Decorative Architectural Brackets

Decorative architectural brackets can be made from stone, concrete, wood, plastic, foam, composites, and PVC materials. They were historically used for structural supports, however, in modern times they are more often used for decorative purposes. For this reason, foam is commonly used in the commercial industry as an affordable way to add bracket accents to a home. Wood, however, is a popular choice because of it's ability to provide structure and because it can be left unpainted to provide a distinct look that reminds us of nature. Wood brackets were extremely popular in the craftsman era and they have begun to make a comeback in modern times as home buyers are paying more and more attention to architectural detail. PVC brackets are another option that offers the look of painted wood and the longevity of foam. These restoration brackets can be fabricated as custom brackets because they are not made from the same molding techniques as foams.

Architectural brackets are commonly seen in craftsman style homes and have made a comeback with the advent of new no rot materials that allow these beautiful accents to have lasting power. The craftsman style architecture highlighted many simple, yet beautiful details that added a unique touch and style of architecture to many homes. During the current 2008 housing recession many builders have turned to the use of architectural brackets and other architectural details on the outside of homes to boost curb appeal and attract potential home buyers. Here's a little bit of information that will help you learn more about what type of material is best for your decorative bracket needs.


Cedar wood brackets are most common for small quantities needed in custom sizing and. Finding a local handyman or woodworker to build on site is common. The use of a custom millworks company is most appropriate for custom needs. There, different fabrication techniques can be used in a cost-effective manner to get specialty items duplicated for you. Cedar wood is easy to work with and these types of decorative brackets can be easily fabricated for most architectural needs. Cedar wood brackets offer the advantage of being able to be left natural, stained, or even painted. When stained, there is no material that can be substituted to provide the same raw look.

Decorative Architectural Brackets

To install wood brackets for structural support, it is important that the brackets themselves be anchored to a part of the house that is usually load bearing. The use of lag bolts is common for such a task. To accomplish this, a large 2" diameter hole is countersunk with a ¾" pilot hole for the lag bolt. This is done into the wood bracket at key structural points and a matching wood plug is cut out to later hide the lag bolt. Once the hole is countersunk, pass a long lag bolt with a 3/8" diameter and a 1 1/2" washer on it through the hole. Tighten it into the wall so that it grabs a stud or use a lag anchor to screw it into concrete, brick, or rock.

Foam polyurethane brackets are perhaps most common in commercial applications where they are installed for decorative purposes and in large quantities under overhangs. They can drastically improve the look and appeal of the building as well as the overall experience for the shoppers. For foam brackets, the use of construction adhesive is usually most appropriate to attach them. Decorative foam brackets are not at all meant to be structural, however, they give the appearance that they are supporting nonetheless. They are manufactured with molds cheaply and so they are usually less available in custom shapes and sizes.

Brackets fabricated from restoration PVC materials, like the name implies, are good for applications that need to last a lifetime, but also need to be custom. This is a great material choice over foam when the quantity is smaller and more custom. Restoration brackets made from PVC, are less structural than cedar and wood, however, as their name implies they are used in modern times for restoration purposes and to replace wooden brackets that were never meant to last forever. Restoration brackets look identical to wood when painted, but will last virtually forever and provide more durability and customization than foam. PVC, unlike vinyl, has a matted finish to it and is a solid material that holds paint exceptionally well. These architectural brackets are installed much the same way as wood brackets. At times, they can be hollowed out for easier installation with a strip of dead wood. Since they are non-structural this is usually a good idea. They are a much more durable option than foam when the brackets are installed in low places that are accessible to passing hands. They can also toe nailed with fasteners or glued with PVC glue onto a PVC backing for extra support.

Stones, marbles, and concretes are most commonly used in commercial architecture, skyscrapers, and other Greek and roman style architectures. They are sometimes molded with rebar coming out of the back end when made from concrete. The advantage to this is that for the installation, concrete can be poured over the rebar for a strong attachment that allows the corbel to stick out of the building and support anything above it. There are other techniques used as well depending on the application and structural capacity involved with concrete, stone, and marble corbel brackets.

Decorative Architectural Brackets

Matt Buquoi is the owner of Flower Window Boxes, a window box company that specializes in affordable no rot window boxes and custom architectural brackets. Visit their website for more information about architectural brackets and window boxes.