Decorative architectural columns have beautifully adorned homes and institutions for centuries. Adding these features can make a stunning difference to the appearance of any structure. But choosing the right types of architectural columns can prove a bit tricky. That’s because today’s exterior columns come in a broad range of styles and materials, including many different types of composite columns.
“I recommend choosing a fiberglass column for most exterior applications. They are insect, weather and decay resistant and require very little maintenance,” said Tim Bobo, Marketing Director of HB&G, a Troy, Alabama based manufacturer of PermaCast® Columns. “When replacing porch columns or choosing fiberglass house columns for outside porches and patios, you really have to do the research because not all exterior columns are alike. Many composite columns do not have architecturally correct proportions and projections, which is very important.”
Another thing to watch out for when replacing porch columns, especially with architectural fiberglass columns, is consistency and appearance. HB&G is one of only a few manufacturers of true spun square fiberglass columns, which are made the same way as HB&G’s Round PermaCast® Columns. “The advantages to a true spun square column are a more consistent wall thickness and architecturally square corners,” Bobo explained.
Once you select the type of fiberglass column that best suits the project, you need to select a style that compliments your décor. This can make all the difference in distinguishing your home or business. Bobo suggests the following application guidelines for choosing among the many types of architectural columns:
Round Tapered columns are the most versatile architectural fiberglass columns. Architecturally correct and historically accurate, they are found in plain or fluted styles and include the classic tapering of the upper two-thirds of the column, a design element originating with the ancient Greeks.
Round Non-Tapered columns add a clean contemporary design while maintaining classical detail.
Square Recessed Panel columns are perfect for when you want to add a traditional element to any design indoors or out.
Square Non-Tapered columns (plain or fluted) work well with round columns, as they complement one another nicely. The crisp detail and design of this column adds a classical element when used as a pilaster or to elegantly line a porch.
Round or Square Knee Wall columns in any style are perfect for pedestals on porches or room dividers, creating a classic elegance.