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An In-Depth Look at Lally Columns

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When a property has structural problems, such as sinking flooring, a homeowner could immediately start fretting about repair costs in the five figures. These ideas make sense, given how important a home's foundation is. But, often, a rapid cure for minor foundation issues in crawl spaces or basements is to install a series of lally columns.

Before looking for lally columns for sale, read our guide below. 

What’s a lally column 

When doing additional repairs, such as significant wall renovations or installing new windows or doors, lally columns can temporarily support the exceptionally substantial structural weight.

Sometimes permanent lally columns are put in place to fix structural issues. According to local construction codes, lally columns can frequently be permanently left in situ.

A non-adjustable steel column that has been reduced in size and filled with concrete is the earliest type of lally column. Adjustable steel columns, teleports, and jack posts are just a few variations of movable steel columns that the name has come to cover.

To temporarily or permanently support an unsupported joist or beam, adjustable columns are made of two telescopic steel tubes, one within the other.

This post, sometimes incorrectly referred to as a “lolly column,” was created by John Lally in Waltham, Massachusetts, in the late 1800s as a fireproof and insect-proof way to support a building at its lowest points. It was designed to be erected and filled with concrete to provide long-term structural support for weights up to 44,600 pounds.

Permanent vs. temporary lally columns 

There are two types of Lally columns: temporary and permanent. While demolishing a wall, workers typically employ temporary columns to reinforce the floor joists above. To support the building, permanent, heavy-duty lally columns may occasionally be placed in the crawlspace or basement beneath a house.

Non-adjustable lally columns 

Lally columns often have heights between 3 and 14 feet. The amount of weight a column can support increases with its length. Though it is worth mentioning that there are no standard lally column sizes.

For instance, a 6-foot long, 4-inch diameter column can support a maximum weight of 21,300 pounds. The weight rating of the column is reduced to 10,200 pounds as its length increases.

Lally columns safety measures 

To build the footing, a contractor will dig down and pour concrete. A Lally column has to be joined to the floor. The footer should be at least two feet wide by two feet deep. Before setting the new post, the footing needs at least a week to cure. Thus, to answer the question, ‘do lally columns need footings?’ the answer is a hard ‘yes.’

Lally columns are metal tubes that can become deadly when built incorrectly. When a lally column is erected even slightly off of level or out of plumb, it can explode when the huge weight of a dwelling construction is applied to it.

  • Most lally columns should not be employed during the first jacking-up process. The object should be raised using a hydraulic or screw house jack before fitting the steel lally column. The screw jack component of the column may be utilized to make slight height changes after it is in position.
  • The weight ratings of columns rely on them being positioned exactly vertically. You run a great danger of serious injury or death when a column is even slightly out of vertical because the weight from above can cause the column to blast out. To ensure the column is plumb, use a laser level (vertical). Use a bubble level to ensure it lies on an entirely level surface.
  • Each steel column must have plates at the top and bottom to keep the cylindrical ends from biting into the wood.


Lally columns are an integral part of any structure. Especially your home. Thus, having them around can benefit your home’s structure and foundation. If you’re looking for a good contractor who will solve all your foundation support problems permanently, contact Zavza Seal LLC today. You can call them to get a free estimate on their services.


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