The exterior of your home is the first thing people see, and porch columns can give your home a stately aesthetic. If you're thinking of having ornamental columns installed, it's important to understand how the process works as well as what type of columns are available. Whether you're planning to sell your home or you just want to make an upgrade, read on to learn more about the cost to install ornamental columns, the different styles you can choose from, and more.
|What you can expect|
|Range per column:||$373.73||$523.30|
|Range for this type of project:||$374||$523|
Cost of residential-grade PVC ornamental columns.
Column Labor, Basic
Labor cost, under typical conditions, for complete installation. Top and bottom blocks will be located and plumb-aligned, then secured to framing. Column will be assembled, secured, and nail holes patched and smoothed. In preparation for painting, edge gaps can be caulked. Rate is inclusive of all aspects of the project, such as thorough planning, acquisition of equipment and material, preparation and protection of project site, and meticulous cleanup.
Column Job Supplies
Requisite supplies for the job, including fasteners, connectors, and materials for surface preparation and finishing.
|cost to install ornamental columns|
|National Avg. Materials Cost per column||$227.32|
|National Avg. Cost (labor and materials) for 1 column||$441.33|
|National Cost Range (labor and materials) for 1 column||$367.74 - $514.91|
If you have porch columns that need some attention, it could be time to replace them. Over time, the columns can be vulnerable to rot, warping, cracking, and other signs of damage. With constant exposure to things like direct sunlight, rain, and snow, these columns can easily start to wear down over time. If the damage is minimal, you may be able to repair the column by filling in cracks with wood putty and repainting them. However, if the damage is more extensive, it's usually best to go ahead and remove the old columns and replace them. The cost to replace porch columns will vary depending on the size required, the style you choose, and the material. On average, you should expect to pay between $316 and $455 to have new porch columns installed. Of course, if you choose a high-end column or something more ornate, your cost could be higher.
Many porch columns are more than just decorative-they also serve as a way to bear the weight of a second floor or a porch overhang. If a load-bearing porch column is severely damaged, it could topple over which may result in serious injury. You'll need to find out if your porch columns are load-bearing and if they are, it's best to replace them as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home. It's always wise to hire an experienced professional for this type of job since they understand the building codes and the proper method of removal and reinstallation.
Hiring a pro to replace a load-bearing porch post should cost between $300 and $500 on average. However, if the scope of work is intense or the contractor discovers more damage to your home, this cost could run higher and closer to $1,000 to $2,500. The contractor will need to install temporary supports to bear the weight, or they may use hydraulic jacks to brace the ceiling and prevent it from collapsing. A fiberglass porch post is a popular option since this material is much stronger than wood and won't rot over time like wood will. A load-bearing post can transfer the weight to the footers of your porch, so you need to utilize someone who understands how the principles of load-bearing posts work to ensure proper installation.
Depending on where you live, your contractor may also need to obtain permits before they can do the job. If permits are required, plan to add another $100 to $200 or more to your total cost, which will mostly depend on your local jurisdiction's prices for building permits.
In order to replace your porch columns, the contractor will first need to locate and plumb align the top and bottom blocks, then they'll need to secure the blocks to framing for support. They will measure the column length and then secure it to your porch, which typically takes anywhere from 2.5 to 5 hours. Once the column is installed, the contractor will patch and smooth any nail holes and caulk gaps if applicable. They'll also paint the edges and may possibly paint the whole column if that's something you asked to be included in your estimate. The labor cost to install new porch posts is approximately $60 per hour. This cost depends on where you live, current labor rates, and the level of demand. When possible, try to get a quote during the fall or winter season when this type of work is in less demand for a better price.
If your porch columns are load-bearing, they need to be in excellent condition in order to provide proper support for your roof. These posts can easily topple over in strong winds if the column is damaged or compromised in any way. When replacing a load-bearing porch post, it's crucial to be able to provide temporary supports while removing the old posts. If you don't support the porch's roof, it could collapse and result in serious injury as well as expensive damage to your home. You may think that replacing this post is an easy process, but it's always a job that is best left for the professionals to handle.
Before your old post can be replaced, it will need to be removed with temporary supports being put in place at the same time. The roof may need to be raised using a jack so that there is room to install the new column. If the old porch post is attached to railings, it will need to be detached from the railing first. Your contractor will remove any trim or casing at the base and the top of the post. If the pieces are secured with nails or wood glue, they will use a crowbar to dislodge them, exposing the flange underneath. The flange is what connects your porch post or column to the roof and the bottom of the porch. After the flange is disconnected, the post should be simple to take out. The contractor may need to use a saw to cut the post into pieces for easier removal.
After the old post is completely removed, any leftover debris will be cleared from the job site. The underside of the roof of your porch and the bottom should be thoroughly cleaned to ensure a smooth, even surface, and to allow the new post to attach securely. Any signs of damage to your porch's roof and floor should be addressed and corrected before installing the new post. The contractor will measure the distance between the roof and the porch floor to determine how long the new post should be. Once the post is properly leveled and aligned, the contractor will attach it to the porch and check to make sure that it's secure.
There are many different styles of ornamental columns you can install on your porch, so shop around to find the right option for your home. Once you've chosen the columns, you'll need to hire a contractor to install them. Most homeowners enlist the help of an experienced carpenter, but a general contractor should also be able to perform this type of work. Make sure you get at least three estimates so you have a good idea of what you can expect to pay. Aside from the way they look, there's not much difference in price between replacing a standard porch post and an ornamental column. However, if the old column is extremely difficult to remove or the new one is tough to install, you could be charged more in labor costs.
A new set of ornamental columns will not only make your porch more secure, but they'll also add beauty to your home and enhance your curb appeal. These columns come in a wide variety of styles that range from basic to modern and ornate. Here are some of the most popular options for ornamental porch columns:
This classic design is reminiscent of homes built at the turn of the century. They feature a distinctive square shape and are usually stained to recreate the look of oak, maple, and other hardwoods to give your home a touch of bold architectural detail. You'll also find these ornamental columns installed on the porches of historic homes to recreate the way they looked in their heyday. Decorative carvings at the top and bottom can also be included to give the columns additional visual interest.
For an elegant look, consider pilasters on your porch. These columns come in a range of sizes, shapes, and designs and give your home a sleek, sophisticated touch. The design of these columns is similar to the square design, except they're often installed directly against the wall or used for interior design rather than outside. You can modify pilasters to go around a corner, and they're easy to install on a porch with varying heights available depending on your need. Accents range from smooth and paneled to fluted for a beautiful look.
A classic column, this design feature a smooth, round shape and can also include fluted detailing at the top and bottom. Paint grade round wood columns can easily be painted to match the color of your porch or siding. Most round wood columns range from around six to 10 inches wide and can be up to 10 feet tall. Look for round wood columns made of pine for added durability. Some round columns are wrapped around a solid steel support post for added durability and stability.
This design is frequently seen on the porches of bungalow homes. They may also be referred to as mission, shaker, or craftsman columns and feature a tapered design with the widest part at the bottom. You can install arts and crafts style ornamental columns made of MDF, wood, or PVC. Dimensional lumber is inserted in the center of the column if it's load-bearing for added support.
This simple, clean design is commonly found in basements to cover support jacks, but it can also be used on your porch. If you're going for a modern look, lally style columns are a good choice. The square shape is usually finished with a simple box at the top and bottom for a minimalist aesthetic.
When shopping for new ornamental columns for your porch, it's important to understand more about the variety of materials available.
Thanks to its versatility, wood is one of the most popular choices for porch columns. A wood column is typically made from oak, maple, or pine, and if you want to stain the column, pine is the best option since it takes the color better than other forms of hardwood. While wood is certainly beautiful, it's also vulnerable to rot and other damage including the potential for pests like termites.
If you want something durable, fiberglass is an excellent choice. This column material can be produced in a variety of styles and can even look just like a wood column but with better durability. Fiberglass resists moisture, weather damage, and it won't attract pesky insects. It also takes paint well and can be easily wrapped around existing columns.
This material is the most budget-friendly and can typically handle average loads quite well. Vinyl usually only comes in white, cream, almond, or off-white colors and may not take paint as well as wood or fiberglass. Vinyl columns are easy to install and work well if you're in a hurry to replace your columns or you want to save money on material costs.
The cost of ornamental porch columns varies widely. On the low end, these columns may cost approximately $100-$150 and up to $1,000 or more on the high end. The cost depends on the material, the decorative design, the size, and the brand. Shop around to find your favorite columns at the best price.
🎨 I want wood columns on my porch. Should I stain them or paint them?
❓ Can I replace my porch post or columns myself?
🛒 Where can I shop for new columns?