Replacing wood columns with fiberglass columns is usually a straight forward and easy project. On a recent project we were asked to replace three wood columns, one of which was severely rotted and caused the porch to settle 1 inch. A project like this requires a building permit and experience understanding and building a temporary supporting column / post.
Cutting round columns can be a challenge. Round columns are typically smooth, the shaft is tapered and made of wood or fiberglass composite.
Round columns have a consistent diameter on the bottom 1/3 of the shaft height which allows for cutting to adjust for fit. The columns top 2/3’s height have a slight taper.
Tips for cutting round fiberglass columns:
1. Use a piece of paper, cardboard, aluminum stock, luan plywood or anything that can wrap around the column. If your material does not fully wrap around the column you can make four measurement marks and connect these marks with your materials. Wrap your flexible stock at the mark and then mark the column for your saw cut.
2. Cutting round columns can be difficult, especially if your alone. I use bungee cords or rope to lash the column to my saw horses before cutting round columns.