Keystones undoubtedly add some character to your window trim, but some care does need to be taken when selecting which one to have installed. A keystone that is too small won’t fit properly into the trim, leaving a portion of it exposed. A keystone that is too large (as seen below) on the other hand, can be disproportionately large and also look out of place.

A keystone that is obviously too large for the trim that "contains" it.

The key question (get it?) then is, how do you select the right size? As a rule of thumb, keystones should be 2-3″ larger than the trim they’re being fit into. This becomes difficult with smaller window trims that are only 4″ in size like Trim 001, and in such cases I have seen contractors actually cut the bottom 3″ off a keystone so that it is height proportionate. Don’t forget to re-apply the cementitious coating after doing this.

Jul 132011

While windows are typically trimmed with the same profile around the entire window (or top + 2 sides + sill), another popular option is to simply add a piece of trim to the top of a window, otherwise known as a “Window Header”. Window headers are less expensive than trimming an entire window because only 1/4th of the moldings are required, but still make a big difference in the overall appearance of a building.

Window headers usually incorporate some sort of keystone into the middle so as to avoid looking overly “plain”. They typically extend slightly past the width of the window, and side-trim if present.

Any of Decoramould’s Window Trims, Window Sills and Wall Moldings are usable as a window header. Size needs to be determined carefully so that the header is not too large for a window. Generally:

  • Windows under 4′ width shouldn’t use any piece of molding larger than 6″ in height
  • Windows above 4′ width look good with moldings between 6″ and 9″ in height
  • Very large windows can get away with moldings upwards of 12″

Using a Decoramould product with a large, flat top to it is generally not recommended for Window Headers, as rain/snow and other precipitation tends to pool on top, causing damage over time.

May 112011
Everyone once in a while an… odd colour will pop up in such a way that it actually looks great. It takes a great design mind, or an experienced contractor to know what will and will not work.

Taking the time to paint that kind of detail into medallions takes hours. Medallions are very detailed pieces that take time to paint just a single color because of the tiny niches and details, but to go over it a second time with another color is a sign of careful planning and care. The gold color is not overdone, it’s used as an accent to the medallion that matches the same color of the wall itself. The effect is a “glistening” wall feature that is sure to catch the attention of anybody who passes by.

The medallion has also taken the place of the traditional keystone that is typically seen inserted into the window trim itself. Positioned over the center of the window, it is a purely aesthetic feature that distinguishes the building from those around it – and really other stucco projects in general.

While the light beige is a commonly seen on stucco projects and is actually overdone, using unique architectural elements like the medallions, aesthetic reveals, columns and column capitals can help add distinction to a project. Typically these architectural details are painted a solid color that is a few shades lighter or darker than the wall itself, but as this project shows, adding shading detail will go a long way. Careful consideration during the design stage of Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems can help architects, builders and home owners avoid the “cookie cutter” look that has become so prevalent with the EIFS industry.

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