How to Replace a Wrought Iron Porch Column

Since the wrought-iron column on this ranch style house was rusty and had seen better days, it was replaced with a low-maintenance fiberglass one. While the column came prefinished, it can be painted a different color if desired.

First, a temporary brace was installed to support the porch roof.

The old column was then removed by sawing it in half with a metal cutting blade in a reciprocating saw.

Next, the height was carefully measured and transferred to the column.

The hollow column was then cut to length by marking around it with a square and cutting each of the four sides with a circular saw.

The preassembled top and base moldings were slipped over the shaft and the column was set in place. The porch beam was jacked up slightly to allow the column to be positioned and checked for plumb.

Once it had been properly aligned, the brace supporting the porch beam was removed.

The base was caulked in place, while the capital at the top of the shaft was attached to the beam.


  1. Danny, is there ever an instance where the fiberglass column should have a 4X4 or whatever size the diameter of the fiberglass column, be inserted in the full length of the hollow column? My question concerns supporting a lot of weight………? Thank you. Camielle

  2. Camielle, I am not related to this website, but I can answer your question. The column shown in the video slips over a piece of dimensional lumber, looks like a 4 X 4 in this case. The walls are simply too thin to bear the load alone. As you shop around, look for composite materials where the packaging for the column will be marked as to whether or not it is load-bearing (usually small print). It should also include the weight limit. Unfortunately, you may not necessarily have the knowledge to apply this to your own application. i.e. How many columns, how far apart, and/or direct replacement for existing columns. Also, the sleeves would still be subject to warping, twisting, bending, and pests. Imagine, if you will, termites eat out the inside post and you are never able to discover it. The ONLY indication would be sawdust or an insect trail at the base of the column.

  3. Carolyn,
    We found fiberglass round columns at Home Depot in Lawton.We are getting ready to install ours! Hope you find them!

  4. We have a concrete porch with 7 large columns. We want to install a railing but have no idea about the installation process. Do you attach the railing on the outside of the columns? Will it be attached to each column? I’m worried about how strong it will be if attached to each column. We do plan on hiring someone to do this.


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