Have you ever looked at a porch column that was nothing more than a 4×4 and thought it just didn’t fit the scale of the porch/house? Even worse, you could have 2 2″ x 4″‘s sistered up to make the 4″x4″. It isn’t too difficult to wrap your 4×4’s with some off the shelf lumber to give a look that will be more in scale with your porch/house.
I had a project a couple of years back and decided that I would simply wrap my columns with 1x pine. Pine was used (rather than pressure treated) since this was a well protected corner of the house, the porch had a nice overhang and the wood was to be painted.
You might look at this plan/design and think that it was a waste of quite a bit of material and you could be correct. However, pine boards are inexpensive. If you are in the Buffalo or WNY area, check out LenCo Lumber (http://www.lencobuffalo.com). LenCo has fantastic pricing on pine boards (side note… and MDF trim). In our case, we had just torn out some pine storage shelves and had an abundance of free material that we were able to upcycle.
You could just wrap your column one time with pine and beef it up by 1 1/2 inches each way. By following our plan you will be going one step further and giving your home a custom look with a raised panel style design. Take a look below and take a look at the plan at Sketchup. Keep in mind, this is not meant to be structural. This is a decorative touch.
Tip: You should be sure to avoid direct ground, or flat surface contact with your pine. The wood will wick up any water that it comes in contact with. You can avoid (or delay) this by sealing the end of each board with a primer or sealer (I smear caulk on my end grain for protection). In addition, you should elevate your bottoms by about 1/8″-3/16″ and then fill that gap with caulk. This will add many years to the life of your porch columns.
You can find the full Sketchup Plan for the column here:
Take a look at the end result: