Porch Columns vs. Porch Wraps: Which is Best for Your Home?

February 3rd, 2024 | Uncategorized

When looking to add architectural interest and support to your home’s porch, you have two main options – porch columns or porch wraps. Both can transform a plain porch into an eye-catching asset. But should you go with traditional columns or modern wraps? Let’s compare the pros and cons of each to help you decide what will work best for your home. 

An Introduction to Porch Columns and Porch Wraps

Porch columns are vertical structures that help support the porch roof overhead. They also lend a sense of style and sophistication to a home’s curb appeal. Porch columns are commonly made of natural materials like wood or stone, but fiberglass, vinyl, and metal columns have also grown in popularity.

Porch wraps are integrated structures that wrap around two or more sides of a porch. Rather than standing as individual columns, long porch wraps essentially create a pillar wall around the perimeter. They can be made from materials like vinyl, composite, PVC boards, and aluminum. Wraps range from 4-12 inches wide and 7-9 feet tall. They may cover just the railing height or extend up to the edge of the porch ceiling. For a lighter visual look, many wraps have decorative cutout designs along the length.

Benefits of Porch ColumnsBenefits of Porch Wraps
Offer classic curb appeal on porchesSleek, modern aesthetic for porches
Come in diverse building materials like wood, fiberglass, vinyl, etc.Low maintenance materials like vinyl, composite, and PVC
Can be left natural or painted to match your color schemeCustomizable length, height, and cutout patterns
Provide authentic structural support for the roofVisually lightens and opens up smaller porch spaces
Customizable with decorative capitals, bases, trimmingEasier DIY installation around railings or roof edges
Coordinate well with traditional home stylesMore affordable than multiple wood or masonry columns

Drawbacks of Porch Wraps

– Limitations designing for non-rectangular porch shapes

– Cannot stand alone like columns; require attachment  

– Provides less structural reinforcement than columns

– Not well suited for traditional or formal home styles

– Cutout designs can collect debris and be hard to reach 

Key Differences Between the Options 

While both porch columns and wraps add appeal and support, there are some major differences to keep in mind:

– **Appearance:** Columns have a traditional, substantial look. Wraps offer a modern, streamlined aesthetic.

– **Structure:** Columns provide robust structural reinforcement. Wraps only reinforce minimally. 

– **Versatility:** Columns work on porches of all layouts. Wraps are best for straight perimeter porches.

– **Installation:** Columns require foundation and footings. Wraps directly attach to the porch edges.

– **Customization:** Columns limit creativity to capitals and bases. Wraps allow for varied cutout designs.

– **Suitability:** Columns complement heritage home styles well. Wraps better fit contemporary homes.

Determining What’s Best for Your Home

Choosing between porch columns or wraps largely depends on your home’s existing architectural style and the porch layout. 

Columns are an excellent choice if you have a traditional home style you wish to preserve. Their classic elegance and structural reinforcement make sense for heritage designs like craftsman bungalows, farmhouses, Victorians, and colonials.

For more modern home styles, wraps are often the better fit. Their streamlined look enhances mid century ranches, contemporary cubes, and coastal cottages. Wraps also work especially well for awkward angled porches where stands columns wouldn’t fit well.

Make sure to examine your porch design closely. Square or rectangular footprints are better candidates for wraps. More unique shapes benefit from the adaptability of individual columns.

Also consider your budget, maintenance preferences, and regional climate. Columns made of wood, brick, or stone require more regular upkeep than low-maintenance vinyl or composite wraps.

Whether you select stately porch columns or sleek modern wraps, both options provide curb appeal and added structural stability to enhance your home. Determine what best suits your house style and needs to pick the ideal porch pillars.


When deciding between porch columns versus porch wraps, there are many factors to weigh regarding your home’s style, porch layout, budget, and maintenance preferences. Columns bring classic elegance well-suited to traditional designs. Wraps offer a streamlined modern look that can open up smaller porches through their cutout motifs. Carefully assess your goals to pick between these two excellent options for amplifying your porch’s presence and function. With the right choice, you can enjoy your dream porch for many years to come.

Moffett Plumbing & Air is a full-service, family owned & operated plumbing & HVAC company based out of Orange, CA. Follow our blog for valuable homeowner tips, and updates from your favorite team of plumbing professionals.