In recent conversation between a homeowner and a Toronto Stucco Contractor, we took a deeper look at the flat vs. non-flat moulding debate and even did a 3D rendering for visual effect.
The image on the left is an example of a tower with non-flat mouldings. The image on the right is the exact same rendering except we used a flat moulding to dress up the windows.
If you’re looking to add exterior stucco mouldings to your home/building, take a look at both and see for yourself. Then read on to see our comparison between the two.
Exterior stucco mouldings have come a long way since their inception. Gone are the days where your options were limited to flat and square step mouldings. Instead, the technology now available allows manufacturers to offer a variety of shapes. With this comes aesthetic value, answering the call for curb appeal. And really, that’s what it’s about. Non-Flat exterior mouldings add an extra element of depth and dimension that flat mouldings can’t provide. And as you can probably tell from the images above, the non-flat version, trim and sill included, simply look better. AESTHETICS WINNER: NON-FLAT MOULDINGS
But everything has a price attached to it. Here’s a basic comparison from a leading exterior moulding manufacturer;
1 x 4 flat moulding trim: $2.95 per linear foot
1 x 4 non-flat moulding trim: $3.60 per linear foot
Not a huge difference but still less expensive. An average window spans 4′ high by 3′ wide, making the total linear footage of 11′ (4′ left side + 4′ right side + 3′ top). For a flat moulding, the cost would be $32.95. Non-flat would run you $39.60, a difference of $6.65. COST WINNER: FLATS, by a hair
If you read our previous post on Budgeting for Stucco Trim, the cost to install your mouldings is equal to the amount spent on your mouldings. If you purchased $100 of material, it would be $100 to have them installed. Going back to our example of our 4′ x 3′ window, again, the difference to install would be $6.65. INSTALLATION WINNER: FLATS, by a hair
Techincally, flats have won our case demonstration by a small score of 2-1. But is an extra $6.65 worth extra curb appeal. Only you can decide that but here are some cost saving tips when it comes to purchasing exterior mouldings.
FOCUS ON VISIBLE SIDES OF YOUR HOME/BUILDING…
…meaning give extra attention to the parts of your home that deserve it, and less attention to those that don’t. The front of your home definitely requires more thought since it’s visible to everyone. But does the side of your home need the same treatment if no one can see it? Probably not. Do you do a lot of entertaining in your backyard? Do you have a corner lot with 2 highly viewable areas?
Save money by using non-flat mouldings in the visible areas, and flat mouldings on the not-so visible areas.You’ll still get curb appeal where you need it and help out your pocketbook where you don’t.
USE A HORIZONTAL HEADER with FLAT VERTICALS…
Not only is this a moulding money saver but it’s also a unique look, different from common picture frame windows where the same trim surrounds each side.
IN OUR OPINION
Go with non-flat mouldings where you can. Flat exterior mouldings are widely used among mass sub-division homes, quite common considering one site can have upwards of 1000+ windows. While it may cost you a little extra, you’ll get maximum curb appeal and a greater sale value if and when you decide to put your home on the market.
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