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Best Material for Porch Columns

A historic porch is a thing of beauty — and probably one of your favorite parts about owning a historic home. Not only is the look exceptional, but it is probably one of your favorite places to unwind after a long day. Much of the distinct character of an old porch comes from the grand porch columns.

When homeowners plan to renovate their historic porch, what to do with the columns is always one of the biggest question marks. In today’s blog, we’re exploring the best material for porch columns — either wood or vinyl — and the advantages of each. In addition to the two main options, fiberglass columns  On the other hand, if you’re ready to get a custom quote for your handcrafted wooden porch posts, reach out today!


Wood Vs. Vinyl Columns

At TurnTech, we are a custom woodshop that crafts unique pieces for home renovations across the country. While wooden columns are our specialty, we are taking a fair look at both classic wood and modern vinyl to find the best material for porch columns.

We’re breaking down everything you need to know:

  • Color — Your home’s curb appeal and color scheme starts right here. The color you want, in part, can determine the best porch column material for your renovation. Primarily, vinyl comes in one color: white. Wood, on the other hand, boasts a wide variety of color options. You can paint wood any color you want, and different stains bring out different qualities in the gorgeous wood grain.
  • Feel — When you place your hand on a porch column, what do you notice? With wood, you get the feeling of strength from a solid piece of wood. While a quality vinyl or fiberglass porch post won’t feel flimsy, it simply won’t be able to match the distinctive wooden feel. For some homeowners this isn’t a deciding factor, but for others the feel can be very important.
  • Price — This is the main advantage that vinyl and fiberglass has to offer: both vinyl and fiberglass columns will be a little less expensive than wooden columns. Simply put: handcrafting a custom wooden post is more time consuming than molding something out of vinyl. In addition, the authentic Mahogany and Spanish Cedar lumber we use are premium materials and add to the price tag as well.
  • Custom Options — The classical porch posts seen in historic architecture often featured ornate carvings and other delicate features, especially in the cap and base. If you want to match that intricate carving, wood is the only way to go. Our team can custom-carve almost anything — just send us a picture and dimensions. We will send you a drawing for you to review and sign off on before we produce your columns. This customizable ability makes wood the best material for porch columns. Ultimately, even though there are very nice custom fiberglass and vinyl columns, they won’t be able to come close to the same level of detail as wooden columns. Love ornate touches? Discover how to use wooden columns for interior design.
  • Lifespan — Both wooden and vinyl porch posts can have an extremely robust lifespan. Vinyl is a modern material and is immune to the elements, so it can last forever. Wooden columns can perform well too thought — in fact, wooden porch posts can last for hundreds of years with proper maintenance and installation. There are still many original columns on buildings today that are hundreds of years old.
  • Historical Flavor — This advantage can make all the difference. If you want to preserve the historical character of your home, you want to use authentic wood columns just like when the home was built.  For many people, authenticity is the main factor that makes wood the best material for porch columns. In fact, if your home is located in a historic district, wood columns may be legally required to maintain the accurate historical look of the town. Learn more about renovating a southern style porch.


Porch Post Maintenance

Luxury wooden porch columns on deck boards
While wooden porch posts are the best material for porch columns for many different homeowners, they will require some extra porch post maintenance to protect their grand look.

Right off the bat, the correct wood species can do a lot to protect your pieces. That’s why we use the naturally rot-resistant Mahogany or Spanish Cedar, which are ideal wood species for outdoor use.

As soon as the porch post is installed, you need to make sure it is primed and painted right away. Any time spent without a protective coat of paint can cause problems.


Custom Wooden Porch Columns for Sale Nationwide

For reasons of the customization, the style, and the historical character, we say wood is the best material for porch columns. At TurnTech, we have ample experience working with both homeowners and contractors to craft porch posts and porch columns for historic homes and more. Unique sizes are never an issue for TurnTech as we custom build everything in our shop right here in Lancaster county Pa.

If you’re ready to take the next step, we invite you to reach out to us to discuss your needs — and to get your price quote!


Our Google Reviews

Thank you Justyn for all your help with getting us the product in time for our project! You really went above and beyond.
Jennise Higuera
Jennise Higuera
21:58 02 May 22
Justin and the team did a great job on the turned handles we ordered and got them done ahead of schedule. Bravo
michael adelman
michael adelman
15:42 12 Apr 22
Excellent service, made a huge difference in restoring the 1928 colonial home I bought last summer. It had some older rotted banister columns, and after a fresh coat of paint and new columns the house doesn't even look the same! Helped me order a custom size, explained how to measure the columns, and even matched near exactly to a photo with the style I preferred. Came in beautiful Spanish Cedar, which is rot resistant, and were all sanded and ready to paint. I have received so many compliments already on the transformation of the house. The company design definitely matched the character and the picture I wanted. Would definitely recommend Turntech for all your custom woodworking!
Jen R
Jen R
23:55 23 Jan 22
Great vendor, quick service and excellent product.
Kenneth Burke
Kenneth Burke
17:25 04 Jan 22
Quality workmanship, fast service, just what I was looking for. I definitely recommend Turntech and Molly was the best!
Tom Barkstrom
Tom Barkstrom
16:44 06 Dec 21