I am making new wood moulding/trim for the windows and entrance of a hundred year old, brick, Victorian row house. At some point, all of the moulding and details typical to a house of that era were removed. By observing neighboring houses of a similar type, I know what the trim should look like, but now how to attach it? Please Advise. Also, please suggest methods for painting (I intend to back paint the moulding before intallation).
Typically the windows/doors on a brick house are "set in" somewhat from the face of the brick, which means that you aren't usually fastening to the brick itself. Hopefully there are some "rough frames" or "rough bucks" for the windows. These give you something to fasten the windows to & something to fasten the trim too. If not, it gets a bit more complicated.
At the roof/wall intersection is/was there a frieze board??
What other pieces of trim do you need to attach.
One old technique I've seen on very old (125+) houses, is to insert hardwood plugs in the mortar joints and screw (well, usually nail) into them. I'm not sure whether the plugs were inserted during the bricklaying or drilled later. Despite what my kids think, I wasn't there when those houses were built...
Obviously it would be evident if this method had been used on your house, unless the brick had been repointed after the original wood was removed.
There should be a frieze board (a.k.a. the "nice" houses on the street still have them), but this house had the unfortuante mishap of getting a new roof with an aluminium soffit. There are still dark spots at the soffit line where the ornate wooden brackets used to be (4 across the front-- it's a 3 window wide, 2 1/2 story house).
As for the windows, they were replaced. The ones on the first floor were shortened-- not by much, maybe 8 inches. It looks like this was done because they used to have a slightly arched top instead of being rectangular. Some of the other houses on the street do have rectangular first floor windows, so I am not going to change the openings. Just add the decorative moulding at the top of each window to revive the charm that the house used to have.