What You Need to Know About Trim

There’s an unfortunate scenario that plays out in many exterior remodeling jobs and it goes something like this: a homeowner invests in a premium exterior siding product only to finish it out with basic, inexpensive trimwork. The result is an uninspired, and often unattractive, siding job.

Trim Can Make or Break a Remodel

Remodelers know it’s the trim that really makes or breaks your home’s style. Whether you’re going for a modern, craftsman, traditional, rustic or Victorian style, there are trim upgrades that will enhance the elements that define your home without breaking the bank.

trim basic to beautiful

Types of Trim Materials

Trim is available in four basic types of material. While each can do the job, some will weather better than others, while others require less – if any – maintenance. Here is a brief overview of each material.

trim material benefits drawbacks

Wood Trim

Wood trim is typically made of pine, cedar or cypress and can be stained, clear sealed or painted.

Aluminum Trim

Aluminum trim is manufactured into long strips that are cut to fit, or wrap around, existing or new wood trim. It is also available in hundreds of colors and textures.

Composite Trim

Composite trim is a combination of man-made and natural components combined together. There are several types of composite trim:

  • Fiber Cement Trim
    Made of layered cement like the siding product.
  • Engineered Wood Trim
    Wood strands or fibers combined with binding resins.
  • Cellular PVC Trim
    Shares the same base sub-components as vinyl siding, but is manufactured using a different process to look much like wood, without the weathering issues. Special profiles and a range of sizes provide versatility and architectural style.

Vinyl Trim

Vinyl trim is made from PVC and ranges from a basic, inexpensive variety to fluted lineals, gable details and more.

Considerations Before You Buy

No matter how much you invest in your siding, it will only look as good as the trim you choose to complete the job.

If you want a lot of style for a just little more money, it all comes down to trim. Choose your trim with the same care as your siding. And remember, details count and style matters. Trim is incredibly visible, so it’s important to choose the right elements to fully realize the exterior look you hope to achieve.

Here’s where you should focus:

Outside Corners

There is a corner style to match virtually any style of home: modern, traditional, historic, prairie, etc. Beyond the standard offerings, you’ll find an outstanding array of options to bring out the style of your home.

Around Windows, Doors and the Garage

Many installers opt for universal J-channel around windows and doors. Is it adequate? Absolutely. Will it enhance your home’s design? Maybe not! Think beyond the basics and consider a wider trim with the look of real wood.

Finishing Accessories

Look up under the eaves at the spot where the top course of siding meets your roof. Can that joint be finished with a narrow molding that does nothing more than secure the siding to the wall? Sure. Will it create a memorable finish? Probably not. Consider a wider trim that duplicates the look of real crown molding or opt for a flat finish using lineals for a more contemporary look.