Frequently Asked Questions
My columns sound hollow. Can I fill it with sand or some other product to cut down on the sound?
No. Filling the column restricts air flow and condensation evaporation. You will void the warranty by putting anything (except a structural post) inside the column.
Can I purchase your products directly from HB&G?
We do not sell direct to customers, but you can find a link to our dealer locator HERE (link to dealer locator).
Can I paint a Colonial PermaPost®?
No, the post comes prefinished white. There are no recommendations for painting due to the material and you will void the warranty.
How do I properly cut down a fiberglass column?
Things You Will Need:
- Circular saw with an abrasive fine-tooth carbide blade
- Low-Tack Masking Tape
- Marking Pen or Pencil
- Protective Eyewear
Measuring the Opening and Column before Making the Cut
- Take four measurements before making any cut to the column. Most porches will have a slight slope to them. With that being the case, take four measurements to be certain that your column is going to sit flush at the top and bottom.
- Measuring from the ceiling to the finished floor, take a plumb measurement from the front of the column, back of the column and each side. This should give you the proper length to be able to make your cut.
Preparing to Cut the Fiberglass Column
- Place the column on its side and brace it for stability. Measure to the desired length and mark the column at the cut line.
- Apply a layer of low-tack masking tape around the column at cutting length in order to protect the cut edge from being chipped by the saw blade.
- Use a circular saw with a masonry or fine-tooth carbide tip blade and make the cut through the masking tape, rotating the column as needed to complete the cut. If the column is tapered, make sure to cut only from the bottom in order to keep the aesthetic and proportion of the column.
- Remove the cut portion and the masking tape from the cut end and install your column.
Do I need to pre-drill holes into the column before installing screws?
When using screws to secure the column to the ceiling or floor or applying a railing system, you need to pre-drill the holes before installing the screws. Failure to do so may cause the column to crack or chip off. You may not notice the column chipping off because most of the time it will chip off from the interior wall of the column. When this happens, the column will now have a weak point and the weight load that the column will carry will be reduced.
Can I add concrete inside a fiberglass column to make it feel more secure?
Never add concrete inside the walls of a fiberglass column! By doing this, your fiberglass column is guaranteed to split in many pieces. The expansion and contraction rate of the column is different than that of the concrete and within days after adding concrete inside a fiberglass column’s walls it will begin to crack.
Can I paint PermaWrap®, RigidWrap®, PermaSnap™, or any other PVC product?
You can paint these products, but they cannot be painted dark colors. Dark colors are considered any color that falls within the L value of 56 to 0. L is a measure of lightness of an object and ranges from 0 (black) to 100 (white). Your paint manufacturer will be able to provide the L value if you are unsure.
Can you stain a fiberglass column?
Our RoughSawn® column are the only product that can be stained with a solid-body acrylic stain.
Does it matter which end of the column I cut?
Our round tapered and square craftsman must be cut from the bottom so as not to cut into the taper of the column. Our square and round no-taper columns can be cut from the top or bottom because they are a uniform width from top to bottom.
I’m interested in purchasing a pergola but would like to add a shade option. Does HB&G offer shade options for their pergola systems?
Yes. We sell a product called Mor-Shade®. There are three options in our Mor-Shade collection. The shade sail is a single fabric piece that connects at the four top corners of the pergola columns. Our canopy system is a retractable fabric option giving you more flexibility for your shade needs. The last option is our Mor-Shade purlin. These purlin are wider than the normal purlin giving you more shade without the need for a fabric option.
Do I need to remove my Mor-Shade® canopy and sail before inclement weather?
Yes, both options must be removed or retracted when sever weather is anticipated or the warranty is void.
What is the best way to rejoin a split column?
The kit includes an MMA (Methyl Methacrylate Adhesive) type adhesive, bonding plates, and straps to hold the column together while the adhesives cure. MMA adhesives are formulated with modifiers to provide tough bond lines that resist peel and cleavage stresses as well as impact.
Can I order a split column to be used around an existing structural post?
Yes! Our round taper and no-taper, square, and craftsman fiberglass columns can be split to surround existing support posts. Our PermaLite®, RoughSawn®, and PermaCast® Recessed Panel columns cannot be split by HB&G.
Does HB&G offer a more contemporary cap and base for square columns?
Yes, a beveled cap and base option is available for Square PermaCast® and PermaLite® columns. Sizes vary so please check our online catalog for your options.
Do HB&G round tapered columns hold true to Architectural Accuracy?
Yes! In the first century B.C., Vitruvius, a Roman architect and engineer, wrote that has become the most influential work on classic form. In it, he elaborates on the discovery by the ancient Greeks of entasis, a gradual tapering of the upper two thirds of the round column which offsets the undesirable illusion from eye level that the column shaft grows larger as it ascends. HB&G round tapered columns hold true to this classic form.
How much height can I trim off of a round tapered PermaCast® column?
Remember, when trimming a round tapered column, cut from the bottom! Parallel dimensions are used to specify where a column begins to taper. These dimensions use length from the bottom of the column shaft to the point where the taper begins. This is necessary to determine how much a column can be shortened before the base begins to fit loosely. Filler and caulking may be used to fill the gap between the base and shaft if it is necessary to shorten the column beyond the parallel dimension. Please see our online catalog for a full list of Parallel Dimensions.
Are the unsplit HB&G fiberglass and aluminum columns load bearing?
Yes! Please check our information center on the website for more information on load bearing capabilities of our products.
What is the “Safety Factor” on the allowable load for HB&G fiberglass columns?
The “Safety Factor” on the allowable load was recently increased from 2.5 times to 5 times the listed average allowable load. Please see our online catalog for an eccentric and concentric load bearing table specific to each size and style of column
Are HB&G fiberglass columns code compliant?
Yes! HB&G Building Products is the only fiberglass column manufacturer with an evaluation service report from ICC attesting to its compliance to the 2018 IBC/IRC and Florida Product Approval.
How large of a round tapered PermaCast® Column will I need to use in order to wrap a 4”x4” post?
Remember that you are hypothetically inserting a square peg in a round hole! Consequently, it is the “diagonal measurement” of the 4”x4” post that you are interested in. you must take into account the fact that a round tapered column has a smaller inside dimension at the top of the column shaft that it does at the bottom. You will need to use an 8” round tapered column in order to wrap a 4”x4” post.
Should HB&G fiberglass column be primed before being painted?
Yes! Prime the column with high quality exterior latex bonding primer in accordance with the paint manufacturer’s instructions. A light coat of primer should be applied and allowed to fully cure before applying a top coat of paint.
Does your product come with a warranty?
Yes! Our warranties vary based on the particular product purchased. Please check in the Information Center for more information
Do you provide any sort of Continuing Education course through your company?
Yes! Our continuing education course is approved by AIA. Upon completion the attendee will receive 1 hour of HSW continuing education credits. Please contact HB&G or a local sales representative for more information.
How long does it take to get a custom drawing or a plan take-off and materials list back from HB&G?
Drawings and plan take-offs are submitted to the HB&G CAD department for processing. Drawings are processed within 48 hours of the original request. Plan Take-offs with materials list will take up to 72 hours depending on the work load of the CAD department.
Can I notch the column or cut out an electrical outlet in the column?
It is not recommended. Installations of this type exceed the products designed use and will void your warranty.
Can I attach a flagpole to the column?
Yes, attach the flagpole with coarse-thread pattern screws. Remember to pre-drill the column to avoid cracking.
I have three columns that are cracking. What do I need to do?
A surface crack can be repaired with Bondo. If the column is load bearing, the crack goes through the wall of the shaft, and the columns are uninstalled, they can be returned for credit at the place of purchase. If the columns are installed, please email our Warranty Department at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a claim form.
What type of adhesive do I use with your columns?
HB&G PermaCast® columns require a non-acetone construction type adhesive. Acetone will harm the column and is not recommended. PVC Columns can be installed with SiroFlex Adhesive, Adhesive Caulking, or standard PVC Cement.
Can I stack two columns together?
It is not recommended. Installations of this type exceed the products designed use and will void the warranty.
How do I connect my PermaCast® column to my deck or porch?
PermaCast columns are connected via L-Brackets. These are included in the Tuscan cap and base set or available for purchase separately. If you wish, you can purchase your own brackets from a local hardware store. Be sure to pre-drill into the column prior to attaching the screws. Failure to do so may cause cracking.