Download PDF version (412.2k) Log In or Register to view the full article as a PDF document.
For exterior trim, we'd all like to use clear verticalgrain, all-heartwood western red cedar or redwood. These materials have successfully protected homes for centuries. They resist decay, remain stable, hold paint well, and are a pleasure to work with. That's why they and a few other solid wood species account for 90% of the nonvinyl trim that builders install. Unfortunately, the supply of quality solid wood has been strained in the last few years, driving prices up and making it hard to find the "good stuff." As a result, builders are exploring engineered trim materials, including finger-jointed wood, laminated veneer lumber (LVL), hardboard, and fibercement panels. These materials hold great promise, but they have distinct characteristics that