How To Frame Vinyl Porch SkirtingTom from Nebraska wrote to us regarding how to frame vinyl porch skirting. Here's his question:
I purchased vinyl lattice panels to use for skirting under our front porch.
Many people in our neighborhood seem to just hang the skirting from the porch fascia and let it dangle, but I don't think that looks very good and would like to make a frame of some kind for the skirting.
I've never cut vinyl before (the panels will need to be cut to size), so one question I have is will I need to get a special blade for my circular saw like some advice columns say.
Black vinyl porch skirting in square patternThe other question is what material to use for the frame, how to attach it, and where to get it.
I read references to "vinyl lattice trim channels" , but can find no sites or stores that sell it. If so, they must be calling it something else.
Both the Lowe's and Home Depot I visited and ultimately bought my lattice panels from had no vinyl trim boards or channels of any sort. At least not that I could find, and their personnel were not very helpful or knowledgeable on the subject.
I have stone pillars on each side of the openings, so I need to build a frame for the lattice and attach it only from the top, to the porch fascia.
I've read about vinyl expanding and contracting and that I will need to drill holes larger than the screws I will use. So I ask myself, if the holes are larger than the screws, how do the screws hold the lattice up without just falling right through the pre-drilled hole?
What would be the best way to make a frame for my application, what materials and tools will I need, and where can I get them?
Here's How to Frame Vinyl Porch SkirtingYou offered a super question and one that many of our site visitors ask. Trust me, I feel your pain when trying to find the right parts for vinyl at Home Depot and Lowe's.
What you are looking for to frame vinyl porch skirting is called U-channels for vinyl lattice. You can purchase them (they are available at Home Depot and Lowes)or make them yourself (from wood) if you'd like.
Here are two options that I believe will help.
Option 1 - Frame Vinyl Porch SkirtingI like to frame the vinyl lattice. To do so, I use U-channels and you can purchase them online from Lowe's. They call them "cap moldings" on the page but are actually u-channels.
They come in 4-foot lengths which means you may need to use two or more on top/bottom if you need to extend to lengths longer than 4 feet. Lowe's may carry then in the store but ask for vinyl u-channels.
White vinyl porch skirting in star patternA word about cutting vinyl lattice. If using a circular saw use a fine tooth blade. It will be marked for cutting plywood. This will help reduce the stress on the vinyl so it doesn't break.
I also always substantially support the vinyl when I'm cutting it with a circular saw. I lay the vinyl on a flat surface, mark a cutting line on the vinyl, and place it "safely" close to the edge of the cutting surface.
I then lay a 2x4 over it and clamp the 2x4 to the table. This will minimize any vibration. (Note: the 2x4 has to be placed a sufficient distance from the edge to accommodate the saw itself).
Attach the vinyl lattice to the u-channels. I've used three different methods with much success.
One, I've applied a little liquid nail along the tops/sides of the lattice panels and inserted them into the channels. I've also used small galvanized small bolts/nuts to attached the channels to the panels.
You can drill the hole a bit larger to accommodate the bolts. You will only need a few. I've also used galvanized screws to do the same and have not made the holes any larger - I've never had an issue with contracting vinyl. (That's not to say you won't; just that I've not!)If using screws, pre-drill the holes one size smaller than the screw size.
Attach the framed vinyl panels. You can then screw the u-channel to the fascia. As an added step (and one I recommend) is to first install 1 1/2 inch wide furring strips to fit right behind the panels once installed. This can be as simple as pushing/hammering the strips into the ground.
After attaching the panels to the fascia, screw the panels to the strips. This will prevent the panels from blowing in the wind and give them extra support - I don't like dangling panels! Painted the same color, you won't notice them at all.
Option 2 - Make Your Own Frames for Vinyl Porch SkirtingRip treated 1 x 2s on a table saw and place one on each side of the panel. You can attach these in the same manner as above. (Paint them before assembly).
To attach to the fascia, nail/screw a board directly underneath and fasten the panels to the exposed side.
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