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Trimming the Roofline

Clean lines and durable details depend on careful framing and a systematic installation sequence

Trimming a roofline can be done minimally, but Rhode Island builder John Spier prefers to go an extra step by using larger overhangs, elegant returns, and other exterior-trim details to make a house (or even an outbuilding) more attractive. To make sure that the trimwork will last, Spier makes sure that the framing is solid, and not bowed or out of square. He also adds detailing such as felt paper or peel-and-stick flashing to prevent water from getting behind trim or siding. He also builds the trim elements to prevent water infiltration. Spier dresses up corners by using box returns with flush fascias, tight miter joints, and a double rake detail. This article includes sidebars on why Spier prefers to nail by hand rather than use a framing nailer, and also his thoughts on the right places to use PVC trim.

Trimming the Roofline

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