DIY Network

The Look of the House: Finishing the Exterior

With the brick, mortar, frieze and cement boards, aluminum trim and siding up, there are only a couple of details left to finishing the exterior of the Oberg house.

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medium density fiberboard is used as trim

  • Another new material — medium density fiberboard (MDF) — is used for trim around the front windows of the house. This product is manufactured to look like wood and it's much less expensive.

  • Unfortunately there were some problems when it came time to install the MDF on the Oberg house. The details on the house plan are confusing. If the plans are followed exactly the windows in the front won't match.

  • Troubleshooting: After poring over the plans, the site supervisor comes up with a solution he's sure will please the homeowners. They set the windows up to scale to mirror each other, no matter what were on the original plans.

  • With all of the exterior materials on the house, it looks done from the street, but there's one key step remaining to make sure all the exterior work lasts a long, long time. It's important that all the exterior materials blend together well, which is why the final step is to add caulking or flashing to the gaps between the materials (brick, aluminum, siding, etc.). Without the caulking or flashing or both, water can penetrate through the gaps into the home.

Windows and Doors

A rule of thumb concerning windows and doors is that they take up at least 10 to 15 percent of the cost of the home, which is why it's vital that homeowners do their homework and think long and hard when choosing both the doors and windows for their new home.

Lynn and Brad Oberg were involved in virtually every aspect of the design process for their new home. And when it came to designing the front door Brad had a novel idea, which was to take a French-wood hinge door that would typically be used off a patio or bedroom and use it as the entry door. He had some side lights and transom windows added around the door to create a unique, and beautiful, entranceway.



  • Bricks from PF Cook Brick Co. Inc.