Finished columns are an attractive detail for a porch, but fabricating them on site with a structural pressure-treated core and a wood or vinyl wrap is time consuming. CertainTeed seeks to address that problem with three new structural PVC columns that go up quickly and offer the advantages of low maintenance and weather resistance.

The new columns are compatible with Certain­Teed’s Oxford, Kingston, and EverNew railings and have larger diameters than existing columns in the product line. They come in three cross sections: round tapers, with 8-inch and 10-inch diameters; non-tapered rounds with 8-inch diameters; and 8-inch squares. Coordinating cap and base trim sets are available.

Columns are sold in 108-inch lengths, good for up to a 9-foot-tall porch. Reinforced with aluminum, the PVC columns will support up to 18,000 pounds each. The white vinyl exterior eliminates the need to paint or seal after installation, and you won’t have to worry about the columns degrading due to wet weather or insects. Because of the high load carrying capacity, Certainteed says, the cost of these columns will range between $250 and $325.

CertainTeed also says it’s beefing up its Certa-Snap post-wrap line with a new wood-grain texture in white and almond that coordinates with its Edgewood railing products.

CertainTeed, 800/233-8990,