How to I trim the exterior windows?

caroline94535August 9, 2009

Hi! I'm a lurker coming out to ask some window trim questions.

We have a very plain, old, home. Clean, dry, and serviceable. Nothing elegant or historical. Just a little house.

One of our first projects was to replace some of the windows. We installed new Marvin windows. They're metal clad on the outside and wood on the inside. I'm painting the inside white.

I've trimmed the inside of the windows with rosettes and fluted molding. I'm happy with them.

The outside is awful. They simply stuck the windows in. There is a small metal ridge between the windows and the steel siding. I'd like the outside of the windows to have a "frame", too. I have 14 more windows to replace. I want to fix this problem before we go any further.

How do I go about this; or where would I find instructions? We'd like something plain and simple, but with a wider or shaped top rail.

Outside view of a window. Taken in early spring and the dirt on the sill was blown on from the plowing. Wind and dust are a given here in North Dakota. I was in the process of washing windows when I took this photo.

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The term, "awful", seems a bit harsh. Unless you're planning some change in the siding, I'd leave the outside trim alone. The steel siding covers a flashing detail you won't easily change and I doubt you have any extra siding to do what you want on 15 windows.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 10:26PM
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Paint them a darker color, I suggest a dark brown.
And then add a matching pair of shutters.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 8:27AM
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Wow, your windows have more on the outside trim than most homes.

Steel siding, really? Aluminum siding wasn't even made in that color way back in the 70's. You have vinyl siding and the "small metal ridge between the windows and the steel siding" is there for a reason. It stops water from getting behind your siding.

On the window in your photo.. Every warranty has a maintenance clause. You didn't say how old the window is. In your photo the sill is either filthy or growing black mold.

Stop complaining about the J Channel and pay attention to keeping the black cleaned.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 9:15PM
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Thanks folks.

Ron You're right. This house was built before 1952 and and the tiny pieces of siding we found in the garage rafters wouldn't go around even one window.

ibpod I think you've hit the nail on the head. I've been looking at shutter and "top trim" options that can be added to the windows. Window boxes could also be added.

GammyT You gave me such a good chuckle. Yes, I assure you, even in this odd color, the siding is steel. Magnets stick to it. The siding is thick, ridged, and strong - without one nick or chip - so I can't justify tearing it off and putting up a beautiful seamless sage green or lemon yellow siding. We've not totally ruled out painting yet, though.

I'll assure you I clean the windows once a month. There is no mold on them. One block from my house is the end of the town and the beginning of 5,000+ acers of corn and wheat. The plows dig up the miles of land, then the afternoon prairie winds kick up and dirt is blown everywhere. I can't even open the north facing windows without most of it blowing right through the screens.

As I said, this photo was taken in early spring and the dirt on the sill was blown on from the plowing. Wind and dust are a given here in North Dakota.

Inside window trim after the first coat of paint.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 4:25PM
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