So you've decided to replace your windows. You may be wondering, when getting new windows, should I replace the trim? In this article we'll explore how to decide whether it's the right time to replace your window trim.
When to replace exterior window trim
The first reason to opt for new window trim is if it has worn out and no longer looks presentable. Weather, moisture and insects can cause the trim to discolor, splinter and rot.
The second reason to replace window trim is if it no longer fits with the style of the windows and your home. Replacing your windows presents you with the opportunity to give your windows a complete makeover, upgrading to a more modern looking trim. However, if you have other windows in your home with the existing trim style that you are not planning to update, or if you like you trim style and are concerned about finding something similar – you may want to consider salvaging your trim for use around your newly installed windows.
You may be able to save money by getting the trim replaced at the same time the windows are replaced, if your contractor or manufacturer offers some kind of bundled package.
Choose window trim material carefully to make it last longer
If you do replace your trim, you'll want to know that some materials require more maintenance than others. Materials such as plastic or vinyl offer lower maintenance than wood or aluminum, and may need to be repainted far less often.
If you still prefer wood exterior trim for it’s classic style or historic appeal, make sure you are ready to commit to the upkeep. Paint or seal all sides of each piece of wood (including the side that will face the house) before installing it. This can help keep out moisture and insects for longer.
Do you need to replace interior trim?
So far, we've just focused on exterior trim, but what about interior trim? Interior window trim includes the mouldings (or molding) pieces that fit around the window frames, sometimes referred to as window casing. Window casings add the “finished” look to the interior of a window and come in many styles to match the look and feel of your home. Interior wood trim will typically not start breaking down as soon as exterior wood trim, because it is not exposed to the elements. If you are replacing your exterior trim with new trim that is the same style, you may decide to just leave the interior trim as it is - if it is still in good condition.
If you are upgrading to a more modern style, you will probably want to replace the interior trim as well, so that the entire window looks uniform. Also, if your new windows are a slightly different size than your previous windows, you may wish to upgrade your window trim to a wider window casing to help ensure there are no gaps.
The right window trim for your home
There are as many different styles of window trim as there are styles of houses. If you feel that your window trim no longer fits your style, or it is ready to be replaced, you should replace it with new trim that complements both your windows and the overall look of your home.