Makeover by Defining Exterior Window and Trim Treatments

by Jessica Ackerman

There are several ways you can give your home a makeover, including painting, decorating the front porch, and taking care of damage in the siding and other areas. One simple way to change the look of your home’s exterior is to attend to the window and trim treatments, details which can significantly enhance the elegance and style of the exterior.

Types of trim

Different types of trim are available to suit the particular look you wish to create for your home. The designs can be contemporary or traditional and can be added as focal points of the house exterior. They range from simple bands that create visual separation, to elaborate columns that flank a large window. You can have the moldings custom made to fit the width and shape of your windows or doors.

Sills, bands, cornices, and trim are molding that can be attached around windows or doors. Sills are used on the bottom edge of windows, while bands can be used on the exterior wall to add interest and style. On the windows themselves, grids or window grills are good for creating divisions on the window pane. Cornices extend above and around a window, and work best if they are designed with an angled top to allow rainwater to drain off. Avoid trim with a wide, flat surface, which can collect rainwater and lead to water damage. When similar trim is used on different windows of the house, it creates continuity, which pulls the whole look together.

Pilasters, columns, entrance pediments, and crossheads are other types of exterior trim which tend to be more ornate. They are ideal if you want to create a classic or Renaissance look for your home. Shutters are great for a cottage-style home, or if you want a more traditional look. Shutters come in different styles and sizes and can add distinctive personality to the exterior.

Use colors and finishes

Take into account the architecture, style, and color of your home exterior when selecting window and trim treatments. Most treatments can be coated with your choice of color and texture. Colors that contrast with the exterior siding color highlight the trim and provide definition to the windows. On the other hand, colors that are only a couple of shades lighter or darker than the siding color allow the windows to blend in with the façade. Additionally, paint finishes that have the look of aged copper or other expensive metals can work well with a certain style.

Consider weather-resistant materials

Since the window and trim treatments are exposed to sun, rain, wind, and snow, it is important to choose materials that will withstand these elements. Vinyl trims are durable, easy to clean, and are attractive as they are without a coating of paint. Synthetic fibers or composites substitute for materials like wood, which has greater potential for damage like cracking and rotting. Some composites look as good as the real thing and are far more durable. Select the material for your treatments that coordinates with the look of your home.