Creating Decorative Styrofoam Columns

Bob works with Jesse Gonzalez to create Styrofoam columns for the decorative columns on the front of the house.

Clip Summary

Bob looks at the exterior design elements on the Punta Gorda house with Jesse Gonzalez of Mercedes Homes. Bob mentions the Tuscan feel evoked by the dormered overhangs with arches and faux columns. Gonzalez shows Bob the support stringers for the soffits that will have a brown finish to match the roof drip edge. They then move to a mirror arch and overhang with bearing posts made with four-by-four lumber. Gonzalez and his crew have pre-formed Styrofoam columns that are made in halves and fitted exactly to the post. The crew fills the inside of the column half with expanding adhesive foam and fits it to the back of the post. They fill the gaps between the post and column with adhesive foam then marry the second half in the same fashion. The two sides are then held together with bungee cords to set for an hour. Styrofoam rings are cut to form decorative bases or capitols for the columns. Two rings are set on the top and bottom with the adhesive foam. The entire column is then sprayed with a textured acrylic that will be painted to match the house. These custom decorative elements only cost about $40 to $50 apiece, but unify the design and provide decorative cladding for the bearing posts. Since they are light and well affixed, these columns are unlikely to break free in high winds but can be damaged by wind-borne debris.