A build-up of moisture and insects can easily damage porch columns and can be disastrous for wood columns, which are already difficult to maintain.
A great solution to protect your columns is a porch column wrap. These do not only offer protection, but they also maintain the column material, prevent damage, and add curb appeal to your porch.
Porch column wraps are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, designs, and textures to cater to the architectural style and environmental needs of your porch.
What are Porch Column Wraps?
Porch column wraps are structures that can be wrapped around any existing column to provide protection against rotting, bugs, and excess moisture. These wraps are also commonly installed for decorative purposes due to the array of colors, sizes, and designs available.
A porch column wrap will conceal the original structural support to create a new-looking column, without the effort! Columns can be easily wrapped using basic building products to produce a cost-effective and low-maintenance system that prevents damage.
Types of Porch Column Wraps
Porch column wraps differ in styles, texture, quality, and size, enabling you to find one that enhances the design of your front porch. The two main types of wraps include vinyl and cellular PVC column wraps.
Vinyl Porch Column Wraps
A vinyl porch column wrap is easy to install and will offer a finish that is alike to the style of real wood. As a result, a vinyl porch column wrap is best suited to craftsman-style homes for a charming overall look.
Vinyl will require more maintenance than PVC column wraps despite their similarities in the finish.
Painting vinyl column wraps is also slightly more challenging than a PVC column as, without primer and the right temperature conditions, the paint is likely to peel.
Cellular PVC Porch Column Wraps
The wide range of size options enables PVC column wraps to be considered as the most versatile choice of column wrap currently on the market. A PVC column will also be unaffected by moisture, rotting, and bugs, as they are durable and strong.
PVC wraps also protect against shrinkage and warping, which makes them a popular material choice.
Typically, most PVC column wraps are structured as 4 sided, creating a square shape. The details within the decorative design, however, are changeable.
Additionally, you can easily paint PVC column wraps any color with no risk of increased maintenance or upkeep.
How to Install Porch Column Wraps
The installation of porch column wraps is an easy process that can be done by anyone, with little skill required. Alternatively, if you’re not feeling up to a DIY project, you can hire a carpenter.
While installing column wraps only requires one person, having another person available to help comes in handy for a quicker and easier installation process.
The following tools will be needed to upgrade your columns:
1. Circular Saw
A circular saw with a standard blade will be needed to cut the column wrap to the right length.
You will need a level to make sure your measurements are even and the wrap is straight.
This will be used to secure the PVC plugs into screws.
A drill is required for securing screws into the columns and attaching the wrap.
5. (2) Bar/Quick Clamps
Clamps are essential for connecting the final wall of the wrap to the rest of it! They will help connect the mitered joints.
A square is required for more accurate measurements and straight lines.
7. Tape Measure
A tape measure will ensure you cut your column wrap to the right size for your pillar.
8. Clear PVC Glue
You will need this glue to connect the remaining wall to the rest of the wrap.
9. 3” Weather-Resistant Screws
Weather-resistant screws are fundamental to securing the wrap firmly onto the column. This will prevent screws from coming loose, or damaging due to bad weather.
10. Cortex/Equivalent Screws and PVC Plugs
This is needed to install the caps and bases to the column wraps. The plugs will conceal the appearance of the screws.
11. Sanding Block (Optional)
We recommend using a sanding block with 320 grit or finer.
Follow these step-by-step instructions below to safely and quickly install your column wraps.
1. Choose Porch Column Wraps
Firstly, you need to choose a material and style for your column wrap. At HB ELEMENTS, our cellular PVC wraps come in a range of designs to suit the look of sophisticated, traditional, or modern porch aesthetics.
2. Pre-Fit Column Wrap Over Post
Using the tape measure, identify the height of your existing column. With the circular saw, cut your column wrap according to this measurement. You will need to cut all 4 sides of the wrap. Remove the loose side, as this will be installed later.
3. Install Wrap on Post
Hold the larger, three-sided section of the wrap against the column and stand it around the pillar securely.
Drill the 3-inch weather-resistant screws into the top and bottom of the column, ensuring that they are positioned so that the screws will be hidden by the base and cap.
This will make sure that the wrap is firmly in place – it should not be able to move in any direction at this point.
4. Install Remaining Side
Place the remaining side of the wrap on a flat surface. Using the PVC clear glue, place a line of glue along the joint edges. When you are ready to install this final side, use the clamps to firmly join the sides together.
It is easiest to start with the clamps at the bottom and work your way upwards. This will engage the lock miter.
If you notice any rough edges, feel free to use a sanding block to smoothen it out.
5. Install Caps and Bases
Finally, you will need to install the caps and bases. Following a similar process to the wraps, connect the caps and base around the column.
Glue the leftover piece and use clamps, screws, and a drill to secure it. Cortex screws and plugs will ensure a clean, concealed finish. Use your hammer to insert the plugs over the screws.
In summary, porch column wraps provide a functional and attractive solution to damaged porch columns. They will not only restore your curb appeal, but will limit the amount of upkeep required to your home’s exterior.
HB ELEMENTS provides PVC columns with tremendous options in size and scale, boasting easy installation and minimum maintenance!