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!

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Our Google Reviews

After being turned down by several other wood crafting companies who were not interested in my small job, Turntech said "Yes" and made the chair bottom spindles needed to repair my favorite colonial style maple chairs. Thank you! Turntech, i have my beloved chairs back good as new.
Nancy Loughery
Nancy Loughery
17:47 02 Sep 21
They were very kind in doing a custom project for me for a table I was commissioned to make.A great success! My customer loves it!!BRAVO!!!!!!!
Tim Martinez
Tim Martinez
21:10 16 Aug 21
Great response time with answering questions. Legs arrived sooner than expected, was packed well for shipping & are beautiful! Look forward to using this company again!
Heather Erlewine
Heather Erlewine
22:04 01 Apr 21
I ordered and received a porch post in 2020. I'm sorry I'm so late writing a review. Due to the weather and a broken ankle I haven't been able to install it yet. Customer service was great, The quality of the post is fantastic, I sent my own drawing copied from the other 150 year old posts on the porch and they matched it. I still need to paint the post and install it , I will upload a picture when I get there. An excellent woodworking company. I will use them again if I need a top quality post.
Abe Gravois
Abe Gravois
15:18 17 Mar 21
When we needed to replicate the balusters for our historical restoration we turned to TurnTech. See what I did there :)Turntech exceeded my every expectation, from customer service to product craftmanship and quality.The truth is I should have been the one sending the popcorn and thank you note....We will definitely be doing business again.
Steve Mavrakis
Steve Mavrakis
12:28 15 Mar 21