Once associated with commercial buildings, fiberglass columns are now an incredibly popular fixture in residential spaces and for all the right reasons. For instance, they are incredibly durable and boast exceptional versatility. Also, when you consider their little to no maintenance, these columns are a more gentle option on your budget. If used creatively, these columns can serve as a unique focal point to your porch or deck.
Even though fiberglass columns are an excellent way to spruce up your home, it's easy to find yourself torn between them and other types of columns. Here are some of the common questions asked about them to help address any of the concerns you might have and make the right decision
1. What are Fiberglass Columns made from and what is the Process Like?
Also known as fiberglass-reinforced polymer or FRP, fiberglass columns are a mix of glass fibers and resins. During the manufacturing process, the two materials are often mixed, resulting in a more lightweight and durable composite. The composite undergoes further processing to deliver a column with brilliant strength-to-weight ratio.
2. What are the Different Components of a Fiberglass Column and Can I buy them individually?
A fiberglass column usually comes with a capital, a base and a hollow shaft. However, depending on your project, you might not need the entire structure, and the good news is it's possible to purchase each part individually.
3. Would it Be Okay If I Installed Railings for My Next Railing Project?
Yes! As noted earlier, fiberglass columns are a mix of glass fibers and resins. Hence boast exemplary durability and are structurally capable of withstanding the lateral force applied to a railing system. This is why other than the porch, they are a common sight in most decks and balconies nowadays.
4. Are Fiberglass Columns Load Bearing or Structural?
Most column manufacturers tend to use the term load-bearing and structural interchangeably, but there's a significant difference. A load bearing architectural element holds up and evenly distributes the weight of a roof while a structural one holds it in place during harsh weather.
That said, American-made fiberglass columns are load-bearing and you can trust them to hold up your roof. They can nevertheless play a structural role if combined with other durable structural hardware. Therefore, ensure you consult your contractor first if you're thinking of using them structurally.
5. Is it Okay to Paint Fiberglass Columns
The short answer to that is yes. However, you cannot paint them with any product you come across. Ensure you use a high quality exterior latex paint and also you ought to follow the right procedure for the best results.
6. Can I handle the Installation Process?
It can be quite tempting to install the columns yourself if you're a DIY person. Nonetheless, as noted, fiberglass columns usually play a load-bearing role. Hence, it's wise to hire the services of a skilled contractor, and if you must be involved, work alongside them.
7. Can I Use Fiberglass Columns in My Next Interior Design or Remodeling Project?
Even though fiberglass columns are mostly associated with the outdoors, you can bring them inside through split columns. For instance, if you have an open floor plan but would like to have the dining/kitchen and living areas clearly defined, split fiberglass columns serve as great dividers. If you have no interest in dividing the room but would like to have a unique focal point, you can use one fiberglass column to line or anchor your kitchen's island.
8. How Do I Choose the Best Fiberglass Columns?
Fiberglass columns are durable, but you ought to be careful when you purchase them as there are many manufacturers and suppliers out to make a kill instead of selling quality. To ensure you get the best, only purchase American-made columns to avoid knock-offs. Consider the warranty. The longer it is, the more confident you can be about the columns' quality. Also, purchase from a reputable manufacturer and ensure their product is code-compliant.
If used correctly, fiberglass columns can add a stunning visual appeal to both your home's exterior and interior. While the above frequently asked questions will help you select wisely, get in touch with us for more information.
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