Quoins have been an architectural element of high end homes for centuries, indicating the architect or builder put additional fore-thought, planning and resources into making the residence visually unique. Quoins originated in large stone homes and castles where the corner blocks needed to be larger to support the weight of roofs and additional stories which were transferred to them. This required specific instructions from the architect to builders to start at the corners of buildings so as to stagger the ends (as seen on brick buildings) and build out from there. It required engineers to calculate the load being placed on these corners. Essentially, if it was not done in the planning stages it was not done at all.
Modern technology however, permits the average home owner to add a touch of class to their home without having been involved in the design stages of construction, the expertise of an architect or the great expense of tearing down the wall. Styrofoam-core quoins are covered in a mesh and polymer-modified cement to ensure durability, and come in many options to suit the home owner’s style and personality. They neither provide or require structural support, and are simply adhered to the surface of an approved cladding such as concrete, brick, stucco or EIFS.
So how do you decide what style of quoins you want? Here are a few of the options and fun ways to determine what might suit you.
Squared Edge vs Beveled Edge
People who prefer tidiness and simplicity might opt to go with squared, 90 degree edges. Beveled edge quoins may be more attractive to people more laid back and enjoy a softer look offering a more gradual transition.
Spaced or Joined
Only beveled quoins may be placed on top of one another (joined) without any spacing (because square edged quoins would butt up flush against one another), but both may be spaced apart. The amount of spacing can be as little as 2″, but is more commonly 50% of the height of the quoin (typically 6″). Joined quoins may appeal to those who prefer a sturdier look, while spaced quoins are indicative of personalities who feel they have nothing to hide.
Square Sides or Rectangular Sides
Quoins may be made to be square on both sides, or shorter on one side than the other (rectangular). The unevenly sided quoin must be staggered for proper effect. Home owners looking for something more time-honored may be more attracted to the classical rectangular quoins, while people looking for something more modern and symmetrical might enjoy square sides.