Porches and Porch Columns: A Reflection of Function, a Statement of Personal Style

Square tapered porch column A porch is a unique feature of your home. It is that transitional space between the outdoors and the inside of your home. The place where you step out to welcome visitors or to bid farewell, where you wait in anticipation or you go to escape your world for a few moments.

Simply stated, a porch is ‘a deck with a roof’, according to author of Ultimate Guide Porches, Steve Cory. It may be open on the sides or screened. It may be used for a number of purposes and functions.

For instance,

A porch could be the perfect spot to curl up with a book and your favorite beverage when you want to relax.

It is a wonderful place to entertain neighbors and casual visitors, without worrying about the formalities and etiquette of indoor entertainment. The porch is easily accessible, warm and inviting.

A back porch may be used for outdoor dining and grilling. A front porch on the other hand is great for growing plants that add to your curb appeal.

The interesting aspect about porches is that they are so personal and characteristic of the home they belong to and reflective of the tastes of the people who live there.

Porch columns are a critical component of porches. In many cases, they are the structural posts holding up the porch roof. However, in doing so, they also lend distinctive architectural style to the home. Often, you can tell the style and period of a home simply by looking at its porch columns.

Tapered, square porch columns and ‘elephant leg’ columns supported by low pedestals are characteristic of craftsman style homes. Often these are made of stone, brick, wood or stucco. In recent years, PVC porch columns have begun to take the place of many of these materials owing to their durability and low maintenance factor. The fact that porch columns are a matter of personal taste and preference cannot be overemphasized – there are people who admit to buying a home just because “it has a front porch with square-tapered Craftsman columns,” or “beautiful, round Victorian columns.”

There are several things to consider when choosing porch columns.  The structural component is primary. The aesthetic and personal component is no less significant.

After all, the porch columns you choose will frame your home from the outside and enhance the view of the exteriors from the inside.

Columns work wonders inside your home too. They can serve as room dividers. A row of fluted square or round columns create the illusion of depth or a ‘hallway’ effect. Corner pilasters or half-columns exude a unique charm of their own and enrich your home’s interiors significantly.

P.S: If you’re not sure which style of home you prefer yet, drive around a few neighborhoods.

When you see a home you love, stop and ask yourself what it was that caught your eye. Chances are, the home’s porch columns will be on top of your list, and, that’s a good place to start.

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