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Replacing door, window trim with watertight seals

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Q: My 18-year-old, two-story house has exterior stucco that is in good shape. But the doors and windows are trimmed in rough-sawn, painted one-by-fours, some of which have begun to rot. Not only is the type of trim a bit dated, but it's also beginning to affect the appearance of the house. What are my alternatives for replacing the trim, and how do I make sure that I will have a good water barrier around the windows? A: You must replace the rotted wood trim, but we think you should try to maintain the architectural integrity of the home. We would replace the rotted trim with one-by-fours, but we wouldn't necessarily go with rough-sawn boards, and we would consider dolling up the trim with "plant-ons," a slang term for decorative molding applied to flat trim, giving the finished product a more interesting look. Whether you opt to create a new look or to modify the old, here's how to do it: First, thoroughly prime all four sides of the new trim. "Back-priming" reduces the risk of ro...