snookums2January 18, 2012

Some casing was installed in my home and I'm wondering if it needs to be redone to ever look good and well done. Caulking tends to give way from what I've seen and have read. I'm under the impression 1/16 inch is the standard for gaps. These have 1/8 inch gaps which I don't understand why it has to be that much off. A couple of the corners don't quite meet and the trim has been damaged by the nail gun. I'm also wondering about what looks like double holes from the nail gun as I've read some like to use finish nails so they can be neatly set. The holes are larger than the nail and jagged which is not what I'm familiar with from when my father used to do woodworking around the house. I think these were brads with the rectangular heads.

Does this look like quality and typically acceptable work to you that will be fine when finished? Because it doesn't to me. Here are a couple examples from two locations. I would also repair the drywall before installing casing. It would seem to need to be done beforehand for a quality job to be done, imo.

This is the bedroom door, left and right sides. You can see in this photo where some of a drywall tape repair is lifting.

A closet door. You can see the putty that was put in is already coming out.

So what do you think of the workmanship here?

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Casing was installed on those walls???

The work is terrible. Completely totally unacceptable.

And I am being tactful.

Nailed incorrectly in the last two pictures as well.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 12:24AM
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Bush league stuff. I can understand miters opening up (at an angle) because of seasonal shrinkage. But these joints were not even close. And the nails!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 6:31PM
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Thanks for your assessment. I know it's bad but have to ask because I'm not in the business myself or have ever tried to match things up to know the difficulties of wall and plumb problems. To understand the excuses. I need more than my own personal opinion to be able to speak up on something I know little about other than from reading or looking around.

They were let go over a month ago. It was a struggle to get to that point. I'm just glad no more trim work was done than on these few doors before work was stopped. I hadn't checked the details at the time except having asked that they get the trim flush to the floor this time which it is. I foolishly thanked them for the beautiful flush to the floor trim. Looks like the joke's on me. At least they're gone.

So what's wrong with the nails? I have no idea how nailing should be done. The holes look sloppy and oversized and damaging the trim while nailing is ridiculous imo. Other than that I don't know what else.

I want to rip them out and start over on these that were done but am not sure I'll get agreement on that being necessary. In other words, "caulk".

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 10:22PM
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Door trim is nailed in two lines. Inside nails to the door frame. Outside line to the wall framing. The nails should be set in a groove in the casings, not in the middle of smooth wood. Inside line pattern is a nail every 10", the outside line every 12". That is approximale.

I'm concerned about the damage to the walls---why is trim being installed over holes in the walls. Those need to be fixed before trim is installed.

There are many reasons those joints can be so bad.

Out of square door frames/walls.

Incorrectly aligned equipment.

Trim not set in the saw correctly.

If you are paying the installers, they have to do the work to your satisfaction.

This is an example of a correct miter. You can see the nail holes(I reinstalled the trim and did not fill the holes since the trim is almost 50 years old and I would have to spend a lot of time making a matching filler.)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 11:09PM
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That is a beautifully installed door. Who could not want to do that.

I see what you mean about the nails. That's been bugging me, actually. Damaging the smooth curved wood on beautiful new trim does not make sense. Of course filling all those holes and dings is not going to result in a clean smooth finish. Unless the paint takes over there.

Early on they had replaced the casing downstairs for some unknown reason. To freshen it up or something. I see that the nails are not in the grooves there either but they had been filled. You can feel the unevenness, so it would not be smooth like new trim should be. They did use small finish nails there.

I'm so glad to have learned this. I actually remember seeing it done in the grooves in the past now that you've explained it but it just didn't register what was wrong or different. Other than I knew the smooth wood and curves on this nice new trim was being damaged and it didn't make sense to me.

I have to wonder if they were nailed that way in order to hit the studs behind the wall? Maybe things aren't lining up right. There is one door casing left from the original carpenter where I see absolutely no sign of nails on the trim. I saw no sign of nails on the face that my dad did at our house years ago either.

I am so glad they are gone and no more damage to all this new work will be done! To think all that trim could have gone in crooked, gaping and damaged.

So when the baseboards go in, I guess the nails should go in the groove at the top and underneath the shoe on the bottom?
How one approaches a contractor for hire about where they sink their nails without sending them running is beyond me but I sure don't want to end up with a situation like this again.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 12:37AM
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You are so right. Who would install trim over holes in the wall before fixing them? When I walked upstairs and saw that, he said, hmmm. As if he hadn't noticed. I think he was stoned. Anyway, the other guy said he wasn't worried about it when I asked how that could be done now. I'm not sure he had noticed either. Basically, the orders from above (off-site person) were to work on trim so that's exactly what they did.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 2:35AM
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"Of course filling all those holes and dings is not going to result in a clean smooth finish."

It will if they are filled correctly.

You should not be able to even tell the nail locations after everything is painted.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 9:40AM
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seems to me the issues started before the trim was nailed in place. The miters appear to be cut incorrect and the placement or reveals of the trim do not look consistent either. Finish nails can be sent thru the face with no issues they just need to be properly set with a nail set or gun properly set to shot to the correct depth and then filled with the correct nail hole filler. Also the walls appear to be in poor shape and if they are not reasonable solid and flat the casing will never sit properly even if Bob Villa was doing the trim work.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 10:05AM
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Hello all,

I am going to have a carpenter in soon to install trimwork. Looking at some trim they installed elsewhere, it too was nailed along the smooth curving wood instead of in the grooves. They didn't even fill the holes before painting so would not seem to be too particular about things. I'm thinking of getting an estimate from someone else.

I don't know how to approach this. I want the trim unblemished and don't want the added work of filling and smoothing the face so it doesn't show. Looking at a friend's trim that was nailed in the middle and filled, nail impressions do show and it's a shame for such a nice house. The problem is how to deal with sensitivities around how the work is to be done in that the homeowner should be staying out of their business as they see it.

When or before getting an estimate, should I actually ask where they nail the boards or should I be able to request that it be done in the grooves so they're hidden? That's going to send them all running from a pia customer as I see it. How else can I know how someone works? Is there a problem using nail guns in the grooves? I'm wondering if it doesn't always line up with the studs in the wall. I don't understand why they would want to nail on the face. It would seem like more work to me. I really want this trim to be installed nicely. The labor charges are not cheap. (Any rule of thumb on cost?)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 8:44PM
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And can I ask if they cope their corners?

Should I simply be assertive/authoritative about my project by just stating how I want it done as opposed to asking how they do things?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 8:58PM
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go look at a sample of there work. (another job)
theres alot of carpenters that think there trim carpenters.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 10:57AM
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"Looking at a friend's trim that was nailed in the middle and filled, nail impressions do show..."

Plain old sloppy work.

I avoid nailing in the groves since it is very hard to get in there and cover the nails.

In a wider smooth area it is far easier to get some filler in, then shape it and sand it to blend.

"And can I ask if they cope their corners? "

Only inside corner are coped, not outside corners.

Coped corners are especially important on wide trim so the corner does not open up with shrinkage in the width of the trim through out the year.

There is a reason a trim carpenter is payed more (and a lot more if they can do stain grade work).

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 3:01PM
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The baseboards are 5-1/2" which is wide to me. I want to make sure they cope the inside corners.

How about nailing on the flatter portions at the outer edges instead of the nice curve in the middle? That would be the 1st and 3rd segments in the pictures above. That would seem less obvious and easier to fill since it's pretty flat. I can imagine hitting the squared edge around the groove with the nail by accident and then having a smashed edge to contend with squaring off.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 3:34PM
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You can specify whatever you want. It is your house and they need to do it how you want.

I'm with brickeyee---I nail/staple where it is the best to hold the trim in place and to finish the holes the easiest.

Nailing in the grooves is better if the nail holes are not covered, but takes MUCH more filling/sanding time.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 3:05PM
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So, I hired a company to do some work. They sub'd out some of the work. Curious what you think of the end runs here.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 1:01AM
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First question did you have the trim already? Did you pick it out? Did he pick it our from your suggestions?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 8:04AM
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5-1/4 with shoe, selected and purchased by me. This is not the same installer as the casing shown at beginning of thread.

The front of that step has been faced since these photos. Disregard the threshold in the last picture. It is temporarily placed there.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 10:20AM
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I was looking at the pic and it was tough for me to decphiher the differences in the thickness as the base is generally 5/8 and the casing a touch thicker at 11/16. After looking at it more and your just posted notes it looks pretty good to me the only think I don't care for would be the shoe on the stairs appears to be a cove type moulding and the shoe at the base a rounded profile but other than that not bad.....

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:32AM
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The trim itself is fine. Casing and baseboard is fine. It's the end-runs and joints of the new shoe molding that was installed by the flooring installer in this area of the house.

Here's an additional image of the mid-run joint which I hadn't posted yet.

Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Should be a scarf joint, not a butt joint there. If the shoe moulding was matched to existing, I would have removed the old and cut the scarf joint to meet seamlessly with the new. If the profiles are slightly different, I would have removed the old shoe and replaced the run to the nearest corner.

Just my $.02

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Thanks aiden. All trim is new.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 1:31PM
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10-4 on aidan's advice

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 3:45PM
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Anyone on the end runs?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 11:35PM
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The one on the top step should have died into the baseboard with a miter.

The bottom one should have been tighter against the riser.

The other ones at the door casing probably should have had a better bevel on the end instead of the tiny nick they left (a full 45 degrees usually looks better and eliminates catching things on the end).

Not very food work overall.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:09AM
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Thanks brickeyee. I just wanted to confirm this isn't typically acceptable in the field. Just in case! A professional carpenter worked on most of the trim that was installed and did a good job, but they had the floor guy do the shoe in this area. He just nicked the ends. That's exactly what it looks like. That the wood got chipped.

I'm going to ask that those end runs get redone properly.

Thanks all.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 12:01PM
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I have to believe they had no training & watch DIY TV for 30 minutes, if that.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 6:28PM
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