PVC Roof Trim
A coastal builder’s technique for durable and weathertight fascias and soffits is based on years of experience with plastic trim.
Synopsis: Author John Spier has spent the last thirty years building houses on Block Island, R.I., where wind, rain, sun, and salt spray all take their toll on the exterior elements of a house. Based on his long experience, he always recommends using PVC exterior trim, because it doesn’t rot. This six-page Master Carpenter article details his techniques for trimming the roof line with PVC: how he handles the long lengths, his methods for fastening and gluing it, and how to plan for its thermal expansion and contraction. He discusses tricks for straightening out the underlying frame and his preferred methods for installing the soffits and fascia. Also included are a sidebar on the benefits of painting PVC. Video extra: How to Install Exterior PVC Trim. Photos: Charles Bickford
Framing defines the bones of a building, but a well-executed trim job highlights its design for the world to admire. If done properly, the individual trim components blend together, their arrangement is smooth and harmonious, and the trim looks good for years to come. Trim installation is also a very satisfying part of the job that marks the transition from rough frame to fine finish.
For almost thirty years, I’ve been building and renovating on Block Island, R.I., a place where houses are routinely blasted by wind-driven salt, sand, debris, and precipitation, occasionally all at once. I’ve learned to have my clients invest in quality materials to resist these forces of nature, and for the past decade, this has included PVC exterior trim. As with using any new material, installing PVC has a learning curve, but after working with it for a number of years, I feel like I’ve developed techniques that allow the material to perform at its highest potential.
Recently, I built the…