Corner quoins have been used for centuries as an architectural feature on homes. While they are no longer structurally required, people associate quoins with high end buildings and homes because they visually reinforce the corners of a wall. Quoins make a building appear to be built of solid materials, which may not be the first choice for glass-wall construction, but aesthetically suits the majority of residential buildings very well.
Adding quoins to a home is a versatile home renovation project that can be done on most sidings. Styrofoam-core quoins that are covered with a cement coating can be simply adhered directly to Brick, ICF, pre-cast, EIFS and stucco using a cement-based adhesive. Any home with 90 degree corners can have quoins applied butted up against each other, or with spacing between.
Aside from their aesthetic role, quoins can also play a protective role on homes with claddings that are more prone to damage such as EIFS, Hardie Board and vinyl siding. Anyone who has shoveled too close to a sensitive material knows the scratches and even full damage that can be caused without too much effort. Because quoins are individual pieces, damaging them is simple to repair or even replace if necessary. The original quoin can be removed, and replaced with an entirely new piece without there being any sign of damage to being with. Contrast that with siding which would require an entire section of wall being replaced, the cost savings can be in the thousands of dollars.
Color choices are nearly limitless, making it ideal for existing homes. Quoins are typically purchased in a stock cement-grey color, ready to be painted whatever color the home owner chooses. Exterior-grade masonry paints can be purchased from either an EIFS distributor that carries Dryvit, Sto or Senergy products – or from the local hardware store. It’s important to use a paint that is intended for exposure to the exterior elements, and is meant for concrete or masonry.
Selecting a color can be a daunting task, but doesn’t have to be with a little guidance. A basic choice is to select the same color as the rest of the your walls so that the quoins blend in and make the home look monolithic. A more common choice is to select a color that is a few shades either lighter or darker than the siding of your home. A darker color will help to accentuate the corners, making them more prominent and catching the eye of passers-by. A lighter shade than your wall will bring out the color of the wall itself and create a “softer” overall visual appearance of your home.