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  • PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

    A friend has asked me to build a 6 foot long window flower box to replace the one in the pics below that is rotting and falling apart. I thought I'd like to try making one out of pvc trim boards so she doesn't have to worry about it rotting in the future. I've never used pvc boards and I'm wondering if standard pvc cement will give me the working time required to glue up and clamp a six foot long joint? I haven't worked with pvc pipes much either, but I'm pretty sure you have to work quickly and fit the pipes together pretty fast before the cement sets.

    I have the can of pvc cement in the pic below that I picked up at a garage sale a couple years ago. Does anyone know if that would be okay for the 3/4" pvc trim boards available at Lowes? If the cement is ok, would it be a good idea to use screws or brad nails as well for additional strength?

    Other concerns is expansion and contraction with pvc and whether it is strong enough to hold the soil without warping or buckling along the front.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Thanks.


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  • #2

    Re: PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

    I wonder what damage is happening to the weatherboards behind the planter, tell her to get rid of the planter, spend the money on fixing the window properly and get that plant life away from the weatherboards at the bottom or they will be rotten too.

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    • #3

      Re: PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

      I would not have thought about building it without screws, pvc or not. But .... I have no experience with pvc. As far as keeping it straight, you could run a horizontal strip along the inside about half way down. It doesn't have to be much, even an inch or 1-1/2". Also, in keeping with Bob's comments, she could keep the box but remove the soil and use potted plants . Just backfill around the pots with something like coconut matting and put plenty of drain holes in the bottom. Just some thoughts ....

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      • #4

        Re: PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

        It looks like all the siding is vinyl and window trim is clad with aluminum, so it’s probably ok. PVC would be a good choice and should be screwed together. The glue probably would give it some support, but definitely screw it. What I’ve seen of pvc planking, it’s pretty pricy. I made a couple from left over James Hardee planks and white cedar. I did as John suggested. 6 inch potted plants with shredded coconut to fill the gaps. The Hardee planks were only used on the front and end caps.

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        • #5

          Re: PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

          Isn't PVC trim kinda floppy? Might have to have some kind of reinforcement for the front board.

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          • #6

            Re: PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

            Thanks for all the advice. I honestly didn't even pay that much attention to the windows, but Mike is right, the window frames are aluminum clad and the siding is vinyl. Looking at the pictures again, the windows themselves do appear to be wood and could probably be repainted soon.

            Is the soil a concern because the moisture evaporating from the box could be damaging the wood windows?

            ​​​​​​I was thinking about using two rectangular planters inside the PVC box so she could remove the soil in the winter, but round pots sounds like a better idea and would definitely reduce the weight.

            Thanks again,

            Andy

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            • #7

              Re: PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

              As a woodworker you might think less soil is better but as a gardener not so much. Depending on exposure not many plants would do well in 6" pots unless you are willing to water daily (maybe twice on some days). As others have said looks like vinyl siding and a clad window so as long as the box is mounted with some clearance from the wall I don't see an issue. No experience with PVC boards but I wouldn't trust cement alone. You might also consider composite deck boards (just a thought).

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              • #8

                Re: PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

                Originally posted by Doug G View Post
                As a woodworker you might think less soil is better but as a gardener not so much.
                Appreciate the input from a gardener's perspective. I thought this was a real simple project, but as is often the case, there's a lot more to it than I expected. I did look at the composite decking quickly when the stores were still open for browsing, but the dimensions didn't seem to work as well as the PVC boards. I'll take another look online.

                Thanks.

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                • #9

                  Re: PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

                  I would suggest Azek as they make a variety of material that is designed for exterior trim. It can be painted but comes in a white matt finish and comes in widths up to 11 inches.

                  Brian
                  If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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                  • #10

                    Re: PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

                    Originally posted by Brian @ Muir View Post
                    I would suggest Azek as they make a variety of material that is designed for exterior trim. It can be painted but comes in a white matt finish and comes in widths up to 11 inches.

                    Brian
                    Do you know where to buy it? I've seen lots of references to Azek online, but can't find anyone locally who sells it.

                    It would be nice to at least find the Azek glue. It has a working time of 10 min, and I can't find anything similar available at the bigger home improvement retailers.
                    Last edited by streetcore; 05-06-2020, 08:58 AM.

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                    • #11

                      Re: PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

                      I special ordered my Azek product from the local Timber Mart store, and that included the glue. A note - I bought 4x8 sheets, and ripped them with a new Makita track saw with the 118" guide. The cut surface is not a clean smooth surface, and over time will exhibit dirt and grime. If you wanted a maintenance free flower box, I would recommend the 1"x 6" or 1" x 8" boards, so that the factory surface remains intact and mitre the visible joints.

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                      • #12

                        Re: PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

                        Thanks for the tips Don. I did read about cut edges being susceptible to dirt and mold. One suggestion I saw was to sand exposed edges to 320 and wipe with acetone to seal the edge.

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                        • #13

                          Re: PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

                          Yes, I just read about the acetone wipe on Azeks website. And there's the use of Goof Off to clean. I wish I had known about the acetone wipe when I was doing my project.. I did try to sand but it didn't leave a smooth finish, but again sanding and wiping may be the solution.

                          If you can't find a ready source for a small purchase of Azek trim boards at a reasonable cost, check out your local Home Depot. In the trim department or nearby, they should have PVC trim boards - I don't know who the manufacturer is, but if they can identify the manufacturer, then you could do a comparison to Azek vis a vis properties and cost.
                          Last edited by macquanski; 05-06-2020, 10:02 AM.

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                          • #14

                            Re: PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

                            I'm starting to have second thoughts about using PVC boards. It seems to be very difficult to find the correct adhesive, but was also just reading on the manufacturer's site that "PVC expands and contracts many times greater than wood... If not accounted for, PVC trim can buckle or develop unsightly gaps." This will be a six foot box full of dirt on a west wall and will be exposed to high temps in summer and cold in winter. I'd hate to see it blow apart or buckle and think that risk might outweigh any benefits of rot resistance.

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                            • #15

                              Re: PVC Boards for Window Flower Box

                              Pretty sure Lowe's can order any kind of Azek that you need.

                              LePage makes a Wet Grab product that is excellent water resistant and can be used underwater even but not left exposed underwater in application. It is white and works beautifully with white PVC trim or boards.

                              https://www.lepage.ca/en/lepage-prod...-adhesive.html

                              I use the Cortex hidden fastening system for PVC with the LePage Wet Grab Adhesive.

                              https://www.fastenmaster.com/videos/...ve-system.html

                              The Cortex system is not cheap and is becoming very difficult to find here in Canada. But it is an excellent system. I highly recommended it.

                              I've never used the little glue that comes in the cans like you use for PVC pipe for PVC trim work. It just seems it would be awful messy and even if you get the slow setting gunk I'd rather use the regular tube adhesive myself.
                              Last edited by Lost in the Woods; 05-06-2020, 11:30 PM.
                              Kevin

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