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Home > Products > Porches - START HERE! > ONLINE PORCH GUIDE > Installation of Porch Parts > Actual Installation > Decorative Trim

Decorative Trim Installation

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We define porch Decorative Trim as the Spandrels, Brackets, Running Trims, and other items that are traditionally used at the tops of porch posts, under porch eaves, etc.
See Porch Eave Decorations.

Wood Screws
We prefer the use of wood screws for mounting all Decorative Trim. Predrilling screw holes entirely through the item and then fastening into place with slender wood screws is the most professional approach. Brass or plated screws will avoid rust stains. Use of a pan head screw allows the screw head to be left permanently exposed. This avoids the need to countersink and to fill screw holes. Also, the screw head is readily accessible for future removal of items for painting or repair.

A Test Hole
Use an electric drill (inexpensive models are available at any discount or hardware store). Select a drill bit size that will just permit the screw to pass through a test hole (in a scrap of wood) without using a screwdriver. This avoids placing stress on the item to be installed.

If you're using Spandrels above corner Brackets, the Spandrels should be installed first.

Check for Fit
Hold each Spandrel into its intended position, verifying that it fits properly. Do not force your Spandrels into position. This is particularly important for our Fretwork Spandrels (those styles with integral cutwork.)

As we discussed previously, it is natural for wood to expand or contract. Fortunately, the length is the least affected dimension, due to the internal cell structure. Therefore, the overall length should be very close to what you ordered. If, using a steel tape, your received measurement is off appreciably from what you ordered, we've made an error. In that case, please call us immediately!

Simple Adjustments
However, minor fitting problems can be easily corrected. If slightly short, it's quite simple to cut shims of scrap wood. These should be the same length and width as the end of the Spandrel. Call if you need us to send appropriate material for making your shims. Use a shim at both ends to minimize the thickness required.

If your Spandrel is slightly long, you can try using very rough sandpaper on the ends. Also, if a Spandrel has been subjected to excess humidity, it will expand in length! You will find that several days storage in a warm, dry place will shorten it noticeably.

Using a properly sized drill bit, as discussed previously, drill holes entirely through the top frame of the Spandrel. Holes should be several inches from each end, and approximately every three feet along the length of the Spandrel. It may be necessary to drill these holes at an angle, particularly when the Spandrel frames are moulded. Typically, a single screw close to the lower end of each end frame (if your Spandrels have end frames) will be adequate fastening along the sides. Drill these holes now.

Spandrels without end framing do not readily permit use of a screw in the ends of the bottom frame. Rather, you can place a spot of glue on the ends of these bottom frame ends during installation. Usually this suffices. If an occasional end of a bottom frame insists on warping out of line, use a very small screw here, predrilling from the bottom of the frame at an angle and screwing it to the Porch Post (or building wall.)

Typically, Spandrels are centered front to back on the unturned faces of the Posts. After predrilling, screw Spandrels into position, working from one end of each spandrel to the other. This allows you to straighten the Spandrel if it is slightly bowed. Again, do not force your Spandrels into position, as damage may result.

If you are installing Brackets, you should predrill them.

Framed Brackets
For Framed Brackets, one screw near the ends of both top and side frames is usually sufficient. A spot of glue, applied to the back of the frame near the corner will keep the Bracket stabilized. If mounted below the Spandrels, the Bracket's top frame screw should go up into the bottom frame of the Spandrel. Drill your Framed Bracket holes now, and install all of your Brackets.

Unframed Brackets
For unframed Brackets, hold one into position. Also, hold a screw in front of the Bracket, sighting the line the screw must take to adequately penetrate the Post or wall. Mark with a pencil the angle that your hole must follow to allow proper screw placement. Repeat for each screw required. Usually, one screw at each end is sufficient, with a spot or two of glue to hold the Bracket firmly into the corner.

Carefully predrill one unframed Bracket. This drilling will be much easier and more accurate if the Bracket is held in a vice, but be sure to protect the Bracket from vice marks. After predrilling, screw the first Bracket into place. If all appears well, proceed to predrill and install your other unframed Brackets.

Running Trims
Normally, Running Trims are predrilled and screwed directly into place. Running Trims can be butted end to end and/or trimmed to fit.

We are available by phone or email for free personalized consultation.

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