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Install & Replace

how to create a base for a porch column that is too short

Our six porch columns are rotted out at the bottom and I want to replace them with APCO aluminum columns.  However, the only size sold as stock - that we can afford - is 8 foot.  The height from the cement porch to the beam above is 8 foot six inches. 


The beam is a 4x4, with a 2x6 fascia board, if I'm saying that correctly.


There is no second floor - it's only a porch ceiling.  I have to calculate more carefully, but it looks like there will be very, very much more load-bearing strength than required.


The other issue is that the floor is not exactly flat.  Whoever put the columns up apparently just ignored that, and it doesn't seem to have been a problem.


What is the easiest way I can build a safe base or add to the top so I can use these columns?


Thanks for any advice.

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Posted 2012-09-01T23:56:13+0000  by jbullman jbullman

Hi JBULLMAN.  Thank you for joining the community.


   The columns you are referring to need to be attached to both a top and bottom structure. With that in mind - there is really only one solution.  You will have to build an additional 6 inches down from that upper 4x4 beam.  This will allow you to properly install the columns and not lose the integrity of the design.


columns2.jpg              Columns.jpg


Building up the base with wood will simply defeat the purpose of getting the aluminum columns.  Besides, you would have to build them out of pressure treated wood and would be wider than the base itself. With time they may shift and possibly move their position.


Hope this helps,

Posted 2012-09-02T13:41:07+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL

The way paintpro described doing it is the proper way. But in case you decided or decide to build up the base instead, pressure treated lumber will quickly corrode the aluminum at it's contact point.

Posted 2012-10-07T21:39:02+0000  by Niwroc




Concrete is relatively inexpensive - if you were to build up-pour concrete footings to the high of the alum. column you would kill two birds with one stone ; take care of the unevenness of the slab-floor and raise the columns from the rooting point -ground.


Depending on the frost line an 8" footing would take about two to three bags of concrete...If you really want these to pop you can even glue some stone veneer around them, later, when budget permits.


Hope this helps,



Posted 2012-10-08T14:54:43+0000  by George_HD_CHI
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