Farmers Porch With Lattice Skirt
The farmer’s porch in the adjacent photo has a complete pvc lattice skirt around the bottom of the porch framing. Raised porches look best with some sort of skirt to hide the framing and keep small animals and children out of the space.
The entire porch skirt is built from pressure treated framing, 1-inch pvc trim and vinyl lattice. Not having to paint this lattice is a really important feature to us. We have no desire to spend summers doing endless maintenance.
It’s VERY important that you understand how to work with PVC trim before tackling a project like this. While that discussion is far too lengthy for this article it is worth noting some key considerations:
- Thermal Movement – PVC trim expands and contracts more than traditional wood trim. Because of that the material must be fastened according to the manufacturers specifications. This typically includes using more fasteners and shorter intervals. We typically use either stainless steel ring shank siding nails or stainless steel trim screws.
- Glue Joints – Gluing the joints is almost 100% necessary in our experience to prevent sightly opening. We typically glue all miter and scarf joints with “clear” pvc cement (this means both clear primer and glue). Gluing the joints has proven very effective in combination with proper fastening to keeping the joints nice and tight.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Paint It – While many people think that PVC trim doesn’t need to be painted (it doesn’t really) it does look much nicer if you do. The paint helps hide the fasteners and joints. The beauty is most paints will last a very long time on PVC as the substrate will not absorb water which is the normal cause of paint failure.
How To Build Lattice Porch Skirt
I won’t go into much detail in this article about the specific steps in building the porch skirt. If you’d like to learn how to build a lattice porch skirt like this one then check out the series of posts that we wrote on how to build a porch skirt.
Basically the skirt is created by building a “frame” that will hold the lattice in place. The frame is constructed of 3/4″ thick KLEER Trimboard material that I rabbited to hold the lattice. The rabbit detail allows the lattice to move with changes in temperature without buckling. Each lattice panel just sits in the slot and is not nailed or screwed in place.
I used stainless steel ring shank siding nails to attach the KLEER Trimboards to the PT framing. I glued the corner miter joints with clear pvc cement and finally I added a coat of good quality latex exterior paint to the frame pieces.
I’m happy to say that after 5 seasons not one single joint has opened up and the lattice still looks as good as new.