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Architectural Detail Experts | A Blog by Worthington Millwork

Why you should use Fiberglass Columns Outdoors

Posted by Worthington Millwork on 8/28/19 5:00 AM

68905033_2237418716356699_2107319457071709500_nColumns are architectural elements designed to support the weight of a structure such as a roof over a porch. They add curb appeal, increase value, and add a decorative flair to any home project. These columns are available in a variety of styles and can meet different sets of functions, both indoors and outdoors. The fiberglass option is the most sought after, due to its sturdiness, affordability, and durability.

Benefits of Fiberglass Columns

  • Standard carpentry tools used for quick installation
  • Don't chip, peel, warp, or splinter
  • Can be painted with oil-based or acrylic paint
  • Low maintenance
  • High-quality material
  • Insect-resistant
  • Gets little impact from water and high humidity
  • Available in different sizes and styles

Why Choose Fiberglass Columns?

Weather Resistance

Extreme temperatures can quickly take a toll on some exterior columns such as wood. Should moisture get into the wood column through its tiny cracks, it is likely to expand, leading to splitting and cracking. Fiberglass, on the other hand, is not susceptible, making it the ideal outdoor column choice.

Function and Structural Integrity

Fiberglass columns are built to handle load-bearing installations. They are not just for new construction projects, but existing homes can also be renovated to include them. On porch designs, fiberglass columns can be placed inside a corner or against a wall. If you have wood columns, consider upgrading to the more durable fiberglass options. 

Durability

For your structural or aesthetic needs, fiberglass is the best outdoor column option because it lasts longer than most others. Wood, for instance, when exposed to environmental factors, including moisture and pests, cannot stand the test of time. Fiberglass is easy to install, paint, is sturdy, is insect proof, and is not susceptible to environmental conditions.

If you need columns that can support a structure such as a porch roof, choose fiberglass since it is load-bearing. These columns are available in many styles, including round, tapered, non-tapered, fluted, square, and plain. Fiberglass columns are best suited for the Tuscan style because they are easy to trim and do not alter the height.

Mistakes to Avoid

When adding fiberglass columns to a structure, there are some common yet avoidable mistakes often reported.

Specs

Mistakes can be avoided when the right specs are given. Measurements are imperative to every home project. The wrong size details can mess the proportion of a good fiberglass column. If for instance, you prefer a smaller diameter, your architecture might require a larger one. Verify the load bearing requirements of your structure with a certified structural engineer to choose a proper size.

Installation

Some customers prefer to trim the column without professional assistance. What then arises is that they end up trimming the top instead of the bottom of the shaft. This then deletes the details of neching, echinus, and astragal. Although instructions are provided, it is crucial that fiberglass columns be installed by a contractor with column installation expertise.

Screw Holes

There are some instances where you will be required to put a screw into the column, such as when securing it with brackets. Should you fail to pre-drill, the material may chip off and crack, especially on the inside of the column. Eventually, the load bearing capacity of the column will be weakened.

Restoring the look of your home comes with many decoration choices. Fiberglass offers one of the most popular ways of improving the architectural appearance of your home. Before making your purchase, consult your architect or contractor to be sure of the right fiberglass column to use in your space. Each design works well with a specific size. Hence consultation is of importance before buying.

Topics: Architectural Columns, Porch Columns, Fiberglass Porch Columns, Fiberglass columns, Cast Columns, exterior columns

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