Poplar trimwork on porch?

fish7577November 12, 2009

I'm building a house and framing is just about complete. There is a large covered porch with a reverse barrell vault over the center. There is a fair amount of trimwork (porch beams and crown moulding), and the siding contractor will be doing the trim work on the porch. He suggested we use poplar since it will give the detail we're looking for, and would be a bit cheaper than using a PVC product (such as Azek). We'd be wrapping the beams, doing crown, and doing the soffit overhang with poplar. The larger soffit areas would be a wood beadboard.

Is poplar a reasonable choice? I know the Azek is pretty pricey. He didnt' want to do the overhang soffit with aluminum because he didn't feel it would blend well with the wood or azek trimwork. I'm a little worried about the maintenance. Both the azek or the poplar would need to be painted, but what about painting again in the future?

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We used trex pvc trim ( a bit less $$ than azek but slightly less dense) and used vinyl beadboard soffit. The soffit is less money and helps overcome cost of extra for pvc but also factor in the cost of painting that trim or stain. Yours may be different but in the long run for our situation it was less money . The painting on this house would have been big $$. I posted some pictures on the thread below called "Amost done porch" for what its worth. The lack of maintainence /painting is very nice. So far so good. Good luck

    Bookmark   November 13, 2009 at 11:00AM
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A similar product to Azek at about 40% less cost is KOMA
trimboards. I used this prodcut recently and couldn't tell the difference from Azek. You can check their site for dealer locations -www.KOMAtrimboards.com

You mentioned that you'd have to paint. No so with the Koma or Azek. They come white.

As for poplar, like any other wood, you want to keep the column wraps about 1/2" of the floor to prevent rotting from water. Cover that gap with trim.

Take a look at vinyl beadboard for your soffits and overhang. You'll be glad you did years from now when you don't have to paint it.

I've blended M/Free products, both vinyl and aluminum, and they actually work well together.

Good luck on your project.

The Porch Guy

Here is a link that might be useful: My Album

    Bookmark   November 14, 2009 at 10:14PM
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Poplar is one wood I don't use outdoors. I love it as an interior trim wood, I use it for paint-grade trim and cabinet face frames all the time.

But as far as long-term longevity outside? I'd never advocate poplar.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 10:47AM
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John agrees with Mongo. Dont shoot him,it will just make him Mad, Blazing Saddles. Just Kidding dude. J.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 6:52PM
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Poplar takes paint very well, but is at the bottom of the pile for rot resistance.

Exterior pop;ar will experience wide changes in humidity, leading to any finish cracking and allowing moisture to enter.

Cypress is actually much better for outside use, but you need to find someone to make the moldings you want.

Or use a synthetic.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 8:28PM
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