How to Decide on Exterior Corner Trim Sizes
By Wade Shaddy
Personal preference plays a leading role in choosing an exterior corner trim. That said, if you start out with a plan that's relatively standard, your project will come together more efficiently and look better. Home exteriors are viewed by everyone, and they should have balance. You can decide on corner trim sizes by using a few common materials and methods.
Most home exteriors are trimmed with either rough-hewn cedar, fir or vinyl siding -- which is a composite material much like particleboard with a plastic coating. All of these materials can be purchased cut to width and ready to install, typically before the siding. When the exterior trim pieces are in place, the siding is cut and installed between them. You can choose to go with traditional sizes or purchase your material in wider pieces and then cut them to custom sizes using a table saw.
Check the width of the trim or fascia along the eves of the home. It should already be in place. If it's about 6 inches -- a typical width -- you want the exterior corner trim slightly smaller, so plan on exterior trim pieces between 4 and 5 inches wide. One piece will overlap the other piece to form the corner, so if you're using material that is 4 inches wide, you will cut one piece 4 inches with the corresponding overlapping piece cut at 4 3/4 inches.
The best way to balance and decide on what works best is to test-fit a few pieces. Cut some short pieces at a given width, making sure to add one that overlaps the other. Place them on the corner by pinning them to the side with short nails, and see how they look. If it's not quite right, trim them down or make new ones until you get what you like. You might want to leave them on overnight and check them from a distance before you choose the size you like. There's no real fixed standard to it, but if you're not sure, try measuring the trim on existing homes and take it from there.
Windows and Doors
If your door or window trim is already in place, you can use their size to help you decide. Typical window and door trim is about half the size of exterior corner trim. If your window or door trim is between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 inches, plan on making your exterior trim pieces about twice that width to balance everything out. Using the formula backward, if you start out by trimming the corners first, make the sizes of the door and window trim about one-half of the corner trim.
Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008.
How To Install Trim On A Backyard Shed
Video of Installing Trim On Storage Shed
Welcome to this shed trim installation tutorial. Here you will learn about the steps to installing exterior trim on your storage shed.
Trimming the shed is what gives it its character. Most sheds that are sided using sheet siding like 4x8 rough cut plywood or T1-11 will require a trim piece to be installed around all doors and windows, corners and roof soffit and facia. This trim helps seal the corner and roof connections as well as make the shed look good. This article teaches you how to trim a shed with basic 1x4 trim pieces but any size trim pieces may be used.
The fascia trim should be installed before the roofing so that the drip edge can overlap the fascia boards. The material used here is an O.S.B. material that has a wood pattern on the face.
step 1 INSTALL EVE FASCIA ON THE SHED ROOF
The first step to installing trim on the shed is to install the fascia on the eves and gable ends of the shed roof. The eve fascia is first because the rake fascia on the gables will overlap it on the ends.
Start by measuring the eves and cutting the fascia to length. Make sure the top edge is flush with the top of the roof sheeting and the ends are flush with the siding and then nail the fascia trim boards onto the sub fascia.
Install the eve fascia on both eves of the shed roof using 8d galvanized nails.
step 2 INSTALL RAKE FASCIA ON THE SHED GABLE ROOF ENDS
The second step is to install the rake fascia. Use a trim board that is a bit longer than necessary to cover the peak to eve distance and mark the roof pitch angle using a framing or speed square on one end.
Start by marking a square line across the board. Keep the pivot point of the speed square on the end of the line and pivot it until the edge of the board lines up with the roof pitch mark on the Common scale.
Mark the angle on the board and then cut it.
If you have a mitre saw you can set the angle on the saw and cut the angle into the board without marking it first.
Hold the fascia board in its position and verify that the angle is correct. The ridge end of the trim board should be vertical when the top edge of the trim is flush with the shed roof.
With the fascia board lined up with the ridge position and flush with the roof deck, use a pencil to mark the cut off point on the long end of the board by tracing along the face of the eve fascia onto the back side of the rake fascia board. This will be your cut mark for the fascia.
Cut the rake fascia board and double check the length.
Nail the rake fascia on making sure that the nails go into the roof rafter behind the fascia.
Cut the fascia board for the other side of the roof gable and hold it in position to check the angle against the fascia board that is already installed. Adjust the angle if necessary to make a good fit.
Double check the length of the fascia board and cut the lower end to the angle of the eve fascia.
Nail the rake fascia on making sure that the nails go into the roof rafter behind the fascia.
Measure, cut and install the other side of the gable making sure the the joint where the two boards meet at the ridge is tight and the eve end is flush with the eve fascia.
Repeat the process and install the fascia on the opposite end of the shed in the same way.
step 3 INSTALL THE SHED ROOF SOFFIT
The third step is to install the soffit on the eves of the shed roof. If your shed does not have a covered soffit then you can skip this step. The soffit goes on before the corner trim so that the corner trim can butt up against it.
Use a tape measure to measure the length and width of the soffit. The ends of the soffit board that are on the ends of the shed will butt up against the fascia board. The long edges should touch the shed wall and the back side of the fascia.
The ends along the shed wall will rest on half of a roof rafter so the next piece can also attach to the rafter.
All joints between soffit pieces must have a roof rafter behind them. So cut the soffit pieces so that they overlap the underside of the roof rafter by three quarters of an inch.
Cut the soffit pieces from trim boards or from scrap siding pieces.
Mark the rafter locations on the shed walls so you will know where to place the nails when the soffit covers the rafters and you can no longer see them.
Put the soffit boards into position and nail the soffit boards to the bottom of the roof rafters. Use one 8d nail at each rafter.
Install the soffit on the remaining open soffits around the shed.
step 4 INSTALL SHED CORNER TRIM
The fourth step is to install the corner trim. When installing corner trim you will want the trim on the front of the shed to cover the edge of the corner trim piece on the side of the shed. This means that you will install the trim on the sides of the shed first and then the front.
Measure and cut a piece of trim so it will fit from the soffit down to the bottom edge of the siding.
Hold the piece of trim on the corner of the shed where it will be installed and then hold a scrap piece of trim on the other side of the corner to help you properly position the full size piece that will be nailed on.
Make sure that the edges are flush with each other and the corner gap is closed and then nail the trim onto the shed. Use 1 8d nail every 12 inches along the piece of trim and 2 inches from the ends.
To install the front piece of the corner trim you will first cut the roof angle onto a piece of trim that is about 2 to 4 inches longer than needed to cover the corner. Set the trim piece on the corner and check the angle for a good fit. Adjust the angle if necessary.
Hold the siding piece in place with the top edge butted up against the gable fascia or soffit if your shed has soffit on the gable ends.
Use a utility knife to mark the bottom cut location by pressing the knife blade into the wood at the bottom edge of the siding. Remove the trim piece and cut it on the mark.
Make sure to note where the wall stud is behind the trim before nailing. There is typically about one inch of space from the corner of the trim to where the wall stud is behind the siding. Hold the trim piece in position and nail it to the corner.
Install the other four corners in the same way.
step 5 INSTALL CORNER TRIM AROUND THE SHED DOOR
The fifth step is to install trim around the door opening. The door trim is installed flush with the edge of the siding that is held one inch back from the door opening framing.
The header trim piece is installed first.
It should overlap the two side casing trims. Measure and cut the header trim according to your trim design.
Before nailing the header trim on you will first make sure that it has the proper spacing on each side of the door by holding a scrap piece of trim up on the sides of the door and adjusting the header trim until the two sides are equal.
The casing trims are installed after the header trim piece.
Measure from the bottom of the header trim to the bottom of the siding to find the lengths for the casing trims on the two sides of the door opening.
Measure, Cut and install the piece of trim for the the bottom of the door opening.
Does it matter what type of trim I use on the shed exterior?
Pros and cons of the major exterior trim types.
Not all exterior trims are created equal. There are several materials to choose from when purchasing trim. Each type of trim material has its own benefits
The width of the siding only makes a difference in the finished look of the shed. Common trim sizes are 3 1/2" x 1/2" or 5 1/2" by 1/2" or 3/4".
Wood: Regular wood is a very common trim. It is simply a board cut to the size of trim and used on doors, windows and corners.
- Pros: Cheaper than man made products
- Cons: warps easily, splits easily, comes un-primed.
O.S.B. Trim: A man made version of exterior trim is made from Oriented Strand Board. This type of trim exhibits the qualities of O.S.B. sheet materials.
- Pros: Very stable, resists warping and splitting.
- Cons: Costs a bit more than regular wood.
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Most homes - regardless of age, size or style - have some sort of exterior trim. The frieze is the horizontal trim board along the top of an exterior wall just below the soffit. The fascia forms the face of an eave and provides a surface for attaching rain gutters. Rake boards angle up from the eaves to the ridge to trim a gable wall. Flat exterior casings frame windows and doors, while vertical corner boards often frame siding or shingles at inside and outside corners. Exterior trim is nearly always low-grade No. 2 pine or fir that's been painted. Pine and fir are prone to insect and weather damage, and the resinous knots on both tend to bleed through several coats of primer and paint. They also expand and contract as they absorb and shed moisture, causing split wood and cracked paint. In the end, you have to patch, scrape and repaint the trim every couple of years. Knot-free grades of cedar, redwood or sugar pine hold paint much better and are more dimensionally stable. But they still expand and contract. And that's bad news for paint.
A Better Board
If you need to refurbish the exterior trim on your home, you have two choices. Either scrape, sand and repaint the existing boards - and be prepared to repeat the job relatively soon. Or replace the old trim with a better-quality product. The second option takes longer and costs more up front but saves time and trouble down the road. That's the route we chose in replacing the pine corner boards on this house with Georgia-Pacific's PrimeTrim engineered lumber. It's made of wood fibers mixed with resins and pressed into 16-ft. planks. It comes preprimed, and is backed for 10 years against rot, delamination and swelling (see resources, left). PrimeTrim comes in 4/4-in. (actual: 5/8-in.) and 5/4-in. (1-in.) thicknesses and six widths (3 1/2 to 11 1/4 in.). For this job, we replaced 3 1/2-in.-wide pine boards with 5/4-in.-thick x 5-in.-wide PrimeTrim. The wider boards make the trim more prominent and help emphasize the facade. The material is also affordable: A 16-ft.-long 5/4x5 plank costs about 82 cents per linear foot, compared with $1.50 to $2 per linear foot for 5/4x4 cedar, redwood or sugar pine and 70 cents per linear foot for No. 2 white pine.
Installing The New Trim
You'll have to cut back the siding at each corner if you install wider boards. Because the two new boards overlap in a butt joint at the corner, you only have to cut along one wall to create the 4 1/2-in.-wide recess needed. Pull away nails on the cut line and renail the siding 1 in. in before trimming. You'll also have to make a cutting jig for your circular saw to execute a straight cut up the wall. To do that, screw a 1/2-in. plywood base to the saw shoe, then attach a 3/4x1-in. edge guide to the plywood base using the combined width and thickness of the new trim. Set the blade just deep enough to cut through the siding, hold the saw in position with the guide hooked over the old trim boards and carefully make the cut. Yank off the old boards and remove the cut-off pieces of siding. Before nailing up the new trim, apply two coats of a high-quality exterior paint. Let the paint dry overnight, then attach the trim with 3 1/2-in.-long (16d) hot-dipped galvanized or stainless-steel nails. Drill pilot holes first or you'll bend lots of nails driving them through this dense material. Finally, apply one final paint coat, making sure to cover each nailhead.
Where To Find It:
100 Hale St., Dept. TH798
Newburyport, MA 01950
133 Peachtree St., Dept. TH798
Atlanta, GA 30303
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For trim shed corner exterior
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