Exterior Trim Repairs

By Robert Robillard on Home Repairs And Remodeling

Repairing Rotted Wood Trim

This is the house was in desperate need pf exterior trim repairs.  The exterior is approximately 16 years old and has begun to rot and wear out from the sun beating on it.

From the ground it appeared the paint was flaking and needed touching up. But once we were close to the trim and prodding it with our nail punches it became quickly apparent that there was rot and more than we expected!

Most of the rot was found at the roofs edge where the trim was installed too low and at points – touching the roof. It’s always best to leave some space off the roof. This allows for the woods end grain to stay dryer and allows for painters to get in there.

I try to keep most wood off the roofing 3/4″ or more.

Seams and board edges where end grain soaks up moisture are usually the first to rot.

The right side rake trim was rotted at the end. Splicing such a small rake board, at the front entry of a house is an aesthetic no-no. We stripped this and the smaller board back to the ridge and installed new, pre-primed boards.

We took special cautions to prime all of the end grain and any cut edges to keep out moisture.

Rake trim and right corner board below removed.

The window round-top trim board was rotted at both seams. We ended up replacing 60% of this dormers trim / siding and about 40% on the left dormer trim .

Street view.

Staging this roof with roof jacks and my 12′ foot expandable aluminum plank made access so much safer and easier.

The round window below was made originally out of plywood and painted. I’ve never seen this before and can only assume that the builder forgot to order the window trim or decided that it was too expensive. CDX grade plywood is not meant for use as trim.

I ended up fabricating new round-top trim from 3/4″ Azek pvc trim and installed it with stainless steel nails.

Replacing the clapboards on the South side. This side gets baked by the sun and between the sun drying out the clapboards and the end grain touching the roof where it soaked up moisture the clapboard ends were all rotted and split at the roofs edge.

The dormers were finished and now await prep and paint from Mark O’Lalor at O’Lalor Painting Company.

Bill checking the front living room window. All of the plywood curved trim was rotted as was a few vertical trim boards.

Laying out the pvc trim board prior to cutting the curve.

Checking for fit by laying it over the old plywood trim.

The front of the house is finished and now we plan to move clock wise around this house looking for and replacing rot.

~ concord carpenter

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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