Vinyl wrapping a deck post

Pre-planning for the vinyl trim
Pre-planning for the vinyl trim

Let’s begin by showing the end. If you know how its suppose to end, it will help you in your planning to get there.

 

 

 

 

Fred, at Central Home Improvement Warehouse in Antigonish, suggested we use this product. It would be a quick and maintenance free solution for the deck posts. These vinyl pieces are nearly 9 ft long so the first thing I did was cut off a short piece to use as my test fitter, and to see how it would work. Oh, might have helped if I measured to see if I needed all of that 9 feet.

Get tape measure.

Measure spacing…

Heart racing…

Whew! No need for replacing. 🙂

Notice the hacksaw, that’s what the instructions said to use. A shocker yes… I read the instructions. 🙂

Deck post vinyl kit.
Deck post vinyl kit.

Easy enough, a nice square flat bottom post… this will be easy.

Vinyl wrapping a post
Vinyl wrapping a post

Full stop! Alrighty then, so let’s see what we got going on here. There are 4 sides to the post, every one is a different measurement and the soffit was installed crooked (yet another example of the “quality” home builder Scotian Homes).

Nice. Love a challenge. Now to stand back and see which two sides I will attack first. Do the easy, or do the difficult?  Easy first.

Cutting around trim.
Cutting around trim.

You might have noticed that big ugly dark gap between the white metal flashing and the soffit. That’s been an ugly reminder of the house builder’s presence on our property. I took advantage of the situation and peeled back some of the soffit and inserted some cedar wedges to push the metal flashing (that wraps the triple 2×12) into place.

So here we can see the other side of this first piece. Well, let’s just say you can see the blurry side of this first piece. Maybe the universe is telling me to stop and look at the nice trees in the background? 🙂

One half in place.
One half in place.

Now its time to take my test piece and take a few minutes to look at and figure out the best way to navigate around this multi step cut. A speed square will be your best friend (as it usually is) in this sort of task.

Test fitting.
Test fitting.

Remember that hacksaw suggestion in the instructions. Well that lasted about 20 seconds with me. I went to the workshop and dug out my old Black and Decker circular saw. A trick I learned long ago was that if you install a circular saw blade backwards on the saw, it makes a decent cutting tool and makes quick work of cutting vinyl siding. You just have to have your wits with you, knowing how the saw will behave. Oh yes, and wear hearing protection… I SAID WEAR HEARING PROTECTION.

When cutting with a circular saw, little itty bitty pieces of vinyl siding reproduce en masse, definitely not an indoor procedure. So wear eye protection, unless

  1. you are real good at squinting your eyes while holding a circular saw with a backwards blade in one hand,
  2. and can hold back the saw guard open with another hand,
  3. and keep the vinyl siding in place with one leg,
  4. while keeping your balance on the other leg

well.. you get the idea. Work safely folks.

Backwards veneer blade
Backwards veneer blade

What I did was put on the ground a couple of scrap blocks and a scrap piece of 6×6. This allowed me to rest the vinyl siding on the ground and keep it in place. Then all I had to do was squint my eyes while holding a circular saw with a backwards blade in one hand and can hold back the saw guard open with another hand, all while holding the vinyl with one knee while the other knee was on the ground.

At least if I fell, I wouldn’t have far to go. 😉

You can decide to do the long cuts first, or cross cuts first. It doesn’t matter much whatever way you go. So long as you keep on track and don’t waiver outside the pencil lines. If you do, well, that’s what caulking is for. So long as you don’t tell anyone, no one will know.

Cutting the vinyl deck post
Cutting the vinyl deck post

Notice how the cut is not completed by the saw. Important to remember how a circular saw behaves. Don’t be stupid and try to let the saw completely finish the cut, you’ll open up another can of worms. Actually, you’ll be opening your wallet to buy another vinyl post wrap kit.
I finished the cutting with a sharp blade.

Knowing what the blade can do.
Knowing what the blade can do.

Ah yes, doesn’t it look lovely? We will soon see if this sucker is going to fit, or if I’m going to have a fit because I ruined a section.

Jigs and jogs.
Jigs and jogs.

Well, not to shabby. Nothing a little bit of caulking couldn’t hide.

Cutting around a header
Cutting around a header
Cutting around a deck post header
Cutting around a deck post header

Now its time to move onto how this whole contraption works. Snap in place, seamless fit they said… well, almost. Snap in place? Check. Seamless? Nope. But acceptable.

More test fitting.
More test fitting.
Not a seamless fit but it'll do.
Not a seamless fit but it’ll do.

All done… this one anyway. The next two posts I plan to extend the vinyl up to the soffit as well. Should be be a little easier cutting.

One done, two to go.
One done, two to go.

All done! Well truth be told, I made the effort to install the 2nd wrap up to the soffit but I messed up the cut. Gina suggested to cut them off at the top of the post rather than spend money on another vinyl wrap kit. Good idea. In the grand scheme of things, it turned well. The second and third wraps were cut off straight and then trimmed. The vinyl trim is a very loose fit and the screws that accompany the kit, well, I’d say they were useless. I replaced those with longer ones that had the heads of the screws pre-painted. Don’t know if they will rust or not, time will tell.

I had to trim the gingerbread frames to get them to fit the narrower spaces due to the addition of the vinyl wrapped posts. And believe it or not, this was the temperature on the deck this morning at 10:30 am.

Deck done
Deck done!
Hot on deck.
Hot on deck.

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About Jim Barry

A Newfoundland born Canadian with a life long interest in woodworking, baking and anything else that peaks my curiosity.

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