Basement poles are a necessary feature in home construction. The metal poles are used to support large open areas and prevent the collapse of the first floor into the basement. The problem with these poles is that they are not attractive and can be an eyesore in otherwise well-decorated areas. Fortunately, there are ways to cover the steel poles and make them appear as if they were intentionally installed for their aesthetic appeal. The poles can be enclosed in wooden or drywall structures which can be painted, wallpapered or carpeted to create visual appeal.
Once steel basement poles have been permanently placed and adjusted underneath a house, it is a common practice to box them in and cover them. By using small dimensional lumber to create a square structure around the poles, drywall can be cut and installed to finish the pole boxes. Once the drywall mud has been cured and sanded smooth, the basement poles are ready to be painted or wall papered. There are also methods to make the poles safer for small children.
By placing a thick layer of carpet padding around the bottom of the basement poles, a soft area is created to protect a child from injury in the case of an accidental collision. Carpet can then be installed over the padding to create a finished appearance to the lower area of the pole. In this type of installation, either matching or contrasting carpeting can be used to highlight the basement poles or aid them in fading into the background.
A feature that can turn a plain basement into an inside garden is a small planter box built onto the poles. By building a small open top box onto the pole covering, a planter can be made by lining the box with plastic and placing potting soil inside of the structure or simply inserting a potted plant. Adding a variety of plants and vines can help bring the look of an outside garden inside year-round.
Lights can also be easily integrated into the pole coverings. It is easiest to install the wiring inside of the boxed structures at the time of construction. Individuals can add a light fixture to the outside of the pole's covering after the structure has been painted or otherwise finished. This gives an Old World finish to the poles by creating an old-fashioned street lamp look on the basement poles when they are illuminated.