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Old 04-11-2007, 04:48 PM   #1
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Beefing up these columns (pics attached)


Okay, we're about to close on this house and are building our renovation list. We think these columns (2) that hold up the front awning look oldschool and are too thin. We ideally wanted larger, square columns (stucco'd), and actually drew plans for a box structure that would have surrounded them, then encased that with paper/mesh, and stucco'd.

Then we started thinking that since they're already stucco'd, maybe we could just keep that cylindrical shape, and put more and more stucco/cement over it. We'd be able to beef them up, right?

How much thicker could we make these? Can we just keep doing more nad more stucco? I was hoping we could add at least an inch or two.

(the idea being to strip off the current stucco, prep the concrete, apply concrete bonding agent stuff, then start applying layers of concrete/stucco. Oh and we'd be using those rebar sheets to keep the stucco real strong.)

Any ideas or tips on how to beef these up in a solid way?
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Old 04-11-2007, 06:20 PM   #2
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Beefing up these columns (pics attached)


I would just build a square box around them with 2x4's and OSB/PLY then you can make it the size you want and the shape you want. Then have it stuccoed just the way you want.

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Old 04-11-2007, 08:39 PM   #3
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Beefing up these columns (pics attached)


The problem lies with making the box, and seating it properly into the concrete. The current columns are right to the edge of the concrete slab, so that makes it a real pita ( see this pic). The box would have to rest on non-existant concrete. I could lay a new slab, but that's sooo much more work, and it'll end up settling differently and then won't be as secure. Nevermind that just beefing them up with concrete (just continually making them thicker an inch at a time) will be waaaaaay cheaper than buildng a box, and then meshing/papering it.
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:29 AM   #4
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Beefing up these columns (pics attached)


I'm actually now leaning more towards just doing that box idea, kind of... I'm thinking I'll make a box, but then just pour concrete into it. Once it cures enough, I'll lift the box up higher, and repour more concrete. I can continue that up the pole, and hand finish the top parts.

Does that sound like it'd go well? I don't mind if the finish comes out rough at all, as I'll be stucco'ing over it anyways.
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Old 05-15-2007, 12:36 PM   #5
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Beefing up these columns (pics attached)


Why not box 3 sides? And on the front edge only box it in to the recess?

That way you get the beefy look and not extend at all past the edge of the concrete.
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Old 05-15-2007, 04:27 PM   #6
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Beefing up these columns (pics attached)


I guess i just think that building a box, making it sturdy, paper/lathing it, then stucco'ing is much more expensive and time consuming than just beefing it up through concrete only, and finishing with stucco.
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:28 PM   #7
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Beefing up these columns (pics attached)


It should only take less than an 2 hours for each box to build. And right now OSB is cheap. And really the rest of the lumber is well priced. I would think concrete would be a heck of a lot more expensive.
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:27 AM   #8
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Beefing up these columns (pics attached)


Ya I guess I never really thought how much concrete I'd go through. But here's another factor - i'm early 20's and was never really taught any of this stuff, so i'm picking it up as I go. If I build a thick concrete veneer over the existing pole, I'd be comfortable with it as I know it's secured by the pole (assuming properly prepared pole - powerwashed, acid etched, and kept wet before app of concrete)

As for building a box veneer and fastening it into a concrete slab, and keeping it fixed around the pole, well, that's got my head filled with too many 'what if's' and I'd probably never be able to just look at it w/o seeing all the ways my design may have failed.

I guess it's more than just ease of construction and price, with concrete I'd feel like I had a more solid project, with building a box and coating it, I'd never have real confidence in the project (i'd never be comfortable leaning on the damn thing, for instance. The only way i'd be comfortable is if I dropped like $200 on steel 'l-brackets' and such, and the box had 1,000 screws going through it. So the way that I'd personally end up making it probably would be insanely expensive (since i'd err on the side of too much strength, by a lot) and time consuming, and even then i'd never be fully comfortable with it.
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:51 PM   #9
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Beefing up these columns (pics attached)


Quote:
Originally Posted by robertcdf View Post
It should only take less than an 2 hours for each box to build. And right now OSB is cheap. And really the rest of the lumber is well priced. I would think concrete would be a heck of a lot more expensive.
You're dead on, the boxes were cheap. Although the time table is off, but of course that's because my chief helper was zonked on his new prescription pills all day lol. We got ~75% of one box built today during a 3hr period.

We're doing 8' tall columns, they'll be 14'' wide, 12'' deep. I'll be doing some cool trim for teh top / bottom of each column so they're not just rectangles hitting the ground. Again, they'll be meshed/stucco'd just as the rest of the house.

The columns are being made with plywood (1/2" roughly), and we're doing 'rings', 3 per column to be exact, to hold the plywood together. The rings are 2"X6" pressure treated lumber, they're the 'frame' that the plywood's going over.

I imagine that it'll take a couple more days before they're done, then we'll seal the wood to prevent future rot, secure them into the concrete stoop they'll be seated on, apply the mesh/tar paper, and then stucco! I'll post some pics in here for progress if I get around to it, otherwise just the finished project pics over in the projects showcase section (I'm planning to show all my projects over there, as posting there seems to be a little slow, and I think the more cool projects shown will spur more projects!)
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:46 PM   #10
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Beefing up these columns (pics attached)


Veneer columns for my front awning

Here's the pics of the (kind of) finished product! They've been assembled, anchored, lathed, and they have their first stucco base coat. They'll get another couple stucco coats, then a tan finish coat (travertine style).

Thanks for all the tips, doing the boxes was way easier than the concrete prolly would've been, although it was hella expensive. I attribute this to my lack of confidence in building some things, causing me to overdo it. I spent an ungodly amount of money on tapcons and metal reinforcement for my box. I thought it was strong enough, but figured I may as well just make it as diesel as I can, which is usually how I do these kinds of things lol. Better to do it right first time than fix it later I guess!

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