Published on September 5th, 2013 | by Henri


Beadboard as a porch ceiling

Q.    I am considering adding a beadboard ceiling to my screened-in porch. I will be attaching it to 8-inch rafters. What if anything should I do about venting before installing the beadboard? The existing roof is asphalt shingles over tar paper and plywood. Will heat build-up be a problem once the ceiling is enclosed and will it affect the life of the roof?

I thought it might look better running the beadboard lengthwise 16 feet across the rafters rather than add furring strips and attaching it the other way 12-plus feet from the house side to the front of the porch. What’s your opinion?

A.    Since you mention that the beadboard will be nailed to the rafters, I take it that there are no ceiling joists and, therefore, no attic space above the beadboard. If you do not plan on enclosing the porch in the future and making it into a year-around room with ceiling insulation, heat and an open connection with the rest of the house, there is no need to provide ventilation. Any heat generated by the sun hitting the roof will be dissipated through the beadboard and end up in the porch as it does now. To minimize the heat below the ceiling, you can staple reflective aluminum sheets to the rafters before installing the beadboard.

If there are rafters AND ceiling joists, gable vents on each side of the porch as close to the high part of the gables should be sufficient.  You are right; the ceiling will look much better if the beadboard is run perpendicular to the rafters (the long way).

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