A Better Board
If you need to refurbish the exterior trim on your home, you have two choices. Either scrape, sand and repaint the existing boards - and be prepared to repeat the job relatively soon. Or replace the old trim with a better-quality product. The second option takes longer and costs more up front but saves time and trouble down the road. That's the route we chose in replacing the pine corner boards on this house with Georgia-Pacific's PrimeTrim engineered lumber. It's made of wood fibers mixed with resins and pressed into 16-ft. planks. It comes preprimed, and is backed for 10 years against rot, delamination and swelling (see resources, left). PrimeTrim comes in 4/4-in. (actual: 5/8-in.) and 5/4-in. (1-in.) thicknesses and six widths (3 1/2 to 11 1/4 in.). For this job, we replaced 3 1/2-in.-wide pine boards with 5/4-in.-thick x 5-in.-wide PrimeTrim. The wider boards make the trim more prominent and help emphasize the facade. The material is also affordable: A 16-ft.-long 5/4x5 plank costs about 82 cents per linear foot, compared with $1.50 to $2 per linear foot for 5/4x4 cedar, redwood or sugar pine and 70 cents per linear foot for No. 2 white pine.
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