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Inspiration5 min

How to Choose Trim & Siding Widths

Have you ever been particularly enamored by one house and rather ambivalent toward another-even though they look practically the same? One reason for this could be the different combinations of lap siding and trim widths, which helps create a distinctive and more appealing aesthetic for the home. How does a builder choose siding width and exterior window trim width? Let’s take a look at trim and siding width options and how to choose both. 

What Widths Does Siding Come In?

Engineered wood siding measurements depend on the manufacturer. Some companies offer just one or two widths of lap siding.

LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding helps bring your home's aesthetic to life with a combination of beauty and durability. For a standard siding width, 5,84-inch width lap siding is typically a go-to option. LP SmartSide Lap Siding widths include the standard 5,84-inch, plus 6,84-inch, 7,84-inch and 11,84-inch sizes (options may vary among select products). This impressive variety lets builders and homeowners customize an individual look.

What Width Siding Should I Use?

Drive around your favorite developments and you'll see how exterior lap siding can impact the home's curb appeal. When choosing the best siding width for your customers' homes, start by considering the overall scale and home style.

For example, many traditional home styles, whether they're built by a custom builder or a premier development, use the standard 5,84-inch width lap siding. Because it's so common, this aesthetic has proven timeless and quite popular. Many builders install narrower exterior wood lap products on homes with a smaller footprint, such as a cozy cottage, ranch or Cape Cod-style home.

In contrast, large modern and contemporary home styles clad in nearly 12-inch-wide lap siding lend a stately and confident presence to the home. On large two-story houses, a skinny lap often creates too many lines and makes for a busy, fussy aesthetic.

Another timeless look is board and batten style siding. Whether it's installed across the home's exterior or used in the gable to create visual interest, there are a variety of board and batten style siding width options.

For example, you can install LP SmartSide Vertical Siding with either thin or wide battens. Another pleasing appearance that looks very custom is to alternate thin and wide battens or install thinner batten strips on top of wider battens.

What Widths Does Trim Come In?

It's really quite amazing how different trim widths can change the curb appeal and personality of a home. Trim is an excellent tool to highlight architectural features of an exterior and create that eye-catching contrast homeowners are looking for. Depending on the manufacturer, trim is available in a variety of widths.

For durability, beauty and variety, choose LP SmartSide Trim. It's available in dozens of sizes and widths, from less than 2 inches wide to nearly 11-1/2 inches wide (options vary among select products). With this much variety, you can customize an aesthetic that is limited only by your imagination and vision.

Guidance for Helping Clients Choose Siding Width and Trim Sizes

Choosing just the right aesthetic and color combinations to create a dream home can be overwhelming to your clients with all the other decisions they must make on finishes, fixtures and other details.  

Joe Nitti, partner at Nitti Development, has been building homes for several decades and has cultivated a way to keep selections organized and clients less overwhelmed.

The process begins early in the planning stages. With his architects and designers he carefully studies past buyer behavior, new trends in house siding, and emerging outside color ideas

"Each development has four or five elevations and each floor plan has four or five combination choices. These options include lap siding color, window trim, roof colors and all the exterior details," says Nitti.

"I have so many amazing packages that we've done, so we took the most popular and color-coded them. That way, if the homeowner likes B22 color package, for example, they can go over to the Bertram subdivision, lot 22, and see how it looks in real life with the same roof color, same trim and siding options, and same color combination," says Nitti. "It really helps them a lot."

Trending Lap and Trim Combinations

Nitti says one of his most popular floor plans is the traditional-style home, which features LP SmartSide Lap Siding in the standard 5,84-inch width and board and batten style in the gables. It also features corbels in the bump-outs. Another popular elevation, the Nantucket, showcases heavier, more substantial board and batten style siding with contrasting porch railings.

LP SmartSide Trim gives Nitti the versatility to create custom looks that appeal to his clients. "We treat our modern farmhouse a bit differently. It's really sleek. The farmhouse style trim around the windows is a thin four inches all around. Then we add an eight-inch LP SmartSide trim piece to the top header," says Nitti. "People fall in love with it."  

Nitti has found adding a heavier window trim to the top of the window really makes a big statement. "It really pops," he said. "It's a much prettier home when you use wider trim to accentuate the architectural details."

Not sure which trim and siding combinations to recommend to your clients? Explore the options with the LP® SmartSide® Home Visualizer and get more ideas from our inspiration gallery.

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