Outdoor living spaces have been growing steadily in popularity over the last several years. This means a resurgence in structures such as decks and front porches. This newfound popularity for porches, combined with an equally large surge in popularity for Mid-century Modern design has also led to a new interest in porch columns and porch column design.
Columns are a unique part of the home exterior. They help offer support to overhangs on porches, and they also add style, dimension, and detail to the front of the home at the same time. They come in many different shapes, sizes, and finishes, and be structurally integral to the home or purely decorative, depending on the design.
If you’re building a new front porch, then columns will be part of the equation. This means making sure that you choose a column material that is made to last and that can also offer the style and detail necessary to complement the porch’s style.
Porch Column Materials
Columns for front porches are typically made from wood. Smaller, thinner columns may be solid, while thicker and more dimensional columns are generally hollow, built out of several pieces joined together.
The problem with using traditional wood for this purpose, however, is that wood doesn’t always perform well for the long-term in the outdoors. Most wood has a fairly high moisture content, which means that the protective paint or stain applied to its surface may not adhere well, bubbling, chipping, and peeling away over time.
When the wood is exposed to the elements, it may warp, soften, rot, or crack, depending on the type of wood being used. And if the columns are structural, helping to support the weight of the porch roof, then columns that are negatively impacted by moisture or the weather can become a problem over time.
A Better Alternative to Natural Wood Columns for Porches
There are few materials that are as versatile and attractive as wood. Yet untreated and standard wood columns are filled with issues that make them less than ideal for this use. That’s why using a preservative-treated wood like XT Posts from Belco is a great alternative.
XT Posts are made from wood that has had its ordinary moisture levels replaced with preservatives. This makes the wood stronger, more durable, and less prone to the issues of standard wood columns. The wood takes a finish better, without the need for meticulously applied primers or the worry that the paint will bubble, crack, or peel with time. And unlike untreated woods, XT posts won’t absorb moisture, so they won’t swell, warp or crack even with extended use outdoors.
Design Ideas for Porches Using XT Posts
XT Posts and preservative-treated wood can be used in the same way to create many of the same styles and designs as natural wood. The only difference is in the performance of the columns, which will outlast natural wood every time. If you’ve been considering adding a porch to your home, take a look at these design ideas to get a better understanding of just how versatile preservative-treated wood can be:
1. Two Story Porch
If you don’t have a lot of space to create a wide or wraparound style porch, sometimes the only place to go is up. Two-story porches like this one give you a lot more use, and can really enhance the appearance of the home.
In this case, the columns are necessary structurally as well as decoratively. Both stories use two-part columns on the corners of the design, while the lower portion also uses columns to help flank the entryway. The design is carried out around the perimeter of the porches on the banister as well, creating a cohesive look and style.
2. Mid-Century Modern Style
Porch columns have been extremely popular over the last several years, coupled with a resurgence in mid-century modern details as well. These columns tie together the multi-level porch that offers both an outdoor living space, and visual aesthetics, enhancing the curb appeal of the property.
3. Classic Design
If you don’t have a front porch, you can still make great use of an extended roof and supporting columns to enhance your curb appeal and the exterior of your home. This simple ranch gets a little extra detail from the front overhang and supporting columns. Visitors are protected from the elements, while the columns easily match the rest of the home’s clean, classic style and design.
4. Repeating Curves
This home has a lot of different elements going on, which can sometimes create an exterior that’s too busy or that doesn’t have one focal point. The exterior facade is made up of stone and brick, coupled with a dark trim that gives the entire property a two-tone look. While the front door isn’t fronted by a porch, it is set back behind an overhang. The columns that support the overhang are also flanking the first window, and both overhangs have a matching curved arch to them that mimics the shape of the brickwork above the garage. This helps pull the entire design together, creating a unified front despite the many details used throughout the exterior facade.
Complete Your Front Porch Column Designs with Preservative-Treated Wood
Preservative-treated wood like XT Posts are made to stand up to any weather conditions and any type of structural or decorative use. Whether you want columns to support a two-story porch or you need some columns to add a little detail and unity to your facade, preservative-treated wood is up to the job. You’ll enjoy a longer lasting column, with better durability and a finish that meets your needs. Pair these columns with preservative- treated trim to help complete the design and give your home the facade it needs.
Complete your front porch column design by using preservative-treated wood posts from Belco Forest Products and ensure that your front entryway design will stand the test of time.