Exterior trim cladding on arched windows

makinglemonadeApril 3, 2012

We are replacing windows with arched tops. They are currently wood with wood exterior trim.

We will be cladding the new trim with aluminum, and I'm wondering how the arch should be handled. Currently, our contractor is proposing the windows be 1/4" proud of the trim, to allow a bead of caulk to seal where two pieces of aluminum will meet to go around the arch.

I understand the method, and it sounds good in terms of seals, etc, however I am worried it will look strange with the windows out further than the trim.

Do you think this will look odd? Any other suggestions of how to clad the arch part of the trim and have the trim proud of the window?

Our home, over 100 years old, was damaged in a tornado and we have had to make so many decisions so quickly. So many updates we would have taken years to consider must be made now, and I fear we are acting rashly in order to finish and be able to go home. The reality is these changes will be in place for a long time, and I want to get it right. I have been hovering in these forums for months, and truly value the insight and experience of gardenweb members. This is my first post.

Any advice or experience would be truly appreciated.

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Whether the window is 1/4" out, or 1/4" back, here's the thing. You do not want to be 100% dependent on the caulking alone for the seal above the window. Especially a curved top window. Even silicone will separate with expansion and contraction of siding, windows and aluminum wraps. There is some extremely tenacious caulking available, and I would be sure to use only the very most advanced kind, especially above. But regardless of all that, you should not let this be installed without it being "drip capped", or flashed, up behind the siding 2 inches at least, then out and over the edge of the top of the window. If they are competent at their metal work, they should be able to figure this out and do it. It will be a pain in the neck and take extra time, but it really has to be done properly.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 1:36PM
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If I am understanding you correctly; you are replacing wood windows and wood trim with clad windows and clad trim. I am not sure why you don't order the window with the clad casing installed in the factory and install a drip cap around the casing in the field like WD talks about in the above post. Then you are not reliant on the caulking which will be a regular chore for you to monitor. Most of the major manufacturers offer a number of different clad casings so you should be able to find one to your liking. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 8:06PM
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+ one on both of the above's advice

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 8:29PM
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