Vinyl Beadboard Soffit for Porch Ceilings

By Todd Fratzel on Siding & Trim

This article has been updated with additional photos and details at the request of readers.

Vinyl Beadboard Porch Ceiling

Our new home has almost all vinyl products on the outside of it. We have vinyl windows, siding, trim, shutters, porch posts, railing, vented soffit, solid soffit and beadboard soffit. Vinyl siding products can actually look very good and be hard for a passer by to tell that it’s not traditional siding. One of the products that we used in our new home was vinyl beadboard Vinyl Beadboard Porch Ceilingsoffit for the farmers porch ceiling.

There are several manufacturers of vinyl beadboard soffit material. The products range from a solid pvc beadboard to a light weight vinyl product like the one I used. This product installed the same was you’d install any type of vinyl soffit. The panels lock together on one side and you nail the other side.

Vinyl Beadboard Soffit Benefits:

  • Will never need scraping or painting.
  • Can easily be washed with water and soap or a pressure washer.
  • Won’t crack, split, decay or get eaten by insects.
  • Very easy to install with limited tools and skills.

If you’re going to build a new porch or remodel an existing one I’d highly recommend you consider soffit material. Even if you’re home has wood siding throughout, I’d still recommend this product because of it’s great exterior durability properties. You’ll be very glad you chose the product and 95% of your friends and visitors won’t even know it’s vinyl!

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Myra Moore says:

    My husband and I are considering beadboard ceiling for our garage to replace the old blown ceiling which is in ill repair. He hopes at some point in the future to do some work in the attic above this ceiling. He hopes to replace present boards with floorjoices so we can use the area for walk in storage or as a bonus room, but this would not be for some time.

    Can this bead board be removed and replaced or will all the money for the ceiling be lost and a full replacement needed?

    • Todd says:

      @ Myra – It can be removed fairly easily. You may break a couple pieces in the process so I’d be sure to have a few extras left over. Basically you nail a piece up on a nailing flange. Then the next piece locks into the first covering up the nails and you nail the 2nd piece. You keep following that pattern. You could take them down by reversing the procedure.

  2. Tom Jacobs says:

    I like the look as well but I have a problem with vinyl beadboard soffit on our porch ceiling. I believe it was installed correctly but in the summer it expands and buckles between the roof beam and the wall of the house. In the winter it shrinks so much that the edge will fall out of the channel when the wind blows. Several pieces blew completely off the ceiling and I’m thinking of ripping it all down and doing something different for the ceiling. The porch is 10′ wide and I believe that this is too much span for vinyl due to its high expansion coefficient. Any ideas for a low maintenance option that is not vinyl?

    • Todd says:

      The beadboard wasn’t installed properly. I’ve got 10′ span on my porch with no problems. Was the ceiling strapped first? Properly nailed? does it have proper J channel on both ends?

  3. John Ford says:

    We are considering vinyl beadboard on our enclosed porch ceiling, however, can’t find the product at our local stores. Who is the manufacturer? Thanks.

  4. Lauri says:

    At AIC Millworks. They sell a light weight vinyl beadboard manufactured by Parkland.

  5. Jerry Koosglow says:

    Where can I find instalation instructions for the vinyl beadboard ceilings? I am pretty handy around the house and think I can do it myself. Saw that Certainteed was a supplier, but at Home Depot, or Lowes, or some other contractor supplier. Need the instructions to install the most.

    • Todd says:

      @ Jerry – Let me look around for some instructions. However, vinyl beadboard is very easy to install. You install it the same way vinyl soffit is installed ( Typically you’ll need some type of sub-framing (wood) that runs perpendicular to the beadboard spaced at 16″ to 24″ (I prefer 16″). Usually this is achieved by using 1×3 strapping nailed to the rafters. Before you begin with the beadboard you’ll need to install vinyl “J-Channel” around the perimeter of the ceiling. Next you’ll install the first piece of beadboard with the “female” end inserted into the “J-Channel” and then nailing the “male” end to the strapping with roofing nails. Be sure you don’t nail the nails to tight to the beadboard nailing flange. You want the vinyl to move when it expands and contracts. The next piece of beadboard locks into the previous and you nail the “male” nailing flange all over again. This continues until you get to the far end where the last piece locks to the previous piece and the far end locks into the “J-Channel”.

      Make sense?

      • Patti says:

        So what would something like this cost on a 224sf porch ceiling? I have a contractor quoting me almost $2200!

        • Todd says:

          It depends on how much trim work is required. The materials for just the beadboard are going to cost $300 to $450 for the contractor to purchase. If you need a bunch of trim work the cost is going to go up quickly. For the beadboard there’s probably another $500 in labor…so you’re at at least $1,000 with zero trim work, zero prep, etc.

  6. Jerry Koosglow says:

    Thanks, Todd. Your note, along with the instructions and video at has given me what I was looking for. Another detail is the ceilings are “recessed” inside the soffitt on two sides and up against brick walls on the other two, so I’m gessing I will have to install the J-channel around the perimeter and “squeeze” the last piece into three J-channels. Will that be very tricky? Last question is where to buy the vinyl, soffitt-like, beadboard in panels large enough for a ceiling? Thanks a bunch for the quick reply and great information.


    • Todd says:

      @ Jerry – You are correct, the last piece is always the hardest to put in, take your time and it will work out.
      Most hardware, building supply and big box stores either carry the beadboard or can order for you. Typically it comes in 10′ lengths.

  7. Baba says:

    Oh Thanks so much for all the info. We will sure consider using this for our porch on The Stone House!

  8. Joe says:

    We have an unfinished patio roof that we will be finishing. The roof is sloped, open beam, has two sky lights, and will mate against two side walls. How do you finish at the sky lights? Any other suggestions for this overall configuration?

    • Todd says:

      @ Joe – I would create a trim detail around the skylights that has a receiving pocket deep enough so that you can tuck the beadboard behind it.

  9. Cheryl Reed says:

    My husband are going to put soffit under our two carport on the water and we have been looking for something for the seam that we are going to have. Will we need two pieces of J channel or is there a such thing as K Channel

  10. Brian says:

    i need to remove a section of vinyl beadboard (plain type) in the middle of my porch ceiling to put in a fan (there is currently a light can there). is there any way i can get a middle piece out without starting from one end and working my way out removing many? thanks.

  11. Nicole says:

    This is awesome stuff, Todd. Yours looks great.

    Any way you can install this on an ARCHED porch overhang?

  12. Frank Harwood says:

    We have an 8ft by 34 foot porch with a roof consisting of 2 by 4 roof joists, 5/8 OSB decking, rolled ashphalt roofing, fiberglass insulating stuffed in and beaded vinyl soffit as a ceiling. We removed the ceiling for a project and found moisture from leaking and or sweating. Should we consider installing perforated soffit every third panel or so for ventilation. The roofing material will probably be replaced with shingles or steel panel roofing. Thanks

    • Todd says:

      @ Frank – I’m curious as to why the porch ceiling was insulated? Is it a heated space? If so it needs proper ventilation, preferably with soffit vent.

  13. security locks says:

    fantastic web site, the internet i starved of good content like this, keep it up, the web needs it.

  14. Frank Harwood says:

    It was this way when we bought the place. The porch is open so not heated. The only reason I can guess for the insulation is that it is a flat roof and they thought insulation would cut down on heat from the sun bearing down on the roof. Thanks for your reply Frank Harwood

    • Jeff Mac says:

      We had a large carport with a worn out flat roof, and contractor advised that to enclose the underside would cause excessive heat build up. A comparatively inexpensive roof renewal was to install sculptured (slightly sloped) rigid foam panels over the old roof and role roofing (heat sealed) for the top layer. I believe the tapered foam roof underlayment may insulate your porch ceiling.

  15. Steve says:

    Looking for vinyl beadboard soffit in 14′-0″ lengths (my ceiling is 13′-0″ and I don’t want seems). But I can only find it in 12′-0″ lengths!

  16. Cathy says:

    I have a flat roof front porch w/drywall as the ceiling base and covered with a “paint stucco” treatment which is peeling in a couple places. I plan to put up a 4″ vinyl soffit panels. Two questions: Should the stucco be stripped first or can the vinyl go up over it? Does it matter whether the vinyl panels are ventilated or not? Thanks.

    • Todd says:

      @ Cathy – First of all I would install 1×3 pine strapping over the old drywall first. Screw the scrapping up to the ceiling. Then you’ll have something solid to install the vinyl too. This will also leave a nice air space for drying of any moisture that accumulates do to condensation. If you do this you can stick with solid soffit panels. Good luck.

  17. Cathy says:

    Todd, thanks!

  18. Kelley says:

    We have a bathroom that is prone to mildew. We’re about to gut it down to the studs and start over. My question is, can this vinyl beadboard be used on the walls and ceiling of my bathroom to prevent this problem from happening again? I think I’ve seen it in Home magazines before but didn’t know what products were used. Thanks.

    • Todd says:

      @ Kelley – Not sure I’d use it in a bathroom unless it’s a utility bathroom. It certainly doesn’t look really finished if that’s what you’re hoping for.

  19. Derek says:

    Hi, I basically know nothing about installing anything vinyl. So you help will be greatly appreciated. I have vinyl beadboard soffit for the ceiling on my farmers porch. But during driving rain something above is leaking. I have had the roof reflashed recently, but I am still getting leaks. So I need to remove a piece of the soffit in the middle of the porch so I can see what is going on. You mentioned above to use a siding tool to remove a piece in the middle of the porch. How exaclty do I use this tool?

  20. biggreg says:

    I love this idea of using vinyl soffit for a porch ceiling.
    my question id my ceiling id 14.5′ x 28′, can it be done and if it can how.

    • Todd says:

      biggreg – It can be done to any porch ceiling. Basically you need something under it (ceiling joists, strapping, plywood, something) to attached to every 16″ max. Technically it could even be installed over an existing wood ceiling. It is installed in a similar fashion to vinyl siding.

  21. Bree says:

    We need to sheetrock 2 (exterior) basement stucco walls, but we wish to protect the sheetrock first with a moisture tight product behind it. All the “cement board” products I researched are underlaymetns for tile. Our application is NOT for tile. We just want new sheetrock NOT to deteriorate on these outside basemetn walls! Will this vinyl tongue and groove product solve this please?

    • Todd says:

      Bree – I’m not exactly sure what your question is. However, let me take a stab at it.

      1. Is your wish to install drywall on the inside of exterior stucco walls? Are the interior surfaces already stucco or wood framing?
      2. The solution most likely will involve installing some type of vapor barrier, insulation, framing and then drywall.

      If you provide more details I can try to give some insight. Vinyl soffit is NOT intended for this type of use.

  22. Doug says:

    I am looking at finishing the area under my deck. I was thinking of using the beadboard as the celing and sloping it to the end and running it into a gutter.

    Where we live we don’t get much snow so I don’t think snow load is a concern.

    Is the beadboard strong enough to hold the weight of the water?

    The other options I have looked at for finishing under the deck seem so expensive vs this option.

    Your thoughts……

    • Todd says:

      Doug – Not exactly sure I understand…are you wanting to have the soffit funnel water that drips down through the deck into a gutter? I think the soffit would leak all over and not really perform well that way.

      • George says:

        I think I know what Doug is talking about. A friend of mine had a deck that was tall enough to sit under, grill out or whatever. But he didn’t want water dripping on his head when it rained. So he took metal roofing, which you can get in fairly long lenths, and installed it on the underside of the deck floor joists. He sloped it enough to run the water away from the house and installed a gutter to catch the rainwater and get it away from the house.

  23. AJsmama says:

    We’ve got the Certainteed beaded soffit as a porch ceiling too but the builder installed it running the long way. Probably to save $ since it was a fixed price not labor & materials. It has sags and open butt joints. It’s just face-nailed on a few pieces, he didn’t even use the nailing flanges. Joists are 16OC. Do you think we could run furring strips in between the joists so we have 8″OC and keep them running this way, put H-channel in the joints so we don’t have to buy more to run it the short way? The porch is 7×48. Thanks.

    • Todd says:

      AJsmama – Our beadboard ceiling is also supported every 16″ o.c. The real issue is the material must be nailed in the nailing flange and properly locked into the adjacent piece. Sounds to me like improper installation. I’d have it all taken down and re-installed properly. The long dimension shouldn’t matter at all if it’s installed correctly.

      • AJsmama says:

        Thanks Todd – if we can just pull this down and put it back up nailed in flanges every 16″ that would be great, no material costs to replace 3-yr old stuff. What should we do with butt joints? PVC cement (will be nailed within 16″ of joint) to make it act like 48ft long strip nailed every 16″?

        • Todd says:

          AJsmama – I would leave those joints alone. I would try to be sure the joints fall on the joists and nail them. Be sure you don’t nail the soffit too tight as it will buckle with heat changes.

        • RT Clary says:

          I understand you don’t want to cut the pieces because 4- 12ft pieces would make the 48ft. Where the joints will be install support strips between the rafters and the an H-channel to catch the ends like the j-channel does at the wall.

  24. AJsmama says:

    Thanks for the new pictures! I noticed your plant hook is on the inside rather than the underside of the beam. I never thought of that, nice that it’s hidden (from the front). Is it a hook or just a white nail?

  25. AJsmama says:

    Yes thanks it did. We already got enough new J channel to do both sides of beam so won’t be doing shadow fascia though it seems easier. Got the Kleer boards for the beam, 2x4s and 6’s, plywood all delivered yesterday, wired for 5 cans app. 9.5ft apart (48ft porch) so we are ready to put everything together hopefully tomorrow. I’ll email you pics when we’re done. Thanks for all your help.

  26. Jeff Thomas says:

    I have a similar question to one that was posted earlier. I would like to replace three can lights with fans. The ceiling is approx. 9ft wide, looking at the installation it looks like “J” channel all round, but I can’t see any nails. If I use the tool to separate the panels, I’m still wondering how to remove the panel, is there enough space on the sides to slip it out? If there are nails holding the panel, I imagine these are under the “J” channel, how can I remove the “J” channel?
    Any help would be much appreciated.

    • Todd says:

      Jeff – once you release the “hem” side you’ll be able to get to the nail flange and remove the nails. Vinyl beadboard is quite flexible so you can bend it to remove it “out” of the J Channel without removing the J Channel. I think it will be obvious once you get the first piece out.

  27. Jeff Thomas says:

    Great website, appreciate you helping us novices to DIY.

  28. dave boyle says:

    Is there anyway to get the soffit that’s on my deck roof loose enough so I can place a fogger up in there to kill wasps?

    • Todd says:

      Dave – If you get a siding removal tool you can un-hook the panels, spray, then re-attach them without removing all the soffit.

      • dave boyle says:

        Is this something I get get at Home Depot or Lowe’s?

        • dave boyle says:

          I see what the tool looks like and I’ll pick one up somewhere by the weekend. Can you explain exactly how to use the tool as I’ve never done any siding work before so the use of this tool is new to me and I just want to make sure I do this right and don’t damage the soffit.Thanks for your help and advise.

          • Todd says:

            Dave – You should be able to pick one up at most hardware stores. Vinyl siding products have a “hem” which is basically a female and male connection between adjacent pieces. The tool allows you to “unzip” the hem without damaging the pieces. The piece that goes up first is nailed to the soffit, it has a raised hem that has a “female” slot to the rear of that hem. The next piece hooks onto that hem with a piece that looks like a hook basically, it snaps into the other piece and then you nail the side with the female hem. I hope this all makes sense. At any rate the tool is shaped like a hook as well and it allows you to pull apart or unzip that joint. You’ll probably have to apply quite a bit of pressure to make it happen but that is normal.

      • Karen says:

        Is there something we can do in the install to PREVENT wasps from getting up there to begin with?

  29. dave boyle says:

    Thanks for the info I greatly appreciate. Once I get the seam open where the 2 panels lock together do I somehow use the same tool to put them back together?

    • Todd says:

      Dave – That is correct, again it’s not easy but the hook on the tool allows you to hold that hem and muscle it back over the lip to re-attach it. Once you get it started you can run the tool down the hem to lock the entire length.

  30. Shawnna says:

    Hi Todd- I’m having a 14×22 shed roof porch built, and they are currently installing vinyl soffit “ceiling” parallel to my exterior wall. The ceiling joists are 24″ OC and it seems like the flange nails are are properly loose. They began at the outside header, and the J-channel is sagging where it overlaps itself. Where the soffit ends overlaps, the soffit channels are face-nailed. The ends are not even close to flush. What problems will I have if he continues as planned? Should strapping have been used so it could have been run perp?

    • Todd says:

      Shawna – The big problem is spanning 24 inches. That’s why we usually always strap a ceiling or soffit. Vinyl soffit material really isn’t able to span more than 16″ on center. J-Channel should not over lap, it should be butted and each side nailed at the end. Soffit ends should not overlap, it should almost always be used in a direction that does not require longer lengths, i.e. use the strapping and change direction.

      Good luck.

  31. AJsmama says:

    @Shawna – sounds like my 3-yr old installation! I just took it all down, bought new material (since only about half of old was salvageable) and put it up perpendicular to the house. Todd just added a link to a front porch blog featuring my renovation if you want to see the gory “before” pictures. We used furring strips (which the builder hadn’t, even though our joists are 16OC) and ran them the short way (app. 75″) like Todd’s and now it looks SO much better – no sags or gaps!

  32. Shawnna says:

    @Todd & AJsmama- Thank you for your comments. I’ve had many issues with this contractor- he can’t even tell/ show me finish details.

    I used my gut feeling (and your advise) as the last straw. I am giving him the pink slip. With all the helpful info from above, I am confident that I can finish the project myself. I intend to use fascia board, which he wasn’t planning on…

  33. I’ve kept the feed for this post in my inbox this whole month. Now that most of our soffit/facia are in, I looked back. Ours looks very much like these pictures. Rather than wrapping the beam, we had it (and the posts above the rock) stuccoed in a shocking white to match all the trim.

    I love the look and can’t wait to be sitting on a porch swing, enjoying the view. :)

  34. AJsmama says:

    @Shawna – the problem may be the 14ft span. Certainteed was the longest I could find at 12.5ft, most were 12 ft. You may end up with butt joints even running it the short way. Maybe use “H” channel and evenly space the joints running the 22ft direction (2 joints at 7.33ft if you don’t want 1 seam in the middle of your ceiling?)? Maybe Todd has some suggestions on how to make this look nice?

    • Todd says:

      AJsmama & Shawna – I guess the first thing I would do is contact a few local building supply companies and find out if you can get a longer length. I’m not really sure that’s possible but worth the call. Some manufacturers (including Certainteed) are manufacturing longer length siding (14′-6″ long) to give customers fewer joints on regular wall siding so I suppose it’s possible.

      Short of that I can only suggest two approaches.

      1. Live with the butt joints. I’d try to place them on the sides closest to the wall and beam, in 32″ from either side, staggered so one row has a 32″ piece along with 11′-4″ piece. Then the next row is the same thing just reversed. I would NOT use H channel unless it really don’t look good. In fact, I might be tempted to drill a very small hole and use a small finish nail to hold it up. The key is the hold must be a bit larger than the shank so it doesn’t bind during movement.

      2. The other option would be to install a fake trim (beam) in the center of the porch. Let’s just assume for talking purposes that your porch is 14′ deep at the outer dimensions. Let’s also assume you have a carrying beam and soffit. If this is the case the porch ceiling depth may be closer to 12′ than you think. In that case you could install a fake beam/trim piece down the center of the ceiling so that you could use 6′ +/- pieces on either side. The problem is you’ll have a ton of waste and I’m not sure exactly how nice it would look. Although, some porches do use a similar method when the ceiling has plywood and batten strips.

      Good luck.

  35. dan says:

    I have a screened in porch that has drywall on the ceiling. It has gotten damp and the drywall mudd is cracking. If I want to install Vinyl Beadboard would I need to remove the drywall or just add the vinyl over the top of the drywall?

    • Todd says:

      Dan – I would remove it. Wet drywall can promote mold growth. Best to just remove it and start fresh with the new vinyl beadboard.

  36. Peter says:

    What tool is used to temporaily remove vinyl ceiling boards? I have tried a siding “zip tool” and was afraid to break the ceiling vinyl. Thanks.

  37. Joe says:

    All this vinyl being installed, maybe you should just purchase a double wide not something that is a hand made home?

    • Todd says:

      Joe – Clearly you’re not a fan of vinyl. However, that home is anything but a double wide. Using vinyl products with good details can be just as aesthetically pleasing as using wood.

  38. Carol says:

    I am going to be using vinyl beadboard soffit on the ceiling of my covered but exterior front porch. A bedroom is above the porch. So fiberglass insulation has been installed with the kraft paper toward the bedroom floor between the ceiling joists. The house is located very close to a bay and not far away is the Atlantic Ocean near Ocean City Maryland. So it can be pretty steamy and hot in the summer time. My question is, should I install a vapor barrier between the fiberglass insulation and the vinyl soffit?

    Thanks so much for you time. I seem to be getting different advice from different people and it is quite confusing.

    • Todd says:

      Carol – I would actually install a layer of house wrap like Tyvek or Typar. It will breath but keep out vapor just like a regular house wall.

  39. Stephanie says:

    I’ve gotten really excited about the “No Maintenance” idea with the vinyl beadboard. The length of our deck ceiling is 16’9″, it’s 98.5″ from the edge to the center beam. The header is 15’6″. I’ve just seen on their website that Certainteed Beadboard now comes in 18′ lengths. Do you recommend sheating the ceiling with plywood before the beadboard? Also, I haven’t looked into the cost of the vinyl beadboard. Can you give me a ballpark figure?

    • Todd says:

      No sheathing needed. We almost always install it to 1×3 strapping that’s installed at 16″ o.c.
      I haven’t priced it in quite some time. To purchase it is probably $0.75 per sq ft.

      Good luck!

  40. JP says:

    Hey, looks great!
    I am looking at Lowes ‘Rot free Cellular Vinyl PVC moulding’ brochure.
    I am trying to understand what I need, they have pictures of their products, but no instructions as to what I need.
    In the porch section, I see the items they have are
    – exterior planking: this looks like the ‘ vinyl beadbord’ you are using, do you know if this is the same thing
    – They don’t have any J Channel on that page, but they show on a picture some ‘bed mould on each side. If using that, does that remove the need for J Channel, or does it have to be used in combination with the J Channel
    – Then they list ‘OSC’ and baluster. I see what the product looks like, but no idea where that would be used in the installation

    Any advice on a wrapped beam similar to what’s on the pictures? I am having a similar setup.

    Finally, before I start working on all that, let me make sure it would bring me the benefits I hope for :-) :
    – Right now, I am having some painted drywall as roof ceiling, I’d like something that looks more interesting
    – My main concern is that I am in a area with an incredible amount of bugs, and they just love my drywall ceiling. I am thinking another material might help with that
    – Even if the bugs still come, some of them like mud daubers make these crazy mud nests that are difficult to clean on painted drywall, I am hoping it would be much easier on vinyl

    So is vinyl the solution to my problems?

    • Todd says:

      The products you’re looking at are not vinyl they are PVC. There’s a pretty big difference, PVC is a solid material like the materials I’ve shown for wrapping the beam. The materials get installed the same way wood does. PVC products, like the beadboard I showed are thin like vinyl siding and require products like J Channel to help support them.

      So if you buy PVC products you can install it like normal wood, blind nail the tongue and groove and use the bed moulding as a trim feature.

      I haven’t seen too many bugs that want to eat these products. However, I’m sure they are just as happy to build nests in it.

      Good luck!

  41. Dave E says:

    I’m considering pro-bead vinyl for the ceiling above my deck. I’ve heard that the vinyl will sag in the summer heat no matter how much you nail / support the vinyl. The struts on my ceiling are 12″ apart. What has the issues of sagging been and should I be confident not to run into this issue due to the 12″ spans?

    • Todd says:

      If you buy a good quality product it will not. I’ve seen it installed on numerous porches and have it on my own with 16″ spacing and it’s fine.

  42. Becky says:

    I see in your picture that you said you “wrapped” your beams. I see that you said you wrapped it with PVC. What does that mean? It looks to me like they are boards? We have a 30 foot long porch, which is almost done, however we are having trouble with what to use to cover the beam. It is about 16″ wide, and 30 ft long. We were going to have it wrapped in black aluminum, but the siders wont because the beam is too wide and they say it will start to “wave.” We have had the folling suggestions…azex, hardie board, miratec, etc….
    PS. We also have a back porch of 25 feet, with the same problem.

  43. Linda says:

    have older home with 832 sq ft of porch with ugly particle board on ceiling which we would like to change…what do you suggest? can spend around 2-3000.

    • Todd says:

      For that price range you’ll need to DIY the project most likely. You have about $4/sf to spend with that budget. That will keep things with either a vinyl soffit material or some kind of inexpensive wood shiplap material.

  44. Joe says:

    I’m finding it difficult to find a supplier of Certainteed Beaded T2 Solid soffit. I did find one that quoted me $795.57 which includes manufacturers freight of $111.11. Does this sound right for 370 square feet? He quoted $161.43 + tax per 1 SQ Carton.

    • Todd says:

      Joe – That sounds about right. It’s quite a bit more than regular siding. That’s $1.61 per sq ft which isn’t much when you consider what wood/paint would cost. You should be able to order it from a lumber supply company that deals with supplying vinyl siding contractors.

  45. Julie says:


    We have a vinyl beadboard ceiling on our front porch. I am wanting to hang a porch swing from the ceiling and we are unsure how to remove a portion of the beadboard to check on how to anchor the swing. We have tried unsuccessfully to remove a portion. What is your advice on the best way to do this? Our home is fairly new, 2010 construction.

    Thank you!

    • Todd says:

      You’ll need to buy a vinyl siding tool. It’s a special tool that helps you “unlock” the hem on the siding. You can find one at most hardware/construction supply stores. Good luck!

  46. Erik says:

    Hi Todd,

    We have a covered exterior front porch (about 135 sq ft) with a bedroom above and the paint on the ceiling has started to crack and peel off. Recently, a piece of drywall has sagged along a seam exposing its edge; it seems to have pulled through the nails holding it up. A photo is in the website link.

    We’d really like to put up vinyl beadboard soffit but are unsure what to do; should all of the drywall come down? Could this sag be due to age or does it suggest a problem? Can we just reattach this piece and install the vinyl soffit over the existing drywall? Not sure what is above the drywall but since there is a bedroom overhead, hopefully there is insulation. If we have to take down all the drywall, would we just install the soffit over the open ceiling? No idea what kind of beams are up there.

    Many thanks for any advice,

    • Todd says:

      Erik – First off the seam failure is likely do to a moisture problem. So I’d take full advantage of the situation and tear down all the drywall and look for any potential leaks or water damage. Then I’d be sure to insulate the area very well, for a location like that (at least here in the Northeast) I’d insulate with fiberglass and a layer of 2″ foil faced polyiso. The foam should be sealed with spray foam. This will really help create a very air tight seal. Then I’d install 1×3 strapping over any framing, then then the vinyl beadboard.

      Good luck.

  47. Terresa says:

    Hi, can this vinyle bead board be used to replace a shower stall? I have seen it in a rental home that i visited a few weeks ago and would love to replace and upstair shower with it?

    thank you

  48. Mike Tranquillo says:

    Hi Todd,
    Have you ever ran across a weatherstrip made to sit in the F-Channel that holds the solid vinyl 4″ soffit in place for a ceiling application, to keep out bugs, etc.

    Thanks for your time and project ideas!

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      I have no. Honestly, it would be a moot point as insects can get in between each piece at all the seams. Vinyl siding of all types is far from “weather” tight, this includes insects. Good luck.

  49. Cheri says:

    I have a porch ceiling that is 20 feet deep by 35 feet long.
    We have rafters on 16″ centers. We bought vynal beaded soffit that is
    8″ w x 12′ long. How do we overlap the soffit at the end? My carpenter
    Is worried that it will sag in the heat because of the length. We are installing
    Perpendicular with the house to save on waste.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      The rafters have to be strapped, and then the siding has to be cut to fall on a strapping line, joints staggered. There will be waste on every other piece. It’s the nature of the beast.

  50. Wendy Gonzalez says:

    Hi Todd ~

    I have a wide open ceiling porch (about 11ft) with vented siding. I’m not quite sure why a contractor would install “vented” soffit in that area. The room above it gets really cold in the Winter and extremely hot in the Summer. I don’t think there is any insulation either. I will have to purchase the siding tool you mentioned to remove a panel and check. I also found out that yellow jackets have created a nest, which the exterminator hopefully took care of this week. I received a quote for solid vinyl soffit and 3″ aluminum trim and insulation for $2000.00. I did have to order a special alum. trim color which may have increased the price. Is this a fair price and what type of vinyl soffit/ alum. trim would you recommend for this type of area? Would it be cheaper if I purchased the product and paid someone to do the work? Help!

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Wendy – I have a few comments/questions to consider.

      1. While vented soffit certainly will allow more air flow, regular vinyl soffit isn’t all that “air” tight either. Hornets still manage to get into mine at the house as well.
      2. If there’s living space above this, even with 12″ of fiberglass insulation, the floor is likely to be hot and cold. This type of situation is very hard to insulation effectively. The best approach involves either spray foam or a hybrid fiberglass plus foam board. I would have that evaluated by a qualified insulation contractor (not just a general contractor) before you make any decisions.
      3. With living space above, I’d likely opt for a more solid material like wood or vinyl bead board (solid). This may help stop drafts and prevent insects better.

      Good luck.

  51. mischele montgo says:

    hello todd- we just had 2in vinyl beadboard ceiling installed in open poolhouse. (ceiling 16×24 … a rectangle) the ceiling is vaulted such that corners rise 2ft slope into center flat rectangle that is est 4×12. the concern the h-channel fit connecting corners into center flat rectangle… the installer used h-channel such that the layering occurred with the center rectangle first then the outside angles coming into the corners of the rectangle. that left the ends of the h-channel as raw cutoff exposed open ends. the fix by the installer was to stuff ends with caulk. I question why he did not layer such that the angled corners were first and then the center rectangle h-channel sat on top- now creating corners that come together and finish nicely with angled corners that fit nicely and not exposed raw cuts that have to be filled with caulk. Installers response was that it was only way to finish angle noting h-channel used vs j-channel. what do you think? I just can’t see caulk being a solution … to me caulk happens after something else was not done correctly upfront. Tks.

  52. bradnree says:

    I would like to install vinyl beadboard soffit panel on the ceilings of our two 12 x 12 basement ceilings. Would there be any special considerations when using the panels indoors?

    Thank you for all your expert instructions on using this product on porch ceilings.

    • Todd Fratzel says:


      I think it’s likely ok, I’ve never used it inside. The only possible issue is whether or not it meets fire code.

  53. Linda Cook says:

    I want to install solid vinyl soffit onto my glass sunroom ceiling to eliminate the need for shades and to block out the sun. Will it hold up in the heat?

  54. Manny says:

    I want to install vented soffit under the deck. opens between the deck boards will allowed water to come through, I don’t mind that water go thru the vented soffit as the area below will not be used. do you think that the vented vinyl soffit will not vended with the weight of the water, will cluck with the dust? any idea will be appreciated

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Manny – I’m not really sure how well it will work. I’d buy a piece and install several short pieces side by side….let it rain..use a hose…see how well it drains…maybe it will work..maybe not :)

  55. chris underberg says:

    Can you install non vented vinyl soffit over an existing drywall ceiling in a Florida sun room?

    thank you,

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Interesting question. I think that’s an acceptable application as long as there are no water issues from the roof above.

  56. J R says:

    Todd, I live in SE Louisiana and have a 10’x18′ patio cover on the rear of my home. The 2×6 pine stud cover has roof shingles and 3/4″ plywood on top. I will be using Triple2″
    Beaded white vinyl on the underside. Question, should I use a vented or solid Triple2 beaded and should I use insulation between studs????

  57. Allan says:

    I have sheet rock on a porch ceiling that needs replaced. Can I attach the vinyl to the sheet rock or would it trap moisture and sag. I live in SW Florida

  58. Terry says:

    I have a wrap-around porch ceiling that I intend to Triple 2″ Beaded vinyl. Is there a simple way to curve the J channel around the curved part of the porch? Thanks.

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Terry – Occasionally you can find special J Channel for curves, it has the back notched out.

  59. Jeanne says:

    I’m looking for a price for beadboard for my farmer’s porch and does it come in different colors?

  60. Brenda Carr says:

    We are building a new home and have two porches on the outside. The builder had vinyl ceiling (one panel) installed. We went went out and the panels were wavy, uneven and looked awful. We were livid. The builder had them taken down and redone using same panels. They are still slightly wavy if you look closely. We are wanting this to be totally redone with new panels. Can you tell me if these vinyl panels can ever go back in shape once they have taken on a wavy bending shape? Why do you think they became wavy and uneven and droopy?

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Brenda – I’m assuming you mean on the ceiling? There are lots of reasons this can happen, “thin” less expensive panels are prone to easier buckling and warping due to temperature. The space of nailing can cause this. Uneven framing can cause this. Vinyl will never be “perfect” as it’s not a rigid material. If it has buckled due to heat it will likely stay that way. Good luck.

  61. Lani Myron says:

    Hi there , we have a 10 x10 ” Bell tower that has many small graduating strips of bead board, Wide at the bottom ,narrow at the top of each channel , going all around forming a “pie”
    We have mold behind it and are currently remediating it. I would like to find a flexible vinyl product that can fill each channel horizontally. graduating up . to replace the very time consuming mill work . fitting. Is there such a product? Thanks, Lani Myron

  62. Mike says:

    For a porch ceiling – which product should be used – regular soffit or beaded soffit?

  63. Dan says:

    I am planning on putting up t4 12″ full vented soffit on my porch ceiling and am concerned about heat build up, and sagging. I will be placing it on the under side of 2×8 roof rafters on 12″ centers, the roof is steel on 2×4 purlins no insulation. I have vented soffit on the overhangs and flashing over the steel where it meets the main building for some airflow. It was mentioned previously to use a quality soffit, the supplier I will use carries Variform which is a few thousands thicker than the GP Lowes has. I realizes that vinyl isn’t perfect and will move, but I don’t want the ceiling to turn in to a puddle. I live in southern PA. Your thought please. Thank you

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Dan – The questions I’d ask are:
      How close is the steel to the ceiling?
      What color is the steel?

      • Dan says:

        Metal, then 2×4 ( 1 1/2″) purlin, then 2×8 (7 1/2″) rafter with soffit on bottom., so the metal will be 9″ of dead space away from the soffit. metal is clay.

      • Dan says:

        The soffit would be 9″ of dead space from light clay colored metal. Thanks

        • Todd Fratzel says:

          I think you’ll have trouble…if it were several feet then maybe it would work. I’d use something else…..vented cement soffit.

  64. Gloria says:

    I have a 12’x30′ covered lanai/porch in Florida with a flatplywood roof covered in white roofing material with 10″ beams showing on the underside. I would like to nail strapping to the beams and apply vinyl soffit. If I do this the ceiling would be completely enclosed with no ventilation. Do you think that I would need ventilation for heat build up in SW Florida? I guess I’m afraid of heat build up causing warping and I would like to go with solid soffit rather than the vented soffit for esthetics if it were possible. Also, do you think that soffit from HD or Lowes would be suitable?

    Thank you

  65. Mark L. Wallace says:

    I have to remove and try and put back 400 sft of ceiling vinyi
    under a 1st level parking area at my beach house…standard white in color …what is average price to have contractor to come out? PSF ? Thanks

  66. Todd: I want to install Beadboard or similar Vinyl soffit in my workshop for the ceiling. The ceiling joists are 24″OC and soffit would run perpendicular. I would blow in insulation on top of it. Its the 24″ span too great for the soffitt to support it’s own weight and about 16″ of blown insulation?

  67. Bill Dishong says:

    Anybody know a source for sky blue vinyl beadboard?
    12 foot lengths?
    2 inch wide strips?
    At least they look like two inch wide

  68. Hi Todd… we are doing our porch ceiling with the beadboard. Put the strips 16″.. Got the channel up fine. Everything seemed to go fine. but after most of it is done we are looking up with a light on one end of porch and seeing shadows.. like there is sags. We got it to snap in like it should.. length is good for setting in the channels.. don’t know what we have done wrong for it not to be flat and tight looking…

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Each material is different….sometimes on thinner vinyl the strapping needs to be closer spaced like 12″….just comes with experience. It’s possible no one will see small sags.

  69. Roger Monsma says:

    Hi Todd,
    I plan to use vinyl bead board for the ceiling of a 10 X 20 poarch. How should I allow for expansion and contraction when installing recessed lights and a ceiling fan in the ceiling? I’ve not read anywhere about this.


    • Todd Fratzel says:

      If you cut the hole just big enough so it’s larger than the fixture box but smaller than the housing you should be fine

  70. Dan says:

    I am looking for pvc headboard for my patio ceiling in 16’ lengths. If I can find that length, I will not have to join it. Is there any place I can find and purchase it?



  71. Chrisgh says:

    Our contractor is suggesting Vinyl soffit material with a vented strip (holes in entire strip) every 3rd row) for the ceiling of our new enclosed porch (not being heated/cooled; but will have glass windows and skylights). It is made by Royal Building Products. Is this a similar use that you are describing? Should I ask them to find soffit material with hidden vents or insist on vinyl headboard?

  72. JP says:

    I was reading about fiber cement beadboard for covering a carport ceiling. Any experience with this product?

  73. Tim says:

    Can I use this material for the inside of my knee wall of a screened in patio?

  74. Catherine schulte says:

    I have a 8 ft. X 8ft entry porch ceiling I want covered with bead board planks made of pvc. Axzek is available here. Is certainteed better? Also contractor want plywood
    Up first . What are your recommendations? Will I be able to hose this down?
    Thanks catherine

  75. Brian Huffman says:


    I’m in Delaware and have a screen porch with a shed-style roof. The roof is OSB with asphalt on 2×8″ beams. There is vented soffit on the overhang. There is no insulation. I’d like to use vinyl beadboard for the ceiling. Do I need the vented (hidden) bead board for heat dissipation? Or will I be ok with solid since I have the vented soffit on the overhang?

  76. Donna Barry says:


    We have a vinyl bead board ceiling under our deck that was damaged by a bbq flare up so there are 2 sheets that need to be replaced. We’ve figured out how to remove it but are unsure how difficult it is to re-install the new pieces. We aren’t the typical DIY kind of people but would like to try. Advice on this and how to do it?

    Thanks so much!

  77. J Read says:

    Can Certainteed 2″ Triple Beaded soffit be nailed every 16 inches or does it need to be nailed every 12 inches? I’m being given two different opinions.

  78. Dave P says:


    First I’d like to thank you for this forum and your help in answering everyone’s questions. It’s rare that a professional shows such patience and willingly provides advice for us DIY folks. It’s very helpful and very much appreciated.

    I am working on a porch cathedral ceiling project using Certainteed T2 beaded soffit. I am installing cut ~10′ lengths perpendicular to 2×10 joists that are 16″ o.c. I’ve been trying to decide if I can use the 16″ joist spacing in lieu of nailing strips. Just found this Certainteed “Installation Instructions Soffit” document that says: “If you’re using Beaded T2″ panel as soffit, nail both the channel and the soffit every 8″-12″ to create added support.”

    To me, this means I need to nail along the length of the every 8-12″ and therefore I can’t only nail at the 16″ o.c. joists. Does this sound correct to you? Do you recommend every 8-12″ or is 16″ support enough?

    Thanks, Dave

    • Todd Fratzel says:

      Dave – Thanks for the kind words. In some situations (I’m thinking extreme temperatures) a shorter spacing is preferred, but that’s really a function of attaching to a soffit where it’s possible, vs a porch ceiling type application. I think 16″ is ok, unless you’re in a very warm climate, then it may not be. I can tell you in my situation the 16″ was sufficient.

  79. Kathy Lay says:

    How can I hang things from a suspended vinyl beadboard ceiling?

  80. Tom says:


    This was very informative. Found your site online. I have a vinyl ceiling with a tiled porch above it. Unfortunately, water has leaked down and formed spots on the ceiling. I will have to hire a contractor to remove the vinyl ceiling, clean it and reinstall – is this possible, given you say that it is likely to be nailed? (I have some extra pieces in case a few are damaged). Also, they will have to re-grout all the tiles above, and it’s hard to find someone with vinyl ceiling and re-grouting skills together!

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