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Home > Products > Porches - START HERE! > ONLINE PORCH GUIDE > Understanding the Porch > Structural Porch Components > Porch Posts > Choosing the Right Post

Choosing the Right Post

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We offer a broad selection of Porch Posts.
Which ones are right for you?

1. Which material is best?
If properly installed on mounting Mounting Blocks or Plates , and if the paint surface is kept in good condition at all times, our Wood Posts can last indefinitely. However, our Polyurethane Posts require much less frequent painting and our Polyethyelene PVC Posts do not require any painting!

At present, Polyurethane Wood Core and Polyethylene Steel Core are not much more than Hemlock in the 5"x96" size and Polyurethane Wood Core is actually about the same price as Hemlock in the 6"x96" size! Both synthetics run $10-20 more in 108" lengths, compared to Hemlock. So unless you just really like to paint, we would recommend either of these synthetic Posts (if offered in a style/size you want) over Hemlock. Still not sure? Samples are available at most of our synthetic Post product listings.

HEMLOCK WOOD POSTS are the least expensive. If kept well painted they will provide good service. However, because Hemlock has no specific decay resistance, the paint surface must be properly maintained at all times.

WESTERN RED CEDAR POSTS have natural decay resistance but should also be painted to avoid rapid expansion and contraction and to extend their life to the maximum. We have a large variety of styles in Cedar. They tend to be more expensive than many of our other Posts but these are premium wood Posts.

High Density POLYURETHANE WOOD CORE POSTS are very favorably priced at present. Despite being a really great Post, they are being discontinued by our supplier. We bought all of their remaining inventory at a good price and are passing the savings along to our customers.

All of our polyurethane products come with a super tough, long lasting white factory finish. Because polyurethene does not expand and contract nearly as much as wood, this factory finish will last for a long time before repainting is necessary. That makes High Density Polyurethane low maintenance and great for exterior use.

High Density Polyurethane has about the same density as Hemlock or Pine. That means a sharp blow will dent it. However, it repairs easily and permanently with "Bondo" style auto body filler.

High Density POLYURETHANE STEEL CORE POSTS are more expensive but also come in longer lengths not available in our other synthetic Posts.

POLYETHYLENE STEEL CORE POSTS are a wonderful choice. When you consider their longevity and virtually no maintenance they are also very affordable! Polyethylene is a very tough, low maintenance material that does not need painting. Not now. Not ever!

The outer shell is very resistant to damage (denting, scratching, etc.) We have tested these Posts with sharp hammer blows and moments later could not find the area of impact! Our Polyethylene Porch Posts look, feel, and sound very much like painted wood... and they will look fresh and new indefinitely!

PVC WOOD CORE POSTS are made using AZEK® Cellular PVC around a solid wood core. These Posts are not yet online but are a great choice if you need square Posts. Like all of our synthetic Posts they are super low maintenance but look and feel like painted wood. They are initially expensive relative to Hemlock but are actually inexpensive when longevity and maintenance are considered!

PVC STEEL CORE POSTS also have all the advantage of Cellular PVC but are available in limited sizes.

2. Which style do you like?
This is a matter of personal choice, and we're proud to be offering more styles than ever!

3. What size do you need?
The 4" size will appear too lightweight if used on a regular porch, but is great for playhouses and other specialized uses. Over about 8-1/2 feet in length, 5" Posts may also appear a bit lightweight for regular porches. Many prefer our 6" Posts at shorter lengths as well.

4. How much flat, unturned portion do you need?
Posts must have sufficient flat, unturned portions at their tops & bottoms to accommodate your chosen decorative Gingerbread at the top and the Balustrade at the bottom.

Ideally, the bottom of your upper decorative trim should fall slightly above the Post turning. Likewise, several inches of the square portion of the Post is typically exposed above the Handrail. While exact vertical apportionment is not critical, your chosen Gingerbread and Balustrade must fall entirely within the unturned portion of each Post.

It is often necessary to cut Porch Posts to final length prior to installation. This trimming should, of course, be done with the above considerations in mind. Our Online Porch Guide provides a worksheet that may prove helpful in determining the correct amounts to trim from top and/or bottom of each Post. And, of course, you are always welcome to contact us if you need help.

5. Do you need Half Posts?
If you will have Handrails or decorative trim at the top of your Porch Posts, you will need Half Posts (split lengthwise) at the building walls. This is the professional, traditional way to terminate rails and decorative items against a wall. Half Posts are available at each Post product listing.

We are available by phone or email for free personalized consultation.

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Introduction to Porches & Porch Parts
Introduction to Porches & Porch Parts
Product Listings - Porch Parts
Product Listings - Porch Parts
Porch Photos - Sec. A
Porch Photos - Sec. A
Free Personalized Porch Consultation
Free Personalized Porch Consultation