Porch columns are an important element of style for most of our homes. They add design elements, can be painted many colors, and overall simply can help something simple as a porch seem majestic and important. Of course, these structures are important; very important. Not only a design element, porch columns are structural elements that work hard year after year, holding up the weight of their roof even when piled with a few feet of snow. They’re built to be tough and last. But what happens when they crack, rot, or otherwise start to show signs of defects? Should you replace old columns or update old columns?
Should you replace old columns or update old columns?
First, you should inspect the old columns to survey the damage. Cracks that are deeper than an inch can rot from the inside out and mold hurts the integrity of load-bearing woods. If you witness rot, large cracks, or other problems that look more than just cosmetic, for safety purposes, it’s time to replace your old columns with a new one.
When it comes time to update your porch, there is a lot of work involved. First, you will need to remove the old one and measure it. It’s not as hard as it seems; you can cut a few notches about a foot apart in the center and knock the parts out pretty easily. However, you’ll need a telescoping jack and some other specialized equipment to keep yourself safe. It’s recommended that you have more than one person to help you, if possible, due to the nature of the work. They should be “spotting” you as you put everything into place. You want your column to hold up well, and it must be perfectly centered in the same place as the old one.
How to Remove Old Columns
First, what you’ll need:
-Replacement column/pole -Reciprocating saw
-Post it notes for note taking
Most people choose to repair or update because it’s an easy enough task to do on your own if you have a second person to help you with a project. When you update old columns, you have to plan for both removing the old column and replacing it with the proper column to bear the weight load.
Getting Ready to Update Old Columns
Before you start to replace old columns, you must first remove them. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Measure your old post for its height. Write this numbers down. You will need to choose a post that is the same length when you’re replacing the old post and should do this before you remove anything.
Step 2: Position your telescoping jack closely next to the old columns to support the weight as you begin the replacement process. You’ll want to elevate the beam 1/4 inch at this time.
Step 3: Cut the middle of the post with a reciprocating saw. Here, you will want to make two separate vertical cuts. Make each a little under a foot above other. Hit the section between the cuts with a hammer – you can do this HARD. You just want to make it easy to pop the old column out.
Now that you’ve finished removing the post, you will probably need assistance choosing and cutting the column for your porch.
Do you want something grand and vintage-looking or something simply strong and understated? Aesthetics are often a big part of the choices you must make when you’re upgrading the supports on your porch.
Although it can be a relatively easy DIY task, it’s recommended that you speak with an expert before you begin the process of replacing your old columns. Measuring, fitting, and securing your columns can be tricky and special equipment can make it much easier. Before you begin the process, however, it’s important for you to understand what you’re doing, what you want the finished project to look like, and how much work it entails. At Turncraft, our time saver cap and base offers the easiest and quickest installation in the industry.