Exterior Column Ideas for the Home
Fuse strength and style with the right selection
By Josienita Borlongan
Improve your home's exterior and curb appeal by adding exterior columns. A column can act as an embellishment and/or as a load-bearing support for structural integrity. There are various types of columns to choose from; some are more elegant in style such as the Corinthian, Grecian and Roman styles, while others have cleaner lines such as the mission and contemporary styles. Choose a style that will complement the architecture of your home and ensure a uniform design.
Columns made of wood will definitely require maintenance, especially if they're exposed to the outdoor elements. Wood is prone to wood rot, mildew and termite infestations. Choosing pretreated lumber, refinishing and applying chemical treatment can prolong the life of your wooden columns. Choose a solid wood constructed from redwood or oak for longevity. If your budget permits, you can have artisans carve embellishments into the wooden columns instead of just leaving them plain.
Concrete columns last longer than wooden columns largely because they are resistant to wood rot, termites and other insect infestations. These columns are created by pouring a cement mixture into prefabricated molds. Concrete columns also have better structural integrity than wood and may be a better choice if you expect your columns to bear a significant load. One thing to keep in mind is that concrete columns are more expensive than wooden columns due to the price of concrete and steel used to reinforce the structures. The additional labor required to construct concrete columns also contributes to their cost.
Choosing marble columns can add elegance to a formal or traditional home. But keep in mind that marble columns can be very expensive and more difficult to install than wooden or concrete columns. After all you will need more people, or the aid of machinery, to install marble columns due to their heavy weight. Marble columns are also water-permeable and therefore may show some stains over time. Allowing the stains to show can add to the character of the columns giving them an aged patina; however, you can apply sealant to prevent staining if you do not want this look.
Polyurethane and vinyl columns
If you like the look of conventional columns but don't have the budget for them, then polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) columns may be a better choice. These columns are virtually maintenance free and easier to put up than wooden, concrete or marble columns. Choose from the various styles that come in ready-to-assemble kits for ease of installation. Polyurethane or PVC columns should be used for architectural embellishments only, not for heavy load-bearing purposes. Consult the manufacturer's specs to find out if you can use these columns for lighter-weight loads without reinforcement.
About the Author
Josie Borlongan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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