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. 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 start 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 is what makes wood the best material for porch columns.
  • Price — This is the main advantage that vinyl and fiberglass have 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 custom 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 though — 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 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 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

Because of the customization, style, and 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!

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Excellent quality product and prompt, pleasant communication prior to completing our order. 5 stars !Mary at Encore Upholstery Studio, LLC
Mary Opila
Mary Opila
We have ordered our custom turned wood shapes now for years and by the thousands. Very happy with the quality and service.
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Clay Stamps
High quality and good customer service. I won't go anywhere else with my business.
Lyle Martin
Lyle Martin
They did superior project for the columns on my front porch. The house will be 100 years old in 2024 and the parts of the columns they made fit the time period. The 1st photo has the new torso made from Spanish cedar installed under this column and the remaining torso beside it. All 9 are now installed. The 2nd photo is the same column with the rotted torso.
Keith Charles
Keith Charles
Justyn and the team at Turntech are top notch! It's a pleasure doing business with a local company that does quality work!
Prevo Cabinetry
Prevo Cabinetry