Philip, is the owner of Denver Decks and the managing member of Denver Decks, LLC - He is your Deck Answer Man, so please give him a call at 303-730-9642 for the accurate answers to a deck or patio questions.
He has a real passion to serve our Lord Jesus and your family well; and also to facilitate this same opportunity for these other men to serve your family too.
Questions to consider when building decorative deck columns
Create a Unique Look For Your Deck With Beautiful Decorative Architectural Columns
Decorative Architectural Columns can range in cost, there’s the more affordable option, where we just wrap just a portion of the post, to wrapping it all the way up to the bottom of the deck surface and then lastly carrying it up through the deck surface usually 42 inches above, when you do that, obviously you’re giving up some of your view.
What are pillars on porch called?
Porch Columns, also known as Porch Posts, Pillars, Columns, Column Covers, Wraps, and more, are the perfect combination of form and function. Not only do they serve an important structural purpose in the construction of a home, but they also provide an attractive aesthetic. With so many different names and styles to choose from, you can be sure to find the perfect Porch Column to suit your needs.
I want to address some of the most frequent questions or misconceptions. Builder installed decks in HOAs that require these columns, the deck that you currently have will have those columns, and I get these calls regularly form homeowners, their deck has failed, it’s rotted out, these “Builder- installed” decks, they typically last about 15 years maybe 18-20 years, depending on the suns exposure. But what the home owner will say is “I want to have my deck replaced but I want keep my columns.” Now the problem with that is this, that those columns were installed by a builder, now a builder unfortunately doesn't have the benefit of coming back 20 years later and seeing how moisture was able to get into those columns.
Are decorative porch columns load-bearing?
Decorative deck columns come in a variety of materials, like fiberglass polymer, fiberglass, wood and aluminum. These columns definitely need to be built to be weight bearing. Cellular PVC columns, which are also gaining popularity, may not bear weight unless they have an internal support system that makes them load bearing.
A stucco column or a faux stone column, is just the material that goes on the outside, or the "facing" of the column, ultimately those columns are built out of wood. What the builder will do is they will install these columns, they’ll run their framing and their decking and rails into those columns, which are creating holes or areas where moisture will be able to get in and once it gets in it typically gets trapped on the inside so they get very waterlogged. So 9 out of 10 times, those columns are not able to stay. The other reason they aren’t able to stay, is unfortunately up until about 2008-9 as we were recovering from the real estate crash, before that point, builders were not putting the code required support post on the inside.
How far apart can support columns be?
If you want to get the most out of your backyard deck or patio space, then you should consider customizing the length of your decorative deck columns. Architects and structural engineers typically space deck columns 40 or 50 feet apart, but by tailoring the design of your building to the intended use and equipment inside, you can modify these distances to better utilize the space on your living area.
Many times when we open up these columns, either we find no support posts on the inside, or the beams are literally just resting on the frame, which is not structural, or we find 2x4s or 2x6s just nailed together. There's a couple of reasons why Builders do this, it wasn't illegal unfortunately when they first built it, but there's a reason why they do it, just for the sake of of understanding the intricacies of architectural columns, if you currently have them and your deck is failing, unfortunately 99 out of 100 of those columns have to be replaced. The current building code will not allow them to stay for a variety of different reasons, so unfortunately that is bad news for the homeowner. We now know with experience of reinstalling them, how build them in a way to where they're fully moisture protected and they will hold up for the long term.
Many HOAs around the city do require these decorative columns, so if you're replacing a deck, they may require that you have these columns reinstalled. For many homeowners, their HOA doesn’t require it ,but they just like the look of it and if it makes sense to the budget they are a great aesthetically pleasing option.
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