Installing Moldings That Last

We are frequently inside many homes and see window and door casing, as well as crown molding and baseboard, which have gaps in the joints.  There’s usually one of two reasons for this flaw.  First is poor craftsmanship.  Sadly, many carpenters simply do not care enough.  They are of the mindset that the joints and miters in their moldings do not need to be tight, and the painters will fix it with caulk.  Let’s hope the painters care about fixing the carpenters work.  Usually, they don’t.  But maybe a painter comes along who takes great pride in his work, and caulks and fills the joint.  Everything looks good, and all are happy.  For a little while.  And then the inevitable happens.  The caulk dries out and shrinks and the unsightly gap in the miter returns.

The second reason for open miters is usually due to what is known as “acclimation”.  Often times, the millwork which shows up to the job site has a higher amount of moisture in it then the wood in the house it is being installed in.  This is known as the moisture content, and is related to the relative humidity of the house.  Once the millwork has been in the house for some time, the material will dry out and thus begin to shrink.  So what was once installed as a tight fitting miter is now a sloppy looking joint with a gap.

So how do we combat this?  Here at Craftsman Contracting, we specialize in fine carpentry work.  We have proven methods that will ensure that when we install crown molding, window trim, baseboard, door casings, etc. that the joints will install tight, and stay tight.  First, we like to get the molding into the area that it is to be installed as quickly as possible.  The longer the wood is allowed to sit in the house, the more it will acclimate to the interior conditions and will minimize any shrinking.

However, often times when performing home improvements in Fairfield County, it can be difficult to get the moldings into the house prior to the install date.  This is where experienced home remodeling experts, such as Craftsman Contracting, come in.  With specialized tools and equipment, we can install moldings that will not move.  Special clamps, as shown in the picture below, draw the two mating pieces of window or door casing tightly together.  These clamps, combined with high quality wood glue, will pull the material tightly together and keep it under sufficient pressure while the glue dries so that the joint will be unbreakable and resistant to shrinking.

window casing miter
Craftsman Contracting uses these special clamps to ensure long lasting millwork installations
window casing miter joint
A close-up of the clam clamp in action

Another specialty piece of equipment Craftsman Contracting uses while remodeling homes in Fairfield County are these spring clamps, as shown in the following picture.  These clamps keep two small pieces of molding together while the glue dries.  This, combined with a few small nails, keep the molding under great pressure, so that the newly installed trim will not shrink.

crown molding
Crown molding installed using spring clamps to draw the joint in tightly

Do You Have Some Trim, Molding or Millwork You Need Installed?

We’ll treat your project as if it were our very own, ensuring the highest level of quality in everything we do.  Whether you’d like to repair some rotting deck boards, or the fascia boards on your home.  We at Craftsman Contracting pride ourselves on the attention to detail and quality of our workmanship that we invest into each and every carpentry project we work on.

A custom carpentry project relies on careful planning, excellent communication between client and contractor, precision & accuracy, and the contractors ability to understand and execute the plan without excuses.  At Craftsman Contracting, we believe that is exactly what we have to offer.

So, when hiring a residential home improvement contractor for your next carpentry project, make sure you hire someone who understands wood movement.  Whether it be a kitchen remodel, door or window installation, or simply a molding upgrade, rest assured that the carpenters at Craftsman Contracting have the experience, skill and knowledge to get the job done right.

If you’d like to schedule a consultation to discuss your trim, molding or millwork installation, then give us a call (203) 642-3343 or fill out our contact form and we’ll get right back to you.