I know it’s hard to remember, but waaaaaaay back when the hubs and I embarked on a mission to somewhat waterproof the front porch. We have a double deck on the front porch, which seems nice and all….except when it rains the water goes through the top deck floor to the bottom deck. Basically we get no protection running in with groceries, etc, while fumbling with keys to the door. Plus, it limits any type of furniture I can put out there.

It all started back in {cough cough} February with the installation of a vinyl product meant for this application (found at Home Depot). When I last left off with the installation tutorial, we had planned to install a second dropped ceiling of a more decorative nature involving beadboard.

Here’s what it looked like then:

Well we ended up finishing up with the beadboard, and trimming it out with 1x4s. It looked super awesome for a few months, then after a few heavy storms it became apparent that we had an epic fail on our hands.

Ok I read the label on the beadboard that says it’s for indoor use only. So it was a bit of a gamble from the start. I kinda figured since it wouldn’t be directly exposed to water that it might be ok painted in exterior paint. It turns out that just the moisture between all the layers was enough to make the glue in the panels sweat through until there were stains. Ugh.

So Mike ripped the beadboard down and we lived with just the vinyl for a {cough cough} few more months while we thought of another solution. I considered corrugated aluminum, sheet metal, and more vinyl. But ultimately the look I really wanted was planked wood. I don’t know why, but I thought of this in the beginning and figured it would be more expensive than the beadboard solution. Turns out it wasn’t. Lessoned learned: always price out all of your options, you might be surprised!

I looked through the pressure treated wood options at the local Home Depot and discovered that deck boards (shocker!) were the best choice. You can generally tell a deckboard by the odd depth (5/4). I’m not really sure why they list them like that. Then again, I’m not really sure why the standard measurements are not true to size either (a 1×6 is more like 1×5.5). I actually really like the 5/4 because it’s obviously thicker than a 1 by, but not as thick as a 2 by.

This post is really just a prime example of my intelligence. You too can install your own deck ceiling without knowing hardly anything! See? And, I just spared you the first fail, so you’re already ahead of the game.

Well, my point is that I like that there is an in between size- it would be sturdy enough to hang only at the ends without flexing (didn’t want to puncture the vinyl underneath), but it would be the least amount of ceiling height lost. So yay for using deck boards on the deck. Yeah, that just happened.

The last two paragraphs will be strikingly contradictory to the following example of my infinite mathematical powers.

I did some rough calculations using the longest 5/4 x6 boards (12ft) cut into 4 ft pieces (the width of the deck). The deck is a little over 9 ft long, so that gives us about 7 boards.

That’s 9 ft x 12 inches per foot= 108″/5.5″(the actual width of the boards)= 19.64 pieces/3 (4ft) pieces per board=6.5 boards

At this point, I pretty much told Mike how I wanted them hung and he did the rest of the work 🙂 He’s better with the drill on a step stool. I’m generally horrible at above the head tasks anyways. I did mention that I’d like a small gap to allow for expansion/contraction (which I’m sure he could have figured out on his own), but that was about the extent of my help.

Without further ado, here is the finished look. Which I love. And which should last. At least as long as the deck, anyways.

LOVE. For reference, here’s how it looked before we did anything.

Clearly a much cleaner look now, even though it’s not a true waterproof situation (we couldn’t hang a fan or light, for example). We are just happy that the rain doesn’t drip through like it did before 🙂

A couple things: (1) I decided to wait awhile before painting or staining the new ceiling to make sure I will be happy with my choice (see earlier comment about general suckage at overhead tasks- would hate to do this twice), and (2) the house is supposed to be pressure washed TODAY barring rain which is why the floor is so dirty. Which reminds me, I better go remove all the crap on the porch…

One Response

  1. Stan Schultz

    Rachel, in my last comment, I neglected to mention that the bead board you used appears to be wood. A better choice for that application would be foam PVC bead board. It fabricated and installed virtually identically to the wood you used, but it’s completely waterproof, so it won’t warp or rot. The Palruf drain system is still required to carry the water away, but the foam PVC is sure to hold up regardless of the weather, humidity, etc.

    Our product is called Palight Trimboard. It’s available primarily in the northeast and northern central states. Other manufacturers also make a similar product that may be available in other regions.


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