The exterior door trim on your front door is one of the most important parts of a home. It’s regularly used by family and guests, and it’s usually visible from the street. So it plays an important role in the home’s curb appeal and appearance. But while the door itself is usually the feature that gets the most attention, the door and its appearance isn’t complete without the trim.
The exterior door trim frames the door and helps enhance its appearance, while also covering the spacing for the siding. Done correctly, door trim can make a door look more substantial and a bigger part of the home’s facade, drawing and capturing the eye.
At the same time, however, poor quality door trim can have a negative impact on the facade appearance. If the trim begins to rot, split, or become home to insects, it’s going to ruin the look of the whole home exterior. Especially since the door is one place where you’re going to get an up close look at the trim on a regular basis.
There are a lot of different trim products on the market for use around exterior doors. But not all are going to perform or look the way that you want. This guide is intended to help you make the right choice for your next exterior door trim project.
Style and Appearance
Style and the way that the trim will look is something that most homeowners are going to be asking about when it comes to trimming their front door. This is particularly true if the trim is designed to help call attention to the door or enlarge its appearance. Thoughtful decorative trim area around the door will help create a more welcoming are for the home entry.
Most exterior door trim material come in a range of sizes, which is the first consideration. So you want to make sure that if you’re creating a decorative trim that you have varying sizes available of the same material. This will assist you to mix, match, and piece together and create a great design.
Different Material Makes A Difference
The way that the trim looks interacting with the door and the siding plays an equally important role. Materials like vinyl trim, which are plastic, might have a wood grain appearance. But they also have less appealing molded edges that can detract from the appearance of the door. This is why many builders choose to use wood trim for the door. Even if the rest of the home is clad in vinyl or other siding material.
Likewise, aluminum and steel trims may be available, but they often develop a chalky paint surface over time. Which detracts from their appearance. Combined, these facts make it difficult for metal trim with a wood-look grain that looks right for the design.
Natural wood trim is a great material; Very versatile, available in multiple sizes, and able to be painted to match any siding. Keep in mind, however, that you need to select a wood that will resist insect activity and rot. Cedar is one option, but this often has issues with bleed-through, staining the color of the trim. Using a preservative-treated trim that has been pre-primed like Belco’s XT trim will give you the appearance and performance you need.
Durability in Exterior Door Trim
The exterior door trim surrounding the front door needs to be able to hold up to years of use. It gets closer scrutiny than the trim used elsewhere on the home. You need to be able to ensure that it will not rot or invite termites over time.
Materials like vinyl often warp in hot weather. Also becoming brittle and crack in cold weather. With placement directly next to the front door, you’re going to notice these issues if they arise. This means problems for the homeowner, and callbacks for you to troubleshoot and fix the problem.
Cedar is a popular choice for trim because it resists rot, insect activity and is lightweight. But it has limited durability compared to cedar of the past. When used by the front door; you will see nicks and gouges over time because the wood is soft and susceptible to abuse. Homeowners carrying large or bulky items through the door will bang the trim surrounding the exterior door. And cedar is going to show those dents and nicks right away.
Opt instead for a trim that’s been treated for better durability, as well as for insect- and rot-resistance. It will hold its appearance longer, which translates into happier customers.
Ease of Installation
Don’t overlook the fact that trim can really only accomplish its goals if it’s properly installed. That means looking for materials that are going to be versatile, durable, and easy to cut and work with.
While materials like fiber cement are more durable than other trim material, they can be very difficult to work with. The fiber cement trim material is heavy and requires taking special precautions and special tools for installation. Likewise, metal trims tend to be harder to work with and require special equipment as well.
Wood trim like cedar need to be primed prior to installing in order to help prevent staining. This is an extra step that adds time and money to the installation. It’s one that frequently gets overlooked, resulting in callbacks.
By choosing an exterior door trim that’s been pre-primed, ready for painting and installation. Wood trim doesn’t require any special tools. You can help make the job go easier with the right material. Overall, requiring less time and therefore, less money if using handyman labor. Belco’s XT trim comes pre-primed and is easy to cut and install, so the job can goes quickly and smoothly.
Ideally, you want the exterior door trim around the front door to have options for creating a decorative door trim. But also for the ability to match the trim on the rest of the property. Trim material that has multiple options for width and length offer the most versatility for installation of you design. As well as matching components for areas like fascia and other exterior trim. If you are only doing the door but want to leave options open for the future; it helps to use a single trim material that can cover all areas.
Choose a Better Exterior Door Trim
There are a lot of materials on the market for door trim. But not all will provide the same results. Some will limit your options while others are going to result in callbacks. Belco’s XT trim will give you the performance and appearance you’re looking for. So you can get your job done right every time.