Guide for Contractors [Updated 2024]

Cost to Install Exterior Trim

Looking to upgrade your home's exterior trim? Our comprehensive guide has got you covered. Find detailed information on costs, step-by-step installation instructions, and valuable tips for purchasing the right materials. Transform your home's appearance with confidence and ease.

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Cost Breakdown

Item DescriptionQuantityUnit of MeasureUnit PriceTotal Price
Pressure Treated Trim Boards500Linear Feet$1.50$750.00
Exterior Paint4Gallons$35.00$140.00
Paint Brushes2Items$15.00$30.00
Labor Cost24Hours$45.00$1080.00
Delivery Charges1Flat Rate$60.00$60.00

Estimate Assumptions

This cost estimate for installing exterior trim is based on several key assumptions and average market prices. The trim require is estimated at 500 linear feet, with pressure treated trim boards priced at $1.50 per foot. Exterior paint cost is for 4 gallons, which will vary based on the selected brand and color. Paintbrush costs are estimated for two high-quality brushes. Labor cost is based on an estimated 24 hours of work at $45.00 per hour, a rate that varies by region and the expertise level of the contractor. Delivery charge is included as a standard cost. It's important to note that these figures are illustrative; actual costs can vary based on local market rates, material quality, and other factors. Additional costs such as removal of old trim or any necessary repairs are not present in this estimate.

Project Timeline

The estimated timeline for completing an exterior trim installation project is approximately one to two weeks. This includes time for material acquisition, preparation, installation, painting, and finishing touches. The actual timeline may vary depending on the client's schedule, the complexity of the work, and any unforeseen challenges that may arise during the renovation process. It is advisable to discuss the timeline in detail with your client to ensure that it aligns with their expectations and their schedule.

Installing Exterior Trim: A Comprehensive Guide for Residential Contractors

Welcome to our in-depth guideline on installing exterior trim - a hands-on resource exclusively curated for residential contractors. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of exterior trim in a construction project, the various options available, and provide a step-by-step installation guide. We will also share insightful professional tips to ensure successful completion of your installation projects.

The Significance of Installing Exterior Trim

Exterior trim is more than just an esthetic addition to a property; it also serves functional purposes. Here are some compelling reasons to consider this aspect within your projects:

  • Boosting Aesthetic Appeal: Exterior trim can significantly enhance a home's visual appeal. This well-thought-out architectural feature distinguishes a property by adding character and distinctiveness.
  • Increasing Property Value: Professionally installed exterior trim can contribute to the overall value of the property and make it more attractive to potential buyers.
  • Protecting the Structure: The trim offers protection by closing gaps in the construction, preventing water intrusion, and acting as a shield against weather conditions.
  • Maintenance Ease: Trim is often constructed from durable materials, reducing maintenance needs and ensuring longevity.

Recognizing these advantages, installing exterior trim is not only essential for the structural integrity and visual appeal of a property but also a wise choice in terms of long-term maintenance and value addition.

Varieties of Exterior Trim

As a contractor, understanding the various types of exterior trim will help you to offer tailored solutions to your clients. Examining the top three choices:

  • Wood Trim: Classically elegant, wood trim is a popular choice for houses with a traditional style. Two types primarily dominate the market – solid wood and engineered wood. While solid wood is renowned for its sturdiness, engineered wood is built to resist weather damage and shrinking.
  • Fiber Cement Trim: Resistant to termites, rot, and fire, fiber cement trim offers exceptional durability. It matches aesthetic versatility with long lifespan and needs little maintenance.
  • PVC Trim: PVC or vinyl trim is perfect for areas exposed to intense moisture. Besides being resistant to rot and insects, they don't warp or deteriorate with time.

Each of these choices has distinctive pros and cons. Wood trims lend a natural and classic look but require more maintenance. Fiber cement outshines in durability and resistance, while PVC is the go-to choice for water-prone settings. As a contractor, your responsibility is to provide the best recommendation based on the property's characteristics, client's needs, and budget.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Exterior Trim

Installing exterior trim demands precision, time, and care. The following steps should guide you through the process:


Start the process by measuring the window or door where the trim is intended to go. Taking accurate measurements is vital for the fit of the trim.

Cutting the Trim

After taking the measurements, cut the pieces of trim accordingly. Remember to account for the additional length needed to create miter joints at the corners.

Mounting the Trim

Begin mounting the trim from the bottom. Use a level to ensure the trim is straight then secure it using nails or screws. The top piece should be the last one installed, overlapping the side pieces to form a weathertight seal.

Sealing and Caulking

Once the trim is installed, seal the corners and around the trim edges, where they meet the wall siding, with a high-quality exterior caulk.

Finishing Touches

After the caulk dries, it's time for painting. Paint not only enhances appeal but also provides an additional layer of protection to the wood.

Professional Tips for Successful Installation

To ensure top-quality results in exterior trim installation, here are some pro tips to remember:

  • Choosing the Right Tools and Materials: Quality tools and materials can make the installation process faster and promising. Invest in good-quality nails or screws, a solid trim material, and durable exterior paint.
  • Solving Common Challenges: Educate yourself on common issues like warped trim, incorrect measurements, or water damage. Knowledge about these pitfalls allows for quick resolution during installation.
  • Ensuring Longevity: Suggest clients carry out regular maintenance like painting and checking for damage. Trims can last longer if taken care of properly.
  • Client Satisfaction: Maintaining an open line of communication with clients is crucial. Understanding their expectations and keeping them updated on the project's status can lead to client satisfaction and potentially more contracts in the future.

By adhering to these pointers, you can ensure a quality finish that meets both your and your client's expectations.


In essence, exterior trim installation is a valuable service that residential contractors can cater to. It not only enhances the property's beauty and value but also protects the building. Remember to consider the unique challenges of each project and choose the highest quality tools and materials available. Your proficiency bundled with attention to detail will result in an architectural masterpiece that satisfies your clients and demonstrates your accomplished craftmanship.

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