Title:
Decorative post cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A simple and cost-efficient decorative post covering. The decorative post covering has two L-shaped members that are sized and shaped to fit around a post. The decorative post cover includes an attachment mechanism for attaching the first and second members together and around the post. The attachment mechanism is formed integral to the L-shaped members. The attachment mechanism includes a lip end and a receiving end on each of the first and second members. The lip end of the first member is connected to the receiving end of the second member and the lip end of the second member is connected to the receiving end of the first member. The first and second members are identical and therefore interchangeable. The first and second members have longitudinal scalloped grooves molded therein to increased the rigidity of members and give the appearance of a pillar or column.



Inventors:
Gifford, Thomas (Elkhart, IN, US)
Application Number:
09/748689
Publication Date:
09/20/2001
Filing Date:
12/22/2000
Assignee:
GIFFORD THOMAS
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/311.2, 52/313, 52/316
International Classes:
E04F13/18; E04F11/18; (IPC1-7): E04F13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DORSEY, DENNIS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (Indianapolis, IN, US)
Claims:
1. A decorative post cover, comprising a pair of L-shaped members, each member having first and second longitudinal edges and an attachment mechanism located on each edge of the L-shaped members for connecting the L-shaped members together and around a post.

2. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 1, wherein the attachment mechanism comprises a lip formed on the first longitudinal edge of one L-shaped member that fits into a mating receiving end on the second longitudinal edge of the other L-shaped member.

3. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 2, wherein the pair of L-shaped members are identical.

4. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 1, wherein the L-shaped members have scalloped grooves formed along the length of said members.

5. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 1, wherein the attachment mechanism is formed integral to the L-Shaped members.

6. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 2, wherein said lip includes an offset and a protrusion extending from said offset.

7. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 6, wherein the receiving end includes a U-shaped channel defined by an inner leg, an outer leg and a base portion.

8. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 7, wherein said receiving end includes a receiving protrusion, and the inner leg is longer than the outer leg.

9. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 8, wherein said receiving protrusion interlocks with said offset and said lip protrusion.

10. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 9, wherein at least one of either the lip protrusion or the receiving protrusion have a bulbous shape.

11. A decorative post cover, comprising identical first and second members, said first and second members shaped to fit completely around a post, and an integral attachment mechanism for attaching the first and second members together around the post.

12. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 11, wherein the attachment mechanism comprises a lip and a receiving end formed on opposite longitudinal edges of both the first and second members, and wherein the lip of the first member is interconnected to the receiving end of the second member, and the lip of the second member is interconnected is connected to the receiving end of the first member.

13. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 11, wherein said first and second members have scalloped grooves formed along the length of said members.

14. The decorative post cover, as set forth in claim 11, wherein said first member and said second member have an L-shaped cross section.

15. A decorative post cover, comprising a pair of identical members for fitting around a post, each member having a first and second longitudinal edge and an attachment mechanism having portions located along each edge for connecting the members together and around a post.

16. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 15, wherein the attachment mechanism includes a lip formed on said first longitudinal edge of one member that interlocks with a mating receiving end on said second longitudinal edge of the other member.

17. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 16, wherein the members have scalloped grooves formed along the length of the members.

18. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 16, wherein the attachment mechanism is formed integral to the members.

19. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 16, wherein the attachment mechanism includes a second lip formed on said first longitudinal edge of said other member that interlocks with a second mating receiving end on said second longitudinal edge of the one member.

20. The decorative post cover as set forth in claim 19, wherein said first and second lips include an offset and a protrusion from said offset and said first and second receiving ends include a U-shaped channel defined by inner and outer legs and a base, and wherein one of said legs has a receiving protrusion that interlocks with the protrusion on said lips.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to a decorative cover for placing around a post, and more specifically to a decorative cover including two members with integral connections for connecting the members around the post.

[0003] 2. Brief Description of Prior Art

[0004] In construction it is common to use pillars or columns, which are typically either circular or square in cross section, to support porch roofs and over hangs. It is also common to provide ornate decorative features such as scalloped grooves running a vertical length of the pillars. The materials commonly used to manufacture columns and pillars include concrete, metal, or carved wood. Although columns or pillars of this type, provide a sturdy decorative appearance, they are expensive to purchase and may be costly to maintain.

[0005] Simple wooden posts may be used as a less expensive, but also less attractive, alternative to the pillars or columns described above to support porches, overhangs, and other projections extending from a building structure. Vertical posts are also used to support wooden decks, as lamp posts and for playground equipment among other things. Typically wooden posts have a square cross section. The most common sizes of posts are four by four (with actual size of 3½″×3½″) and six by six (with actual size of 5½″×5½″).

[0006] Wood posts may be made from standard wood or, it is common to use pressure treated wood in outdoor construction. Pressure treated wood inhibits the decay and insect infestation that is problematic when using standard non-treated wood outdoors. When new, pressure treated wood has a greenish hue which fades to a dull gray over time. Non-pressure treated wood also turns to a dull gray when used outside without a surface finish.

[0007] To improve the appearance of both pressure treated and non-pressure treated wood that has dulled and grayed, it may be bleach washed, treated with water repellants, stained and/or painted. These procedures require costly materials and extensive labor and may have to be repeated in order to keep the desired appearance of the wood. Furthermore, wooden posts, as with all wood, pose the risk of splinters to those individuals coming in contact with the surfaces.

[0008] It would be desirable therefore to have a decorative post covering that could be placed around inexpensive wooden posts in order to provide the appearance of expensive columns or pillars. Another object of the invention is to provide a decorative post covering that will maintain an attractive appearance without the need for preservatives, staining, painting or other maintenance procedures and that will prevent the risks of splinters from contact with wooden posts. It is also an object of the invention to provide a decorative post covering that can compliment or color match the vinyl siding that is common on homes of new construction or remodeled homes. A further object of the invention is to provide a decorative post covering that can be easily assembled around an existing installed post.

[0009] A further object of the invention is to accomplish the above desired goals in a simple and cost-efficient manner.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The object of the invention has been accomplished by providing a simple and cost-efficient decorative post covering. The decorative post covering has two L-shaped members that are sized and shaped to fit around a post. The decorative post cover includes an integral attachment mechanism for attaching the first and second members together and around the post.

[0011] It is a further feature of the invention to have the attachment mechanism formed integral to the L-shaped members. The attachment mechanism includes a lip end and a receiving end on each of the first and second members. The lip end of the first member is connected to the receiving end of the second member and the lip end of the second member is connected to the receiving end of the first member.

[0012] It is a further feature of the invention that the first and second members are identical and therefore interchangeable. Lastly, it is a feature of the invention that the first and second members have longitudinal scallops molded therein to provide the appearance of a pillar or column.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pair of L-shaped members surrounding a post.

[0014] FIG. 2 shows an end view of one L-shaped member.

[0015] FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of the lip end of the L-shaped member.

[0016] FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of the receiving end of the L-shaped member.

[0017] FIG. 5 is an end view of two L-shaped members connected together and around the post.

[0018] FIG. 5A is an end view of two L-shaped members connected together around the post with reinforcing supports.

[0019] FIG. 6 is an enlarged view showing the lip end of one L-shaped member connected to the receiving end of the other L-shaped member.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0020] FIG. 1 shows a pair of decorative cover members generally indicated as 10, 10a connected to one another and surrounding a wooden post 11. In the example in FIG. 1, post 11 protrudes slightly from the end of the decorative cover members 10, 10a. This protruding end may be covered by a decorative end trimming member (not shown) or in the alternative decorative cover members 10, 10a may be made or cut to the same length as post member 11.

[0021] FIG. 2 shows the preferred embodiment of the decorative cover member 10 looking at said member from an end view, whereby the longitudinal dimension of decorative cover member 10 extends into the paper. Decorative cover member 10 includes a lip or male end 12, which extends along a first longitudinal edge generally indicated as 13; a receiving or female end 14, which extends along a second longitudinal edge generally indicated as 15; and decorative scallops 16. Lip 12 is formed on the first longitudinal edge 13 and receiving end 14 is formed on the second longitudinal edge 15.

[0022] In FIG. 2, decorative cover member 10 as shown from an end view, forms an L shape. In the preferred embodiment, decorative cover member 10 is manufactured by an extrusion process from a plastic material such as polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene. Accordingly, decorative element 10 can be extruded and cut in lengths sufficient to cover the anticipated range of post lengths.

[0023] As shown in FIG. 3, lip 12 includes an offset 20 that is formed askew from a major plane 22 of decorative cover member 10. Lip 12 also includes a bulbous lip protrusion 24 which is molded into offset 20 and has a substantially circularly shaped cross section.

[0024] FIG. 4 shows the enlarged detail of receiving end 14, which includes a substantially U shaped channel 30, defined by an inner leg 32, a base 33, and an outer leg 34. Base 33 is molded and aligned with a second major plane 22a of decorative cover member 10. Inner leg 32 extends a greater distance from base 33 than does outer leg 34. A receiving bulbous protrusion 36 is located on inner leg 32 and has a substantially circular cross section, which serves to reduce the opening of channel 30.

[0025] FIG. 5 depicts an end view of decorative cover members 10 and 10a attached around a post 40 having a smaller cross section than post 11. The lip end 12 of the first decorative cover member 10 is attached to the receiving end 14 of the second decorative cover member 10a. Likewise, the receiving end of the first decorative cover member 10 is attached to the lip end of the second decorative cover member 10a. In this configuration, decorative cover members 10 and 10a completely surround post 40 forming an air gap 42. Air gap 42 is defined by the exterior surfaces 41 of post 40 and the interior surfaces 11 and 11a of decorative cover members 10 and 10a, respectively. In order to provide a firm backing for decorative members 10 and 10a, wooden boards or other reinforcing supports 44a-d can be attached to exterior surfaces 41 of post 40 as shown in FIG. 5A, thereby reducing or eliminating air gap 42. Reinforcing supports 44a-d may run along the entire length of post 40 or said reinforcing supports may be fastened intermittently along the length of post 40 such that spacing between said supports is close enough to provide sufficient structural stability to cover members 10, 10a.

[0026] An enlarged view of lip 12 attached in receiving end 14 is shown in FIG. 6. As can be seen, lip 12 is firmly held within receiving end 14 because the thickness of offset 20 combined with the additional thickness of bulbous lip protrusion 24 on lip 12 is greater than the opening in channel 30 between the upper end of outer leg 34 and receiving bulbous protrusion 36, thereby creating an interlock with lip 12 in channel 30. As can further be seen in FIG. 6, lip 12 and receiving end 14 are sized such that lip protrusion 24 and the free end of offset 20, which extends past lip protrusion 24, are interposed between receiving protrusion 36 and base 33 of channel 30.

[0027] Insertion of lip 12 into receiving end 14 is accomplished by sliding the lips along the length thereof into the receiving channels or by forcing offset 20 and lip protrusion 24 through the opening in channel 30 towards base 33. The latter forcing method would be required to install the cover members about a pre-existing post which is pre-attached at both ends. The forcing method requires that outer leg 34 and inner leg 32 of lip 14 must spread apart far enough under the force of insertion such that offset 20 and lip protrusion 24 will fit through the opening between the upper end of outer leg 34 and receiving protrusion 36. As such, outer leg 34 and inner leg 32 must be flexible enough to spread apart to permit entry of lip 12, but not so flexible that receiving end 14 will not retain lip 12 in place. Also, the material used to make the cover members must be resilient enough so that the receiving channel returns to its original configuration when not being forced apart. Lip 12 may be removed from receiving end 14 by pulling lip 12 away from base 33 with enough force to spread outer leg 34 and inner leg 32.

[0028] It should be appreciated that the L-shaped members would be extruded into pre-selected lengths of material, wherein the closest size to the job application would be used. A typical application would be for covering post supports of a covered porch or the like where the posts extend from a concrete floor or deck upward to where they support the roof. The L-shaped members would be cut to length if necessary and secured about the porch posts with the method described above. If there is a gap between the post and the L-shaped members, intermediate supports such as 2″×4″ boards, could be added at various vertical intervals to fill the gap between the cover members and posts.

[0029] It should be obvious to one skilled in the art that one of the advantages of the preferred embodiment is that the proposed invention can be carried out using a single extrusion mold design. Decorative cover members 10 and 10a have an identical cross sections and attachment is accomplished merely by aligning the cover members so that the lip of one mates with the receiving end of the other. It should also be noted that the invention may be carried out using any attachment design that sufficiently holds the mating ends of the decorative cover members together. Furthermore, although the preferred embodiment utilizes two L-shaped decorative cover members, it would also be possible to carry out the purpose of the invention utilizing any other desirable shape or cross section that can be matched with a similar member around the post. For example, the decorative cover members could be molded in a semi-circular shape having similar attachment means and decorative scallops. When attached together it would give the post the appearance of a circular column or pillar. Also, two C-shaped decorative cover members may be used wherein the lips and receiving ends may be mated centrally in opposing faces of cover members instead of mating at the comers as do the L-shaped members. In addition, one member may be U-shaped and the other a straight length wherein the straight length would mate at the upper ends of the U-shaped member. However, this design would require two separate molds instead of a singular mold that can be used to make the decorative cover members of the preferred embodiment.

[0030] Lastly, the decorative scallops could be changed to embody any desired configuration. Or in the alternative decorative cover members 10 could be flat without any scallops or any other decorative features. It is also possible to mold the decorative cover members in any desired color, for example to match or compliment the color of the siding on a house.

[0031] Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be used as the basis for designing of other structures, methods, and systems will carry out the several purposes of the present invention. Further, the abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application which is measured by the claims, neither is it intended to limit the scope of the invention in any way.