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Finish Carpentry

Wall insulation | Drywall | >>Finish carpentry | Paint | Attic and crawlspace insulation | Hard floor coverings

In today's building process, finish carpenters are generally responsible for the following:
hanging interior doors (sometimes hanging exterior doors and windows... although framers often do this depending on the type of window)
casing/trimming windows and doors
installing baseboard and specialty moldings such as crown moldings and chair moldings
constructing built in shelves in closets, pantries and alcoves
installing hand rails, stair rails and balcony rails.

installing hardwood flooring

installing stair treads and stair skirting

Carpenters often price a job one of two different methods: the number of square feet plus extras, or by the piece rate. An example of square footage might be 75 cents a square foot plus $1 per foot for shelving. When figuring piece rate they figure a price for each part of the job. For example, they might charge $35 to hang and case a door and baseboard might cost $ 0.75 a foot to install. Usually jobs priced by the total square footage result in a lower bid, but it really depends on the job.

Finish materials have traditionally been made from wood. If the wood was to be painted a tight grained wood like pine, hemlock or birch would be used. Oak has been popular for unpainted finish trim. Today Medium density fiberboard (MDF) or has replaced pine for a lot of applications. MDF is straight, resists shrinking or spliting It comes already primed and is durable. It doesn't nail as nicely a pine, and doesn't smell as nice as pine when cutting but is often less expensive. If you are painting your trim work MDF is a good option.

Hollow core doors are popular for building today. These doors come in several variations such as flat slab, 6 panel, 4 panel etc. These doors are made from pressed fiber but appear like real panel doors.
Solid core doors are another option but are most often used in custom grade homes. They are usually made from pine panels or MDF. Solid core doors can be stained or painted. They however cost 2-4 times more than hollow core doors.

If the trim is to be painted, the trim and accessories are installed immediately after the drywall is textured . If the trim will be a natural wood finish, it is usually installed after the painting. When installing baseboard and trim in natural wood finish, the wood is stained and varnished before installation. The finish carpenter will need to return and do "pick-up work prior to final clean and move in. Where hard flooring such as vinyl, wood, tile or marble are to be installed, the baseboard is installed after the flooring. With carpet the baseboard is usually installed before.

It is important that the finish materials are installed properly, especially the doors.

Inspection points-doors
The doors should shut flush with the closure strip.
The gap between the door and the jamb should be equal on the top and down the edge by the handset.

The door should swing freely without binding.

Pocket doors slide freely and close with no gap.

Inspection points-casing
The jamb edge reveal should be equal.
No gaps in the joints (> 1/16")

Inspection points-trim
Inside joints are coped, not mitered
No gaps in the joints (> 1/16")

Inspection points- wall shelving

Shelving is scribed along wall edges
No gaps in the joints (> 1/16")


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