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Top-Down Installation

The first step in fitting the trim was framing the gable overhangs. We ripped the ladder stock from 2x8s, assembled the ladders on the ground, and installed them with TimberLok screws. For the PVC trim, we followed the same installation sequence we had used for the mockups, starting at the gable peak and working down to the eaves.


Overhang ladders ripped from 2x8s attach to the gable with TimberLok screws.


Since it’s mitered at both ends, the carpenters work the PVC trim from the ridge down in sections.


Seams are glued with Bond&Fill.

We glued the joints with Bond&Fill SlowCure (877/822-4615;, a sandable waterproof adhesive made for use with PVC trim.

At the eaves, we temporarily tacked the fascia and crown in place, letting them run long so we could establish the eaves soffit line. We then framed the eaves soffits, using jet blocks, just as we had done with the mockup.

Bird Box

Once the soffit elevation was established, we could frame the cornice return, a distinctive feature of this trim style that seems to go by many names; Dave calls it the “bird box.” The length of the box is somewhat arbitrary — whatever looks “right” relative to the rake and frieze above and the corner board below it. The frieze elements under the eaves wrap around the top of the corner board and return to the wall below the cornice, suggesting a column capital.


Shims at the back provide a slight slope to the cornice return’s cap.


After the return is finished, the bottom section of the rake soffit can be installed.

Once the eaves framing and bird box were in place, we installed the PVC soffit boards on the eaves and the box, followed by the face trim and cornice top. We ripped the top of the cornice from a piece of 1x12, installing it with just enough slope to allow for runoff.


The eaves frieze wraps the corner and works in conjunction with the cornice to create the illusion of a capital over the corner board “column”.


Lead flashing caps the cornice, and the rake frieze dies on top.

We then installed the bottom section of the rake soffit board, which we fitted to the sloped angle of the cornice top, sealing the joint with Bond&Fill. The rake frieze lands on top of the cornice, over a piece of lead flashing.

The flat crown extends the edge of the roof considerably forward of the rafter tails, so we added triangular nailing blocks behind it and brought the roof sheathing to its back edge. The roofing was an architectural-grade asphalt shingle, but instead of applying a metal drip edge, we used pressure-treated red cedar shingles so as not to detract from the crown.

Trevor Kurz is president of Kurzhaus Designs in Orleans, Mass.