Best Wood for Painted Screened Porch?
I’ve got a customer that’d like me to convert their unscreened porch to a fully screened one as well as add some “gingerbread” in places to make it look a little more elegant vs purely functional. The structure is currently painted and anything I add or rebuild will be painted as well. I’m a trim guy, so I don’t do a whole lot of exterior work, so I’m curious as to what species of wood would you all would recommend. I’m thinking cedar, but perhaps clear(ish) doug fir? I’m in the Midwest so redwood is hard to find/expensive and I don’t want to use PT pine. A few things I’m installing are structural, eg holding screens, so PVC is out (at least for that sort of thing) as well. Thoughts?
I’m in Midwest as well. Cedar will work well, but 2 coats of oil based primer will need to be applied before paint. If it’s all covered and protected from rain a pine or fir will work as well, but again should have a good coat of oil based primer. Apply a decent exterior paint and it will last a long time. If there is an area that will see a lot of rain, may want to opt for a few cedar pieces in that area, wouldn’t necessarily need to do all of the porch in cedar as it’s being painted and will all look the same when painted. Main thing is to make sure gutters and flashing from roof above are in good working order and that all water is all being diverted from fascia, overhang, etc. If rain water is making its way to the wood it will all rot. Cedar will last a bit longer, but will still rot. Most all cedar that is in the market is harvested differently from our grandparents generation, it doesn’t last as long. Where using cedar need to use stainless steel fasteners. Galvanized will hold up, but stains the wood which in turn bleeds through the paint. If it’s all protected I would go with fir or pine, cedar is quite a bit more $. If you prime all sides and cuts it will help it last longer as well.
There’s exotics and high end cedars that will work as well and will not rot, but I’m assuming budget is a factor for this project. A lot of milling companies can provide you with these woods.