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I am building an 8x10 cottage/shed in my backyard. I have very little prior construction experience. I've been planning well but executing poorly, so nothing is perfectly square.

I am at the exterior door trim phase. The door jamb and the sheathing are flush/plumb in the top left corner (i.e., creating a flat surface to nail trim pieces). But they are way out of plumb at the top right corner. And, the extent to which these pieces are not flush gradually changes from top to bottom on both sides of the door (and along the header).

The closeups show the issue better. The first photo makes it look like the top left side isn't flush either, but that's just the glare from the flashing tape dipping in the gap where the shims go.

Grayne PVC shingle siding (similar to vinyl) has been delivered. The shed corners are trimmed with 1x6 wood trim pieces, so I was planning to trim the door in 1x4 trim pieces and then run J-channel around that. Now I am concerned that the wood trim will turn out looking rather crooked.

Edit: Added better closeup photos; right side seems off by 3/8, header off by up to 1/2 inch

Questions:

  • Would using a moulded trim piece like this (photo attached) solve this problem?
  • If not, should I just try to notch plain 1x4 trim pieces before nailing?
  • Is there perhaps a putty compound I could apply to fill in/flatten this space?
  • Is there some other established solution for this problem?

There is not much space between the soffit and the top of the door, so I would even consider trimming the door entirely in J-channel (or equivalent), if there is a way to make it look right.

Any suggestions/insights are appreciated. Thank you for reading.

(click to enlarge images)

The Door Top Left Corner - note my hand is flat against both surfaces Top Right Corner - notice the difference in position of my index and middle fingers Header enter image description here topleftflush toprightflushangle

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  • A picture with a straightedge across all surfaces may show the problem better. I still don't see any differences in the surfaces to be concerned about. If the differences are no more than 1/8", caulk will fill that with no issue. If it is 1/4" some finesse on the trim install will help, but need to know more about it than what these pics tell. The trim you have pictured, is for interior use only. It will fall apart if used outside.
    – Jack
    Dec 23, 2021 at 16:19
  • Thanks for the suggestion and the reply. I have uploaded a couple more photos. The photo of the left side is less of a straightedge than I would have liked, but it's a completely clean line (the sheathing is actually slightly recessed if anything). On the right side, it's about 3/8 inch, and as you get to the header it's off by up to 1/2 inch, or slightly more. So, it just feels outside of the finesse threshold. Edit: new right-side photo is truly a straightedge shot; all of that tape and wrap you can see represents sheathing
    – Zero Cool
    Dec 23, 2021 at 20:27
  • I see the tape measure, but I do no see a straightedge being used... But I think I see what you are trying to show. The door jamb is set behind the face of the wall on one side. If that is the case, I do not see many fasteners holding the door jamb in place at the top. Using a strong block of wood to protect the jamb, use a hammer to drive the jamb out where it belongs. The bottom will presumably need to be driven out as well. If you are using the long screws in the hinge, remove them, drive the door out and reset them
    – Jack
    Dec 24, 2021 at 2:09
  • If I do that, the door won't work
    – Zero Cool
    Dec 24, 2021 at 2:24
  • Then there is more going on that what these pics show. If the bottom and the top move out the same amount, you are just changing the location of the door in the rough opening on one side.
    – Jack
    Dec 24, 2021 at 3:03

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The answer is that this is not a concern. My trim pieces will lay flat against the sheathing. I don't need them to sit flush against or even touch the jamb.

I'll just have to use a lot of caulk to fill that gap. I am also going to look into those quarter round, thin moulding strips. The header trim piece is also not a problem, because it has the flat surfaces of the side pieces to sit on.

Failure of imagination on my part. I'm tempted to delete this question, but maybe this will help some other fool out there like me. Thanks for the feedback, Jack!

Edit: I did get some thin molding strips to go into the gap.

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