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Thread: Azek-like non-wood trim board question

  1. #1
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    Azek-like non-wood trim board question

    This didn't seem like a 'woodworking' question, it's more of a construction thing so I figured I'd try this forum.

    My Mom's house has several long fascia boards that have been eaten up by carpenter bees. She wants to get them replaced (and I'm too far away to hop over and do it), and I volunteered to help by writing a brief description of the work that she can use to get quotes.

    Basically to prevent the carpenter bee problem from recurring I want to specify some type of non-wood trim board, but I am not familiar with what brands are available local to her or what the differences might be between brands.

    What I'm looking for is a good clear description so that the three contractors/handymen providing quotes will be quoting the job with fairly similar materials. In other words, I don't want one guy to quote Azek and someone else quote #2 pine. The trick is to leave the description broad enough that I don't leave out a 'good enough' material, but narrow enough that she doesn't end up with wood.

    Is it enough to say that materials used must be "non-wood trim board", or should I specifically say "PVC non-wood trim board", or something else?

    Also, do these types of materials always come primed, should I specify that all boards be primed on all six sides before installation (like I would with wood), or is priming just not important with these synthetic materials?

    All ideas and advice welcome, thanks.
    -Dan D.

    Ray's rule for precision:

    Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe.

  2. #2
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    It may be a bit more expensive, but what about some of the "exotic" hardwoods (like Tigerwood)? They're naturally more bug-resistant, and they're hard as rocks... they make white oak look like packing peanuts.
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  3. #3
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    Dude...

    Well, let's put it this way. Dan, that's a fine engineering and woodworking answer, and honestly one that hadn't occurred to me. It probably would work to find a type of wood the bees wouldn't eat. I do appreciate the brainstorming, that's always valuable.

    But we're talking 35+ feet of 3/4" x 6" fascia on the front of a 50's ranch house. Exotic hardwoods seem like overkill, not to mention the fact that it would physically pain me to see them painted with white latex!

    Is Tigerwood really that cheap, or PVC that expensive, or am I being dense and missing your point?

    Thanks again for the reply.
    -Dan D.

    Ray's rule for precision:

    Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe.

  4. #4
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    I started a thread on the woodworking forum about non-Azek brands of this "wood", feel free to check it out (only a couple replies so far)

    I think I would tell the contractor "composite" or "PVC" and thats about it. Then in a quote make sure they specify the exact brand they will be purchasing, then you can do your own research (i.e. Tuf Board from HD is probably cheaper than Azek from a lumber yard, but not necessarily as good or better)
    The worst part about mistakes is that you have to make them before you can learn from them.

  5. #5
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    It's your fault

    Actually Chris it was your post that reminded me about this 'to-do' on my list. I thought about bogarting your thread, but that didn't seem polite so I started my own. I like your idea of specifying in a generic term but asking for specifics on the quote - kind of a fail-safe in case someone doesn't 'get it' the first time.
    -Dan D.

    Ray's rule for precision:

    Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe.

  6. #6
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    I don't know how expensive the stuff you're looking at costs (as I said, my suggestion is probably more expensive, and I too would hate to see a beautiful wood slathered in paint).

    I see costs of $2/lin. ft. for 1x6 Tigerwood finished all four sides... you may be able to get it cheaper if you only want two sides finished. But I bet no bees will be boring into it anytime soon. There are other slightly softer (but still naturally bug resistant) woods for cheaper.

    Wood isn't my main area of expertise, but I know a little from recent searches while trying to design a replacement deck.
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  7. #7
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    I had some boards replaced & they used Azek, it worked very well. Why not keep it simple & just ask them to quote Azek? You can then be sure you have comparable estimates
    Dennis

  8. #8
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    If they have to use nails, make sure they use the right ones!!

    My wifes uncle had their new deck trimmed out in Azek board. Ive seen it once a year since it was put in. first year it looked really nice. Each year since the nails have started to rust and now the "pretty" white Azek fascia board is getting rusty bits on it.

    My project is a mailbox post/sleeve so Im just going to glue the whole thing up (maybe a couple nails that will be covered over).
    The worst part about mistakes is that you have to make them before you can learn from them.

  9. #9
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    Securing Fascia

    Regardless of the material you choose I suggest you specify stainless steel screws to secure the fascia. We trimmed our house in cedar fascia 8 years ago and used stainless steel stardrive screws. Not a rust line yet!!!
    If this makes sense to you try www.screw-products.com.

  10. #10
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    Azak is a great product and I used it all around my house on the outside for trim. Even with stainless steel finish nails I got some rust bleed.

    Easy fix is to set the nail and chalk the hole. The boards take paint well.

    Their a little more expensive than wood but maintence free.

  11. #11
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    Azak and competitive products are the "bee's knees" when it comes to this kind of work. We used it for a portion of the trim work when we did our addition a couple years ago...places where it made sense to do so. While the stuff has no structural merit, it is ideal for nearly indestructible trim. Even the hardest real wood product will over time be affected by moisture and water damage. PVC, properly finished, will not. When you combine PVC with a long-term paint, such as Sherwin Williams Duration...you really get a no-maintenance solution for most, if not all of your lifetime.
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