I have a porch column which has some rot at the bottom. These are smaller porch columns similar to http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded-6-in-x-6-in-x-8-ft-Pine-Porch-Column-709721/202087424.

I've seen some videos (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYLNaoU5z2M) that show how you can replace just the rotted portion. This is what I am leaning towards as I can't find a match to my existing style at my local home improvement stores. Plus I won't have to deal with the vinyl near the top ("flashing" I think it is called, right?).

Is this legit? My porch roof is very small, it is just over the front door and the porch itself is probably no more than 12 sq. ft.

I've watched a few videos about how to support the roof while you replace the rot. So I feel confident enough to pull it off.


  • 1
    Can you post a pictures? The repair in the linked video may or may not be appropriate depending on the amount of rot damage.
    – Comintern
    Aug 16 '14 at 16:32
  • I will try to get a pic up. The rot is pretty much spot on to what is shown in the video, except that my column is more in line with the first link I posted.
    – Mike
    Aug 17 '14 at 14:39

In a word: Yes. It is perfectly acceptable to replace a portion of a paint grade column so long as you do it correctly. The technique depicted in your video-link, however, is not up to snuff. I scoured youtube for a video to no avail but here's a image of what it should look like: enter image description here

Basically you need to support the load with prop studs or elephant jacks, remove the post, then cut out any and all rotted areas (if the rot extends into the turned area you're in trouble, this requires a different fix). Using a skill saw or exceptionally sharp hand saw, form the joint on the post end then lay it on top of a piece of identically dimensioned square stock and transfer the lines with a sharp pencil or better yet a scribing knife. Cut the mating joint on the extension, check the fit, then cut the extension to length. Join the two members with construction adhesive and lags as shown and then bondo any defects and sand smooth. Re-install the post and enjoy. Oh and make sure to butter the fresh end with either paint or oil or some sort of sealant first.

  • The rot does not extend to the turned area. It is about the first 6" from the base. For the lags, the regs for my home owner's association do not want the lags showing. So can I countersink them and apply some bondo to hide them?
    – Mike
    Aug 17 '14 at 14:40
  • I was able to find a This Old House episode where they do the exact thing described by paperstreet with the addition of using an angle where the two parts meet. Now, the column in this video is much larger than mine, but it is the same concept. video.pbs.org/video/2365178415
    – Mike
    Aug 17 '14 at 14:56
  • Arg! I looked all over for this exact video and couldn't find it. That is how its done, Tommy Silva knows his trade. The angle is better (although optional) because it forces the pieces together as it bears the load and it sheds water better but it does add an extra degree of difficulty so...your call. If you need to hide your lag holes use wooden plugs because bondo-ing something that deep will inevitably shrink and crack.
    – user23534
    Aug 17 '14 at 16:53
  • In the end, the rot had creeped up a decent amount of the column so I'm replacing them both to match. But thank you for your answer.
    – Mike
    Aug 18 '14 at 17:55
  • Ah bummer. Hope it goes well for you.
    – user23534
    Aug 19 '14 at 3:27

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