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PVC Rake Boards and Fascia in the North East

chmink's picture

We are building a summer home in north central NY state.  The builder's in the area say using PVC for rake boards and fascia boards doesn't work well in this area because of the seasonal expansion and contraction of these long trim pieces.  The standard is aluminum wrapped wood rake and fascia trim boards.

I have read at least one article in FHB discussing how to properly install PVC trim to accomodate for expansion and contraction.

Any advise on whether PVC is OK for rake and fascia boards in northern climates if installed correctly, or is it a problem that can't be compensated for regardless of installation techniques?

When I resided this place (in (post #216172, reply #1 of 5)

When I resided this place (in southern Minnesota) 30 years ago I used a brand of "hardboard" for the fascia, replacing the wood (reputedly cedar) that had been there for 10 years.  I've never regretted it for a minute.

Unfortunately, you can't get decent hardboard anymore.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

There's nothing wrong with (post #216172, reply #2 of 5)

There's nothing wrong with PVC if it's installed correctly. It sounds like your builder doesnt know how to do it properly and forcing him into it after he has warned you will only result in problems if things go south.

Find another installer for the rake boards. Personally I dont care for the look of aluminum trim it's too smooth and perfect for my taste, but if you dont mind the aesthetics it's a good product that should last well.

Properly installed PVC trim (post #216172, reply #3 of 5)

Properly installed PVC trim should be fine. PVC expands when it's hot and shrinks when it's cold. I've used it exclusively here in hot south Florida for 15 years and can't remember a callback. I'd make sure it was installed in the summer and also make sure it's well nailed with stainless ring shank 8# nails. You can glue any seams with PVC cement or caulk with polyurethane. It's great stuff. 

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

Fine Homebuiilding magazine (post #216172, reply #4 of 5)

Fine Homebuiilding magazine has had some articles on installing PVC trim.  I replaced all the corner boards on my 2 story house with PVC  trim.  The lengths are just under 18 feet. 

Check into Boral Truexterior (post #216172, reply #5 of 5)

Check into Boral Truexterior trim boards. While it does need painting, the paint holds for a very long time, and Boral doesn't have the thermal expansion/ contraction issues of PVC.