Boxing in Lally Columns
Instructions on Boxing in Lally Columns
By: Mark J. Donovan
When finishing a basement one of
the issues that inevitably comes up is what to do with the lally columns
that pepper the basement area. Boxing in a lally column is sometimes the
Lally columns are steel posts
filled with cement and provide an important constructional component to your
home. They are normally found in the basement, sit on a cement footing or
pad, and support large heavy structural overhead beams. Removing them is not
an option, unless you want to involve a costly and complex engineering
Ideally when finishing a basement
architects try to "bury" lally columns in walls. However, due to certain
desired floor plans, this is not always possible. In these situations, the best
alternative is to box in the lally column to dress it up.
Boxing in a lally column is a pretty
straight forward project to do. I typically install them after the basement
ceiling has been installed and before the flooring has been installed.
To begin with you will need four
lengths of 1"x5" select pine, or hardwood if you prefer. The length of the
boards should be cut to the length of the exposed lally column. Two of the
boards should be cut wider than the other two, such that the two narrower
boards sit flush in-between the two wider ones. Assuming you want to make as
small of a box as possible, the width of the two narrower boards should be the
diameter length of the lally column. The two wider pieces will then butt over
the ends of the two narrower pieces. Note: You can use a square to determine
the diameter of the lally column.
With the boards cut to length and
width. Using 6 penny finish nails and glue, nail together one half of the box.
More specifically, nail together one of the wider boards with one of the
narrower boards. It is best to nail them together on the basement floor.
Note: Before nailing them
together, run a bead of glue along the length of the edges that are to be
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Repeat the process with the other
Now liberally apply a bead of liquid
nails around the entire length and circumference of the lally column.
Once the liquid nail bead has been
applied to the lally column, place the two sections of the pre-made box
together around the post, and nail them together.
Using a nail punch sink the nails,
and then fill with putty.
Allow the box to set up for 24
After the box has had time to set
up, sand the boxed in lally column. You may also want to consider using a
router to make a rounded edge on the four corners of the post.
After routing the corners sand once
You may also want to install
baseboard trim around the base of the lally column.
Finally apply a primer and two coats
of paint to the boxed in lally column.
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