I really have two questions, both pertaining to the enclosed porch on the front of my house.

The first is, what material should I use to replace the panels that are starting to warp (bottom of the picture). I can't really tell if they're warped from pressure or moisture or both. But I can say I need new gutters, water will get in through the windows if I don't shut them.

Also, if you look at the top of the picture, the frame is showing. You can see the 2x4 supports all around. It would be cool if I could cover the frame as well as the plywood wall with some thin material, just to give it a finished look.

Any ideas on what material I should be looking at? I'm open to all possibilities.

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  • Use tin, custom flat tin with hard insulation behind it
    – user70085
    Oct 25, 2018 at 9:38

3 Answers 3


I've had great luck with expanded vinyl beadboard. It comes in sheets that can be used as paneling, pieces cut to smaller sizes for wainscotting, and planks. Some are reversible, with a bead on one side and a V groove on the other.

Expanded vinyl is the material used for most "permanent" house trim. It is a little more expensive that wood-based alternatives, but it is durable, lasts forever, and has better characteristics in virtually every respect. It's weatherproof, moistureproof, and unaffected by UV. It doesn't warp, rot, or split. The material inhibits the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria. It doesn't require painting but is paintable. It's easy to work with, and looks like the wood product. The rigidity is closer to thin wood boards than to paneling or plastic sheets. I've used it for exposed exterior, protected exterior (screen porch ceiling), and inside use (wainscot).

The big trim manufactures like Azek sell it through building supply stores: https://azek.com/products/trim/beadboard-trim.


Stores like Home Depot and Lowes have in-house brands: http://www.homedepot.com/p/House-of-Fara-W96WP-12-sq-ft-White-Vinyl-Reversible-Interior-Exterior-Paneling-3-Piece-per-Pack-W96WP/205437105

Home Depot


What we typically use is called FRP Panels (Fiber-Reinforced Plastic)

They are affordable, easy to install and maintain. Mostly used in bathrooms where moisture is.

Can be found at most local hardware stores and do not require painting. They come in many styles (even wood and tile appearance), colors, trims and can be applied/attached to wood..

Here are links to Lowes and Home Depot. enter image description here

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If you don't like the look of the FRP that's suggested by norcal johnny, I'd simply use a 3/8" BCX plywood and paint it with a high quality exterior paint. Prime according to the paint manufacturer's instructions.

Of course, any wood product is subject to warping and eventual degradation due to moisture. I'd be sure you have your water problem resolved before doing this repair. If your porch remains dry, plywood will last for decades.

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