Categories: Siding & Trim

Vinyl Beadboard Soffit for Porch Ceilings

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 soffit 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!

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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.

View Comments

  • 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?

    • @ 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.

      • Use screws instead of nails so if you need to take down a piece it is a much easier removal.

  • 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?

    • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • @ 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 (http://www.hometime.com/Howto/projects/siding/side_3.htm). 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 1x3 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?

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

        • 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.

  • Thanks, Todd. Your note, along with the instructions and video at hometime.com 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.

    Jerry

    • @ 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.

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

  • Todd,
    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?

    • @ 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.

  • 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

  • Hi,
    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.

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