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As an indispensable element gracing the front door of many homes, architectural columns have traditionally provided a double role, adding both basic support to front porch extensions and building a distinctive architectural style. While columns can be observed solely as an upright pillar used for ornamental purposes, or on the exterior of a home to support a roof or within a home to raise ceiling beams, there is no reducing the visual effect that standard or modern architectural columns can add to a home’s decor. Depending on the style of columns practiced, they can add either smooth elegance or visual power to a home’s entryway or interior.

Types of Architectural Columns:

One architectural piece that will define a home’s style of building is the type of posts or columns installed on the front porch. Over the years, five-column styles have endured as powerful architectural sources from the Roman and Greek ages. These architectural columns are still viewed today on Georgian, Colonial, Rustic, Cottage, and Craftsman-style homes and are now being blended with newer, more modern home styles for a new look that possesses classic beauty. The 5 orders of architecture:

Ionic– slender pillars, great base, with scrolled capitals

Corinthian– slender, fluted columns with intricate carvings

Doric– short, heavy pillars and around the capital

Tuscan– easy design, unfluted shaft with plain base/capital

Composite– a blend of the Ionic and Corinthian styles

Each of the above orders features PVC columns with a similar range of contours, heights, thicknesses, and carvings, along with particular base and capital features. Traditionally, the style of a structure’s front columns was a reliable way of recognizing which classical order of architecture the home represents. Later, it became the common architectural practice to add artistic elements to contemporary homes to improve visual interest or create visual contrast.

Installing Architectural Columns

The real beauty of today’s lightweight yet powerful architectural columns is that they are simple to manage compared to the weight of wood or stone columns, and are effortless to install when utilized for non-structural decoration. For organic posts, after losing a plumb line to establish a reliable CenterPointfor the base and initial placement, most column styles will only need a bit of cutting with a harsh saw for an accurate fit. The column mounting plates are then connected to a structural component and fastened at the head and bottom with L-brackets, supported by caulking to seal against moisture infiltration.

For installing decorative columns, either covered drywall screws and/or construction-grade adhesive is adequate. Architectural column installations will need the same tools used for other designs but care should be taken to evade hitting the posts with a hammer or installing columns in very cold temperatures. A two-man team can install interior or exterior, non-load bearing columns in an evening.

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