Slapping Some Lipstick On A Pig

I like this saying. Basically, even if you put lipstick on a pig and snazz it up it is still a pig. You know, now that I write this it sounds a bit misogynistic of me so please forgive me. How does this relate to DIY and home maintenance? In this particular situation I’m referring to the “trim” that some builders use on newer built homes. It looks like wood but is far from it in my opinion. This wood is made up of compressed wood sawdust basically. Builders like it because it can make long boards that are very straight compared to real wood. Probably doesn’t hurt that it is probably cheaper than real wood as well. The problem is that it does not stand up to moisture (Or wear and tear for that matter!). Builders don’t help the situation by not priming and painting the backside of the boards and installing them incorrectly with the ends too close to roof surfaces and concrete surfaces so that water will get caught there and soak into the “wood”. The following video was from a home inspection I did about 6 months ago and will give you an idea of what to look for.

Now, what to do if this abomination is trimming out your abode?!?! You MUST maintain it. By this I mean keep it caulked and painted, and be vigilant about it. Once it starts degrading there is no going back. You need to be on it like a bum on a bologna sandwich! Hunt down gaps and peeling paint like there is a reward for finding it. It is especially important to pay close attention to the end “grain” (Basically the end of the board length) where it is close to roof surfaces, concrete, ground, etc. If you have this type of trim, and I use that term loosely in this situation, and it has already suffered at the hands of the water demon then you may need to look at replacing with real wood.

Just thought I’d get this shorty out on a cold Sunday as I watch the Bears get off to a poor start as well as prepare to watch the Steelers and pretend that I like them since my wife is a Stiller fan (I wrote it the way her family would say it, the weirdos! I mean, who says haus for house and other messed up mispronounciations!). Being that I am a Browns fan this is difficult. Well, let’s be honest. Just being a Browns fan is difficult! 😦 At least I have some wonderful beer bought for me by the friends whose water heaters I fixed and wrote a post about in “Water, Water Everywhere…..” in January ( Yes, I often work for beer. Let me clarify, good beer.

Thanks Cara and Mike (and Clark and Jake). Cheers!

Anywho, thanks for reading/watching,

That Home Inspector Guy

About Travis "That Home Inspector Guy" Moyer

I am a certified home inspector, rehabber, landlord, carpenter, handyman and generally inquisitive person who wants to know how everything works. I love to educate other DIY homeowners and potential homeowners about projects that they may be interested in.


  1. Another great callout. Thanks Travis. We will definitely be better home buyers/sellers with this knowledge. Thanks again!
    Brent & Lisa

  2. So true! When we bought trim they called it MFD and we didn’t even know what it was so we ended up with some. When we went to buy more we found out the first batch wasn’t real. I was very relieved that the first batch was small! And we only used it inside, not outside. I think there should be a law about labeling it: “I’m not real.”

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