Exterior Architectural Mouldings

Enrich Your Home Exterior With Decoramould Architectural Moldings

Cornices. Dentils. Window Sills. Door Surrounds. Every day there are miles of pre-coated styrofoam moldings manufactured in various standard and custom decorative profiles. Lightweight and durable, 8 foot pieces of architectural moldings are easier to transport, install and finish seamlessly than pre-cast sills or wooden moldings. On top of that, architectural trim is impervious to warping, rotting, mold and infestation.

The advantage of pre-coated styrofoam mouldings are endless. Crisp, clean lines are extruded into each piece, providing consistency that wood simply cannot match. Architectural moldings are easily painted after being seamlessly joined to create countinuous architectural decor. The vast number of profiles allows each home owner to make their home unique and decorated to their tastes.

To match the needs of architects and contractors, decoramould offers over 100 different profiles of trim, accent pieces and decorative products. Moldings may also be custom cut to create a unique profile which is proprietary to a specific project.

In addition to adorning your windows with moldings, you may want to consider keystones at the top of your windows and doors, quoins for the corners and columns for posts. And, for those people who may not want to do all of their designign at one time, the moldings are easily adhered to EIFS, brick or stone surfaces to allow countinuued home improvements. The moldings are easily joined following a 5 step process: adhere, mesh, basecoat, sand, paint.

Decoramould offers thousands of possible combinations of decorative architectural elements to enhance the look of your home, in a style that suits your personal tastes.


EIFS vs. EFIS — What’s the Difference?

If you’ve looked into Stucco or EIFS you’ll know there’s  a slew of similar words and acronyms out there. It can all be a bit confusing, with lots of sites using either one version or the other — or both. Well, what’s the difference you ask? The answer of course, is both simple and complex.

The Stucco and EIFS industry are often intertwind, and the various wall claddings are sometimes hard to differentiate (if not downright impossible). But they generally fall into 2 categories (this is the simple version):

“Hard Coat” or “plaster” Stucco — Hard Coat Stucco refers to a thick (typically 3/8″) coat of a cementitious product with limestone over a metal lath (metal wire mesh). This is the traditional stucco seen on older houses with giant texture patterns (such as swirls).

Acrylic Stucco, Synthetic Stucco, EIFS or EFIS — EIFS stands for Exterior Insulation Finish Systems, while EFIS stands for Exterior Finish and Insulation Systems, the correct term being EIFS (according to the autorities that be, eifscouncil.org and eima.com). These terms refer to the insulated system involving an air-barrier, mechanical or (recommended) chemical adhesive, styrofoam, fiberglass mesh, a cementitious basecoat and an acrylic finish coat. Recently the term “Stucco” (without hardcoat or plaster in front of it) has been used to refer to EIFS as well, though is ambiguous and is worth clarifying.

For more information on telling them apart, visit: EIFS and Plaster Stucco Physical Differences.

Remember I mentioned it was simple AND complex? For the average home owner it would be enough to stop here so as to not confuse yourself. However, home inspectors and insurance agents are aware that there are more than these 2 simple categories, that there are in fact “hybrids”, systems not really one or the other, or an abomination trying to be both.

DAFS — Direct Applied Finish Systems are actually supported by EIFS manufacturers as a system not requiring styrofoam or an air-moisture barrier,  to be applied directly over concrete surfaces. It is comprised of the same mesh, a cementitious base coat and an acrylic finish coat used in EIFS, but applied like traditional stucco (directly over the surface, which can only be concrete in this case).

EIFS on top of Stucco — Some home owners (and the contractors are to blame here) errorneously put EIFS directly over Stucco. Although this would allow drainage of the EIFS, if any moisture or water got behind the stucco layer it would be trapped and could cause moisture damage — that is if it didn’t already exist. By removing the stucco layer (as should be done), the home owner and contractor would be able to see whether there was existing moisture damage which should be removed. Aside from being a bad building practice, hardcoat stucco is not a recommended substrate for EIFS (in  any of the manufacturers’ guidelines).

Hard Coat Stucco on top of EIFS — Many home owners who are afraid their home might have moisture damage due to the improper installation of EIFS (errorneously) opt to put Hard Coat Stucco over it. This is akin to putting a bandaid over a snakebite; you need to find out if the bite is poisonous (read: there are moisture problem due to poor installation procedures) and then fix the problem, not just cover it up. Even if there are no moisture problems, applying Hard Coat Stucco will only change the appearance, not improve the performance of the system. You will still have drainage behind the EIFS, but the EIFS is not designed to hold the weight of the Hard Coat Stucco it is forced to support. This may lead to delamination: your wall falling off.

There are various other systems which aren’t worth going into detail over (such as Hard Coat Stucco over styrofoam), but the important thing to remember is that if it doesn’t contain all the layers specified by EIFS manufacturer (and no extras!) then it is not a proper EIFS system.

TorontoStuccoContractor.com — Your Source For Everything EIFS

Posted in EIFS by Toronto Stucco on November 22, 2008

Here you will find the answers to everything you wanted to know about EIFS. The site is being developed to connect homeowners who wish to have their homes built or renovated with EIFS to qualified, pre-screened stucco contractors, and vice-versa

Benefits of EIFS

The growing popularity of EIFS is due to the fact that few, if any, competitive materials offer such a wide range of desirable product benefits. Chief among these are superior energy efficiency and virtually unlimited design flexibility.

Energy Efficiency

If you’ve ever felt the comfort of being wrapped in a warm blanket on a cold winter night, you have some idea of what EIFS can do for a home or building.

EIFS literally wrap the exterior in an energy-efficient thermal blanket. By insulating outside the structure, EIFS reduce air infiltration and escape, thereby stabilize the interior environment and reduce energy consumption.

By contrast, traditional “between-the-studs” insulation, no matter how thick, leaves “thermal breaks” — gaps where heat and cold pass more freely between the outdoors and the space within — at studs, wall outlets, wall joints, and elsewhere.

In fact, EIFS can reduce air infiltration by as much as 55% compared to standard brick or wood construction. And since walls are one of the greatest areas of heat and air conditioning loss, improving the wall insulation can result in significant savings in terms of energy expenditure.

What’s more, EIFS adds to the “R-value” of a home or building. (R-value is a measurement of the resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the better the material’s insulating value.) Most EIFS use insulation board with an R-value of R-4 to R-5.6 per inch as the innermost layer in the wall system. When combined with standard wall cavity insulation, this extra layer can boost wall insulation from R-11 to R-16 or more.

Another point to keep in mind on new construction: Due to the energy efficiency of EIFS, it may be possible to specify lower-capacity heating and air conditioning equipment, thereby decreasing costs without sacrificing anything in terms of interior comfort.

Design Flexibility

The rich appearance of EIFS bears a resemblance to stucco or stone, but the systems are far more versatile than these and other materials. Not only do EIFS come in virtually limitless colors and a wide variety of textures, but they also can be fashioned into virtually any shape or design.

With EIFS, skilled applicators can create all sorts of exterior architectural detailing that would often be cost-prohibitive using conventional construction — cornices, arches, columns, keystones, quoins, special moldings and decorative accents are but a few examples.

Most of this detailing is computer designed. The profiles are precision-cut out of insulation blocks, wrapped with a mesh for flexibility and additional strength, then coated with a cementitious (cement-like) layer using specialty equipment. This factory-controlled process provides consistency in the product which just is not possible on site. After the products are shipped to site, they are applied directly to the wall then coated with the finish coating.

Using this innovative process, EIFS applicators can give a striking, unique appearance to any building or residence.

Moulding Types and Their Uses

It isn’t uncommon to come upon a moulding company’s website and see their categories of mouldings and wonder: How do I select which one is right for me? This article will give you some understanding of why the mouldings are categorized how they are and which one is right for your goals. Although any profile can be used anywhere – and it comes down to personal taste in the end – some profiles are designed in a certain way to be most aesthetically pleasing and functional in their location.

Cornices are placed at the intersection of the wall and soffits. They are also known commonly as crown mouldings, and can aid in hiding the unsightly joint between the roof and wall.

Bands have a multitude of purposes in exterior design. They can be used to “break” a wall into sections for aesthetics sake, or along building joints to hide the unsightly joints.

Headers are placed over windows and doors. They are designed to accent the tops and assist in water management. They are commonly used in conjunction with keystones.

Trims are used around windows as a surround, or in a similar fashion to bands. They can run the entire length of the window, or more commonly just between the head and sill of one.

Sills are specifically designed for the base of windows, to help manage water in a presentable manner. They follow EIFS manufacturers’ specifications to ensure longevity.

Stone Sills are replacements for concrete sills. They are installed over stone or brick, giving a stone-capped look without the immense weight or cost.

Baseboards run along the bottom of buildings. They are placed where the EIFS terminates above ground level to provide a break in substrate and divert water from your building.

Pilasters give the look of strong columns embedded in walls. They are purely for decorative purposes and can an illusion of sturdiness.

Columns are designed to wrap around structural columns so as to look finished. Although providing no support themselves, they can give the building a look of grandeur.

Quoins are placed on the corner of buildings. They add a finish to building wall edges, and can look like traditional masonary without the associated cost or pre-planning.

Keystones add a focal point to headers and arches. Although serving no structural purpose, their presence has become commonplace over windows, doors and garages.