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    It’s all in the details – how to accessorize your home exterior

    When considering exterior home improvements during spring and summer, many homeowners go for updates such as the replacement of siding or windows. These projects can make the home look great while boosting energy efficiency, but no matter how much homeowners invest in siding or windows, it will only look as good as the trim used to complete the job.

    Trim products are designed to be used around windows, doors, eaves and gables, and for application on your home’s corners and porch columns. Many installers opt for basic corner posts, J-channels and finishing accessories, which are functional, but also detract from the home’s overall style. Going beyond the basics is very affordable and can make a big difference in your investment.

    “One mistake that homeowners and contractors often make in an exterior remodel is finishing a beautiful window and siding replacement with basic or inexpensive trimwork,” says Steve Moore, architect with BSB Design. “Working with your contractor to accessorize with high-quality, low-maintenance trim around windows, doors and the roofline helps complete the look and enhance architectural features. Trim and mouldings are the glue that ties the look together.”

    Whether you prefer a modern, traditional, rustic or Victorian style, there are many trim options on today’s market to consider, including products made of wood, aluminum, fiber cement, engineered wood and vinyl, each with their own unique features. But if you want the look of real wood without the maintenance or having to replace in a few years, turn to building products manufacturers like Ply Gem that now offer cellular PVC trim with a 30-year warranty. Features of this material typically include a wood grain or smooth finish option, natural wood dimensions and resistance to rotting, cracking and splitting. Due to the superior material, paint will also adhere better and stay bright longer than painted wood.

    Cellular PVC trim and moulding products are easy for your contractor to install, and are engineered to work with virtually any siding type, including vinyl siding, stone veneer, brick, fiber cement and stucco.

    “Since trim is incredibly visible, it should be chosen with the same care as siding,” says Jerry Blais, vice president of marketing for Ply Gem siding group. “The use of low-maintenance products like cellular PVC trim and mouldings really give homeowners a durable and versatile option for making the home exterior stand out from the crowd. The product can also be painted to complement other exterior materials such as windows, vinyl siding, stone veneer, shutters and more to create a cohesive design.”

    To achieve that cohesive exterior home design, Ply Gem and BSB Design recommend first determining the type of architectural style you are trying to achieve, traditional or modern. This will help narrow the options for not only trim style, but also window grille patterns, color, siding type and accessories like shutters. 

    To help provide inspiration, design guides are available for recommendations on how to make the most of cellular PVC trim and other exterior products with various architectural styles. Once you have a style, consider ways to accessorize your home with trim:

    * Accent arched windows on Georgian or French architectural styles

    * Differentiate with decorative gable details for home styles such as folk, shingle, Victorian or craftsman

    * Add wide trim with a keystone to carry out a Tuscan look when combined with arched windows and stucco siding

    * Use cellular PVC sheet in wide areas, such as wainscoting, on bay windows or under eaves for a gingerbread look

    * Detail porch columns with pre-formed post wraps

    If you want to see how your home would look with a makeover, tools like The Designed Exterior Studio on allow homeowners to virtually customize exterior home designs. Tools like this and more can help show the difference the details make, so if you’re considering an exterior remodel or new build project, do your research to find the best options and speak with your contractor to make the most of your investment – from trim to siding to windows and beyond.

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