Boral TruExterior Trim — A First Look
Production builders try the composite building material and conclude that it is competitive with traditional wood options.
The FHB House has been our first experience with Boral TruExterior Siding and Trim. Because I hadn’t used the product before, I called up our local supplier to hear his thoughts on it. He said, “Most of our high-end contractors are using it exclusively.” This was both reassuring to hear and left me wondering what I was missing out on.
Boral trim products are available in standard sizes, like wood products. For the fascia, we used 1×8 and a 1×4 shadow board to give the fascia some dimension. The soffits consisted of 1×12 on the non-vented sides, such as the rakes, and a combination of two 1x5s with a vent strip in the middle on the eaves where the roof assembly is vented. Corner boards and window and door trim are 5/4 material.
The product is composed of over 70% recycled material, which makes a nice fit for this development of net zero, sustainable homes where the FHB House is located. No special tooling is required to work with it, either. However, we have learned that it’s important to take an air compressor and regularly blow out tools like the chop saw and table saw. The dust from cutting Boral is extremely fine and can cause damage to tools if proper care is not taken along the way.
We chose to screw and plug the trim for an added touch, and I must say, it looks very sharp. It took the same amount of time as if we had trimmed the house with wood. Another nice feature is that the cut ends do not need to be primed, according to the literature.
It’s important to wear a dust mask and eye protection because of the material and fineness of the dust when it is cut. Long runoff tables on either side of the saws are helpful as well, because the product is about as stiff as a half-cooked piece of spaghetti. Taking the time to properly set up a cut station will make the process much smoother!