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Those Pesky Basement Posts

Odds are that you have unsightly support columns in the middle of your unfinished basement. Referred to as basement poles, Lally columns or jack posts, these supports present a challenge when designing your basement space. They’re an essential structural support carrying the load of the roof and upper floors. Moving them is an expensive and involved procedure. Let go of the struggle and incorporate the columns into your design. Let’s celebrate the post! When renovating your basement, try one of the following suggestions for dealing with those pesky basement posts.

  • Create shelving around the column or between multiple columns. The shelving can act as a natural room divider without completely closing off the space. 
  • Make the post tactile: If it must be in the middle of your room, make it pleasant to run your fingers across as you pass by. Cover it with rope, rug, wood, brick, stone or other interesting material.
  • Decorate the pole itself: cover it with silk flowers and vines to add greenery to the room. Or grow ivy that will climb and twine around the column.
  • Turn poles into elaborate Doric, Tuscan or Corinthian columns with intricate detailing. 
  • Try a commercial pole wrap product designed to be decorative, easy to install and adjustable. 
  • Create a chalkboard guest book. Box out the pole with 2X4 and sheetrock. Cover in chalkboard paint and invite guests to leave a message. 
  • Display art: Box out the post. Then use down-lighting, up-lighting, or a lit display box to showcase artwork.
  • Incorporate columns into a wall: Carefully design your space so the Lally columns are built into the walls.
  • Make a charging station: Install outlets and create a space to charge all your electronic devices. 
  • Turn it into a media center: Incorporate your structural column into a built in media center that houses your TV, DVD player and gaming systems. 
  • Create wine storage by using the poles when constructing shelves or cubbies that will store those extra bottles. 
  • Fabricate cubbies that are anchored by the posts and store CDs, books, collectibles, etc. 
  • Construct a minibar: Use the column in the design of a minibar or ice station.
  • Fabricate custom furniture that incorporates the poles such as a wraparound seat, circular drinks table or end table.
  • Go for the industrial look and leave the columns exposed, painting them to enhance your space.

Surprisingly, there are many options for dealing with those pesky basement poles. Transform your immovable posts into a decorative accent for your finished basement. Use your imagination and display those posts proudly! When you’re ready to develop your basement space, call the Calgary basement experts, Econo Basements at (403) 768-0256 or email at With experience, knowledge and expertise, they’re ready to help with all your basement renovation needs.