Jeff Schotland

A kit of interlocking concrete modules from Ply Gem promises to make short work of sprucing up deck posts, privacy fencing, and even mailbox posts.

The Column Collection is manufactured with molds taken from a Civil War–era stone fence, the company says, making the face of the blocks look much like quarried stone.

Each module is 6 inches high and 14 inches square, with a hollow center shaped to slip over a 5x5 wood column. The modules stack on top of one another without mortar — interlocking profiles on the top and bottom faces of the blocks help keep them aligned.

Rather than cast the entire block in concrete, the manufacturer uses a foam insert at the core to reduce its weight to between 28 and 30 pounds.

Ply Gem also makes a second version, called privacy columns, in which blocks have been grooved to receive fencing panels.

Pieces come in just one color, called “canyon,” which is intended to complement any color in Ply Gem’s Kroy fence and ranch rail line.

A column consisting of 13 blocks and a cap piece costs about $900, the company says. — S.G.

Ply Gem, 877/386-5769,

Scott Gibson is a freelance writer in East Waterboro, Maine.