Saturday, February 22, 2014

Build Stone Porch Columns

The columns on your front porch are often the focal point of your home's entranceway. When you build stone porch columns yourself, you can enjoy a sense of pride and accomplishment in completing a difficult home improvement project.


Plan and Prepare

1. Evaluate the current state of your porch. Check the existing porch columns to ensure that they are sturdy and fully support the patio. Stone adds a lot of weight to columns, so you want to make sure you won't weaken them by overburdening the existing wood.

2. Measure the distance between your columns as they exist prior to adding the stone. Draw a quick sketch of the porch and the columns, and write down the distance between them. Next, mark out the added dimension that stone will add to your columns.

3. Leave enough room between your column measurements as they will be after the stone is added to be able to move large items like couches between the columns with ease.

4. Gather stone. Choose stones that are all similar in size. Using uniform sized stones will make it easier for you to build up the columns. Stone available at quarries and home improvement stores will work the best. These stones have been selected and cut to have well-distributed weight and uniform size.

5. String four plumb lines around each column to demarcate the outline of the columns.

Begin Construction

6. Surround the base of the first column with mortar, and then begin placing stones on top of it.

7. Begin stacking stones atop each other, using a layer of mortar in between each stone and each layer.

8. Stack the corner stones so that two non-corner stones rest on top of each corner stone. This will help the columns hold their shape.

9. Build up the stones so that they create a box-like opening in the center. Fill the center of the columns with concrete and small rocks so that the wooden porch column is firmly encased.

10. Fill in any remaining joints with mortar and smooth them off with a trowel to create a more seamless look.

11. Wait for the visible mortar to set until it is almost dry, and then use a wire brush to rough the surface up a bit to create a more natural look.

Tips Warnings

Choose stones that are more flat than round. Flatter stones are easier to stack.

Stack the stones so that they are supporting each other. Never rely on concrete or mortar to support the weight of stones.

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