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Tips for "Topping Off" Windows

Remodelers and builders looking to “jazz up" their next project by adding more curb appeal to the exterior of a home should consider polyurethane millwork window trim pieces. Made of lightweight, yet durable high density polyurethane, window crossheads and keystones add dimension and style to almost any style of home.

Created to “sit" on top of a window, a crosshead can span the distance of a single window or a set of mulled window units. One-piece crossheads are available up to 144-inches long from Fypon. For larger areas, two-piece units are available up to 288-inches.

“Installers should not ‘shy away’ from using a massive crosshead that comes in two pieces," according to Fypon installation expert, Steve Roth. “A keystone can be easily added to cover the seam between the two pieces. Ultimately, a keystone adds more dimension and character to the window surround."

For homes using dentil moulding as a design element near the fascia and porch areas, dentil trim can be added to the crosshead. Trim strips and bottom trim can also be added to give crossheads more character. Additionally, homes with significant space above the windows can use pediments over the crosshead. A variety of sunburst, peaked and spoked pediments are available from Fypon in more than 60 sizes to fit most windows.

“Builders and remodelers need to keep in mind the overall look of the home when installing trim pieces," says Roth. “It’s architecturally acceptable to install crossheads slightly wider than the window opening, as long as the overhang is even on both sides of the window. However, using a crosshead that is too small for the window seems disjointed and ruins the look of the home."

For those builders and remodelers concerned with gaining the perfect size dimension for window trim, Fypon recommends ordering crossheads in an oversized width and then custom creating the piece on the job site.

“Custom sized pieces are fast and easy to create," says Roth. “Take the desired width of the crosshead and divide the dimension in half. This measurement represents the width of each side of the crosshead. Next, measure from the right of the crosshead breastboard the ‘half’ dimension. Mark the measurement with a pencil and framing square. Do the same from the left side of the crosshead breastboard. Cut the crosshead at the pencil marks. The center portion of the crosshead will be scrap material.

“Place the right and left crosshead pieces on top of the window, aligning the outer edge of the crosshead breastboard with the outer edge of the window. Securely fasten each crosshead through the breastboard using quality polyurethane millwork adhesive and the necessary fasteners. Then, to cover the seam at the center of the crosshead, overlay a keystone in the center and attach it."