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Carpentry  /  November 30, 2021

Red Deer Home Repairs: What Is Exterior Wood Trim?

wood trim

Virtually all residential buildings have exterior wood trim, as well as numerous commercial ones. It is found installed on brick-and-mortar structures and wooden ones.

Wood trim and siding can suffer weather-related damage or require maintenance — which is something to keep in mind with Alberta’s seasonal climate. When repair services are needed, Handyman Connection can provide home and building owners with a professional carpenter in Red Deer who has the skills and experience to install and maintain your wood siding and trim, making sure it lasts.

In the meantime, here are answers to common questions regarding trim, siding and wood in general.

What Is Wood Trim?

Most people think of wood trim as decorative, and this is partially true. However, it also functions as a ‘weatheriser,’ helping maintain the interior climate while keeping extreme weather at bay. If the trim is damaged or deteriorating, it not only looks bad but also results in higher energy bills. Furthermore, damaged trim can allow moisture into the walls, encouraging rot and mould to grow. It therefore pays to install the best wood trim you can afford and keep it in good condition.

Is Wood Trim the Same as Wood Siding?

Not exactly, although they may be made from the same kind of tree. Siding covers the exterior wall surfaces (clapboard is the most common kind). Trim surrounds the doors, windows and other features, such as dormers and bay windows.

Siding is just as important as trim when it comes to protecting a wooden structure’s structural integrity. Many builders these days opt for synthetic materials for siding, including brick, fiber cement, metal and even stone. In recent years, vinyl siding has become popular because of its low cost, durability and versatility (it can be made to look like almost any other material, including wood). Some types of siding are better for the local climate than others; the professionals at Handyman Connection can advise you which is suitable for your home.

What Are Different Types of Trim?

Almost any kind of wood can be used for trim as long as it offers stability. Four species are most commonly used, however:

Cedar: This makes for the best exterior trim; indigenous peoples on the rainy coast of British Columbia used it for centuries to build their longhouses and canoes. That is a testament to cedar’s durability — it does not rot and lasts for decades with minimal maintenance. It is also lightweight with a straight grain and gives off a pleasant scent, although insects such as termites are repelled by it, which is another advantage of cedar.

Fir: Most trim, siding and framing are made from fir. The grain is usually straight, and knots are few. Fir offers stability and is easily painted or stained.

Pine: Although defects such as knots and splits are more common here than fir, pine offers a number of advantages, including its lower cost. It is lightweight and flexible, making it very handy for use on curved surfaces. Pine trim will retain the shape of the surface to which it is attached.

Redwood: Like cedar, redwood (another northwest coast species) is highly weather and pest resistant. It also makes for beautiful trim and surfaces when properly finished. Redwood can be costly, but the good news is that it doesn’t take much to add to a building’s attractiveness.

Why Hire a Professional?

Installing some types of trim, such as baseboard, is not all that difficult, although cutting angles can present a challenge for inexperienced woodworkers. Crown moulding, exterior window trim and siding are best done by a seasoned professional. By making sure the job is done right, you can save money in the long run. When you are ready to install your wood trim or siding, contact Handyman Connection for a consultation and estimate.

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