Transitional style but contractor order round columns
November 19, 2012 in Design Dilemma
The contractor has ordered the interior columns for our new house. He ordered a round column. They are just not my style. I was not anticipating him ordering them without consulting me but he says that he can't cancel the order. There are 5 columns (3 support for dining area) and 2 in living area. How bad will this look? Is there any way to salvage this? I prefer clean lines, rectangle & square shapes.
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I tend to prefer square columns as well, but perhaps if the columns were grounded into a square base you would like it more.

I have to say, however, that you should not be bullied by your builder if you did not sign off on this. I just built a house last year and there was only one thing that happened that I did not sign off on, and he immediately offered to fix it (it was handle placement on my kitchen cabinets, which ended being a happy accident). He did re-buy a pantry door because the handle was too high for my kids to reach, but I did not have to ask him to...he offered. My point is, a good builder will not order anything without having the client's approval/signature as he will not want to have to eat the price himself, and he wants the builder/client relationship to run smoothly.
Look back over your original plans that you signed off on. If the round columns are not specified, point that out and ask him to order the square ones at no charge.
If, however, you find that you unknowingly agreed/ signed/gave approval on the round ones, my advice is to pay for the columns you think you will be happy with...not the ones you are trying to talk yoursef into. A change order is never a thrilling moment $$, but that is a pretty big architectural difference to try to simply adjust to. Changing it down the road will cost you more than fixing it now.
Good luck, hope you find you signed for no specific column ;)

0 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 9:39PM
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Anta Design Studio
I completely agree with "ccwaters" on contractors liability , but if you will end up accepting it, do not feel bad, since round columns can also fit in more modern transitional interiors, it is all dependent on everything else around it and sometimes they become very interesting contrast with more contemporary furniture or architectural elements.

I am attaching photo from one project we did few years ago in Europe, where round more traditional columns were intentionally added in modern interior.

0 Likes   November 19, 2012 at 11:06PM
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
Someone signed off on the plan shown above and it has ROUND tapered columns specified in the plan. If that was not the intent, then it should have been noted a long time ago. The contractor can only go by the plans.
0 Likes   November 20, 2012 at 4:29AM
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At this point I'm not trying to argue with the builder, I'm trying to see if this is salvageable or not. Is there any way to make a round column square? Or do we just have to start over? Anyone know a good column maker that has a short turnaround time?
0 Likes   November 20, 2012 at 5:17AM
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
I am not aware of a way to make a round column square, particularly if it is tapered. I think anything that one would attempt to do would not be a quality most people would accept. It will look altered and bulky in the space by trying to build around it. There are many companies that specialize in structural columns so getting replacements should not be difficult but might take a couple of weeks as they are generally sized to a specific project. You can use the round columns for a garden arbor or donate them to Habitat Restore. Good luck on moving forward with this.
0 Likes   November 20, 2012 at 7:21AM
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What a bummer. I'd order what I wanted and sell the round ones so it wasn't such a hit in the wallet. Your building new, this the the opportunity for you to have exactly what you had envisioned. Too bad there was this oversight because the plan clearly shows a tapered round column. So sell them, someone will pick them up in a flash.
1 Like   November 20, 2012 at 7:34AM
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I agree about re-purposing or donating. As I mentioned before, If you inadvertently signed off, there is no arguement to make. I think you will be happier when you look back on this if you just order what you truly want. Yes, it will cost extra now, but in the grand scheme of things / how it will make you feel in your new space, it is definitely worth it to just follow through with what you want. The good news is that they weren't already installed, just ordered.
Perhaps this is an item that is a standard size and the manufacturer will take them back with a re-stocking fee. Otherwise, re-purpose or donate.
0 Likes   November 20, 2012 at 7:41AM
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