
Benefits of PVC Column Wraps
Installing PVC column wraps is an excellent choice for your front porch makeover. Some of the benefits of opting for PVC column wraps for your porch posts include:
Durability - unlike wood and other delicate materials like fiberglass, PVC is durable enough to withstand cracks, weather conditions, and insects.
Low-maintenance - PVC porch columns will require minimal maintenance, simply cleaning and painting should they be yellowed by the sun.
Versatility - you can paint PVC porch posts in any color to match your home's exterior, and they are available in many different styles with different accents to suit your home's aesthetic.
Low cost - compared to stone and wooden porch columns, PVC column wraps are relatively low cost.
Elemental effects - if you prefer the look of wooden porch posts, you can opt for elemental-style PVC columns which emulate the look of wood.
Easy installation - you can install PVC columns on your own with ease.
Updating your Front Porch: Installing Column Wraps
Installing column wraps is relatively simple and can completely revolutionize the look of your front porch. Let's dive in and explain how to install column wraps!
Here is a list of some of the materials needed for installing column wraps and what you will need them for during the installation process.
You will need a level to ensure that your front porch posts are straight and do not appear misaligned with your front porch. You should check the alignment of your columns during each step of installation before securing them.
You will need a hammer for securing your wraps during the installation process. You can also use a nail gun if you'd prefer.
A circular saw is needed to trim pieces of your columns to suit the shape of your porch posts.
Drill, Drill bits
A drill and drill bits are also recommended, as you will need to use a drill to secure your column wraps.
Glue is also an integral part of securing the two halves of your column wrap so that they fit together seamlessly.
Before applying your column wraps, you will need to measure your existing porch pillars to gauge whether or not the wrap is a perfect fit.
You should also invest in some safety equipment and possibly a ladder depending on the height of your porch columns.
There are four main steps to install a column wrap on your front porch columns.
Measure and Pre-Fit the Chosen Column Wrap
Before installing your PVC front porch posts, you must measure your porch posts and ensure that your column wrap will fit perfectly. Cut your columns 2 and 1/4 inches shorter than the height of the column, as you will need 2 inches for the top and base and an additional quarter inch to account for expansion. If there is a gap between your wrap and the post, you will need to cut and install spacers to bridge this gap at the bottom portion of the column.
Install Three-Sided Section of Wrap on Porch Column
You must glue and tape together three wrap sections to create a U shape. Do this by gluing the seams of the wrap together and using tape to keep them secure. Once this is done, you can place the U-shaped segment onto your porch post. Use your level to create pencil markings for where the column should be placed. Then, you can use nails, screws, and adhesive to secure the wrap to the post.
Install the Remaining Side
Once this is done, you can use glue and tape to secure the last panel of your front porch posts. Once the glue is dry, you can remove the tape and use caulk and sanding to remove imperfections.
Add the Caps and Bases
The final step in installing your PVC column wraps is to add decorative caps and bases. These can be secured to the top and bottom portion using the tape and adhesive method and then secured using nails and screws. Once this is done, alter imperfections and let them dry. Once dry, you can paint your PVC front porch posts to your preferred color.
Column wraps are an excellent way to spruce up your porch posts and make an excellent addition to your list of DIY porch ideas. They are easy to install, and PVC column wraps are affordable, durable, and painted to suit your front porch.
Consider updating your window trim. Your front porch posts and home’s exterior will look immaculate. For PVC front porch posts and faux-wood front porch posts, check out HB ELEMENTS. Their portfolio of work will give you an idea of the quality you can expect from their PVC front porch posts.