Wood or PVC Fascia/Soffit/Cladding?

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We built our house over 12 years ago and used wood for the fascia, soffits and cladding around the dormer windows. I have got fed up with having to paint them so had thought about PVC.

A builder was saying to me that PVC isn't as good or maintenence free as people make out and I would be better keeping the wood, as it's in good condition, and just continuing to paint it.

I was going to cover the existing fascia with a PVC cover board due to ease of installation and, as mentioned above, because it's still in good condition.

1. Is PVC totally maintenence free and long lasting?
2. If we stay with wood should I change to a lighter colour so it's not affected so much by the sun?
3. If I find any cracks or splits in the wood what is the best wood filler to use?

I'm undecided what to do so any advice appreciated.
Andyfr
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  • 27col
    27col Posts: 6,554 Forumite
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    My next door neighbour is at this exact moment having his wood stained fascias repainted a much lighter colour. The original ones were a dark brown stain and the new colour is a very light, almost orangey brown stain. The house was built about 20 years ago and the fascias look to be in good condition.
    Having said that, I covered my fascias with PVC many years ago before they had time to start to rot. Not had any problems except for the occasional screw cover coming off. They also get a bit grubby, but as I am not too house proud, I do not worry too much about it. I will get around to cleaning them one day.
    I can afford anything that I want.
    Just so long as I don't want much.
  • andyfr_2
    andyfr_2 Posts: 77 Forumite
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    So one for and one against with you and your neighbour!

    Still can't decide what to do.
    Andyfr
  • MX5huggy
    MX5huggy Posts: 6,858 Forumite
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    I vote for sticking with the wood, it just looks better. Even if it is not painted quite as oftern as it should.
  • wallbash
    wallbash Posts: 17,775 Forumite
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    My vote is for the PVC cladding.

    Clad and forget :D

    A builder was saying to me that PVC isn't as good or maintenence free as people make out

    ????

    Or ..... 'a builder ' protecting future work!!
    What sort of maintenance is expected, too high to reach without scaffolding, so I dont. So it might fade and look a bit grubby after 10 / 15 years, I will think of the money I saved by not having it painted every few years.
  • Vibrant
    Vibrant Posts: 311 Forumite
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    PVC can be maintenance free, it depends how house proud you are. I make a few shekels every year, cleaning the fascia of some of my customers and older neighbours. It is easier than painting, just a good wash down, using a spot of jif on any stubborn stains.

    PVC seems to last okay, even the cheap cowboy jobs, with the thin clad over wood stuff. Although they often get gutter problems, where it hasn't been fixed back properly. But you get what you pay for.

    Personally I still paint my wooden fascias (about 40 years old), I use ranch paint, which lasts very well, but isn't quite as brilliant white as some paints.
  • Homestyle_Improvements
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    1. Is PVC totally maintenence free and long lasting?

    Yes, aslong as they are looked after & cleaned once a year or so, some would argue that is not maintenence free but most folk would not hesitate in giving your french doors a wash down if they got a bit grubby after the winter.

    2. If we stay with wood should I change to a lighter colour so it's not affected so much by the sun?

    If you want to stay with timber then that would make a bit of a difference but not a huge amount, plus it would make your home look alot different, can work great in some cases & not so in others.

    Example, we have fitted woodgrain/light oak/ rosewood windows & fascias on homes that sould have really stayed white. They just did not suit & we did stay at the begining it wouldn't but we go with what the customer wants.

    3. If I find any cracks or splits in the wood what is the best wood filler to use?

    Not sure on any particular brand of type but try a local joinery shop, sure they would be fine just giving you some advice
  • andyfr_2
    andyfr_2 Posts: 77 Forumite
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    I plan on doing the job myself so if we go with PVC it would be fitted over the existing timber.

    I understand what has been said about not doing that but if the wood is sound and totally dry why would that be a problem?
    Andyfr
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    PVC is fine if it is properly installed. But the cowboy installers will just bash it up over existing wood which is not sound, that is worse than useless.
    So if you're doing it yourself, fine, if not, make sure you get someone who will do it properly.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Betty_swallox
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    PVCu does not last forever... FACT. Ultra Violet light effects the make up of PVCu by drying out the coloids within the hydro carbon matrix that make it up. EG: The average home built in the 60's with wooden soffits have managed to make them list 40+ years with painting every 15 years or so. In 15 years the average cheap PVCu that many suppliers use these days will be dull, brittle and if not supported by existing wood, probably warped. PVCu is a quick fix that is easy to apply and looks good for a time..... or is that painting???? and of course quite profitable for the fitters.
  • andyfr_2
    andyfr_2 Posts: 77 Forumite
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    I will be fitting it myself over timber and will get the best quality I can. I'm still undecided what to do as there are so many conflicting opinions.

    If PVC is no better than regularly painted timber then I might as well forget it and save loads of money. If, on the other hand, it won't need any maintenence then it would be worth it.
    Andyfr
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