How to Decide on Exterior Corner Trim Sizes

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Many choices are available in exterior siding and trim for finishing a home's exterior walls. Vinyl siding is available in traditional styles or in historical restoration vinyl, which looks like real wood. Wood siding options include traditional redwood bevel wood siding, specialty rough-sawn cedar boards and fir plywood. The key to selecting the correct trim for your home's exterior corners depends on the building's framing and rough construction. The corner trim you select must securely fasten to the underlying wall studs and corner posts, and not simply be nailed to the plywood sheeting.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • 7d galvanized spiral siding nails
  • Cordless drill with assortment of drill bits
  • Measuring tape
  • Circular saw
  • Electric miter saw
  • Samples of vinyl siding choices
  • Samples of redwood deviled siding
  • Samples of cedar board siding
  • Short sample pieces of 1-inch by 3-inch pine and cedar boards
  • Short sample pieces of 1-inch by 4-inch pine and cedar boards
  • Short sample pieces of 1-inch by 6-inch pine and cedar boards
  • Based on the architecture of your home, choose the appropriate siding. Choices include vinyl, smooth redwood, rough-sawn cedar or fir plywood.

  • Choose the appropriate corner trim for the siding material. Vinyl siding comes with its own preformed corner moldings. Wood bevel siding typically uses thin stamped-metal corner pieces. Rough-sawn cedar and fir plywood sidings are designed to use 1-by cedar or pine boards as corner trim.

  • Identify the type of housing construction. Wall studs that meet at the corners will be 2-inch by 4-inch boards or 2-inch by 6-inch boards. Some homes have 7/16-inch OSB sheathing or 1/2-inch insulation board mounted to the wall studs. Other homes are wrapped in poly-vinyl house wrap, such as DuPont's Tyvek house wrap.

  • Measure an actual distance from the outside corner of the home to the point at which the wall stud ends. This measurement will be somewhere between 4 inches and 6 inches. When mounting the exterior corner trim and the exterior siding boards, the joint between the siding and the corner trim should lie near the center of this solid wood surface.

  • Select the siding material and corner trim that matches the architecture and the landscaping of the home, and meets together within the allowed dimension. Hold the sample siding pieces of 1-by trim molding on the home's corner to verify that they are sized properly. If you need a more visual illustration, try nailing a short piece of trim molding onto your home's corner, and installing a piece or two of the siding. In some cases, a visual sample is the best way to choose the proper siding and trim boards.

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