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Design & Decorate

How to Upgrade Your Front Porch with Easy-to-Install Column Wraps

June 18, 2018

Whether you reside in a Cape Cod, Colonial, Craftsman or anything in between, professional and polished column wraps will take your architectural detail to the next level.

Royal®’s new 100% Cellular PVC Column Wraps, which were just released this spring, make porch transformations simple. You can install them around an existing porch column using common tools, and they’re virtually maintenance free.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it yourself.

You’ll need:

  • Circular saw
  • Level
  • Hammer
  • Pencil
  • Drill/driver and appropriate bits
  • 2 bar/quick clamps
  • Square
  • Tape measure
  • Clear PVC glue
  • 3” weather-resistant screws
  • Cortex or equivalent screws and PVC plugs
  • Optional: sanding block - 320 grit or finer

Step 1: Choose your PVC column wraps

Consider the style and design of your home when selecting your PVC wraps. The subtly ornate detailing of Traditional-style capitals and bases complements Colonial and Cape Cod homes. The clean lines of Craftsman-style capitals and bases match the handmade charm of Craftsman-style homes. And the simplicity of Builder-style capitals and bases works perfectly with Modern-style homes.

Pro Tip: Cut the column wrap before you remove the shrink wrap (see step 2).

Step 2: Pre-fit the wrap over the post

Begin by measuring the height of the existing column and cut column wrap to length using a circular saw.

Pro Tip: Consider placing a shim inside wrap if necessary to get a snug fit on the existing column. This will allow for a more secure fit.

Step 3: Install the wrap on the post

Place the three-sided section of the wrap around the column, making sure it’s as snug as possible. Secure the wrap using a weather-resistant screw at the top and bottom of the column. Place the screws so they will be hidden by the cap and the base. If you’re not using caps and bases, use two Cortex or equivalent screws and PVC plugs at the top and bottom to achieve a finished look.

Step 4: Install remaining side

With the remaining wrap side laying on a flat surface, run a small bead of clear PVC glue completely along both joint edges.

Begin installing the remaining side using a bar clamp at the bottom to hold it in place. Employ a second bar clamp, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Draw the joint along one mitered edge together, clamping and releasing as you go, and making sure the joint is fully engaged. Repeat the process along the other mitered edge and secure the side with screws at the top and bottom.

Pro Tip: Once the remaining side is locked in place, use a sanding block with fine 320 grit sandpaper to lightly sand or burnish the miter joint. This will smooth out any rough edges.

Step 5: Install caps and bases

Caps and bases are installed the same way as the column wrap. We recommend that you use a screw and PVC plug system, such as Cortex, to match the finished look of your columns.

Pro Tip: If needed, use exterior grade caulking to cover any gaps.