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  1. #1
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    Jun 2004
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    Default New England Home Details

    We are building a New England style home and I am looking for any books that may help with the details for interior trim, doors, cabinets, ect. We are stuggling with the casing and baseboard details at this point.

    Thanks in advance for any input!

    Dan

  2. #2
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    Sep 2004
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    SE Florida
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    Default Re: New England Home Details

    I would be tempted to talk to a bunch of trim carpenters in the area where you are building, as well as local architectural millwork shops that manufacture standing and running trim.

    Most interior trim carpenters take photos of their work until they get well enough known that they no longer bother with it. The big advantage to doing that is that you will know what profiles are available locally, and, chances are, which shop has what profile (ie. no grinding charges).

    Most of the trim carpenters I have worked with have far better eyes for proportion and detail than interior designers and architects.

    Thumbing through magazines is another option. I don't know any books myself.

    Good luck,

    jim

  3. #3
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    Jun 2004
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    Default Re: New England Home Details

    Dan
    Are you in New England ?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: New England Home Details

    Dan,

    Another good way to see details - if you are in New England - is to drive to jobsites under construction that are almost done, preferably on a Saturday. There will often be trim guys working, especially Saturday morning. You might get a list from realtors which homes are coming on the market. Most of the expensive ones are listed well before completion.

    It is common in New England for realtors, tire kickers, competion, and people looking for help to decend like bot flies on jobsites during the weekend. Don't be shy - most people are friendly on the sites.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: New England Home Details

    Dan,

    Everything Jim said great advice. If you're in NE then you'll need have to find job sites that are building the style home you're building, as the term New England style runs the gamut from early "primitive" saltboxes to more elaborate Deerfield style homes, to Federalist, Greek Revival, to Cape Cod style, and bow houses. There are hundreds of ways interior trim was handled throughout these periods and how they have been adapted to modern houses.

    If you're in New England go on tours of historic Deerfield, Strawbery Banke, and others if you think that will help.

    If you're lucky Jeff B will read this thread and respond. He has posted before (somewhere) a series of photos of New England style homes that he's admired and photographed.

    I grabbed three books off the bookshelf that may help you:

    > "Colonial Design in the New World," David Larkin, June Sprigg & James Johnson; pub: Stewart Tabori & Chang

    > "Early Domestic Architecture of Connecticut," J. Frederick Kelly; pub. Dover Publications

    > "Historic Deerfield: A Portrait of Early America," Elizabeth Stillinger; pub. Dutton Studio Books

    >>RJ

  6. #6
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    Jun 2004
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    Chicago
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    Default Re: New England Home Details

    >>Most of the trim carpenters I have worked with have far better eyes for proportion and detail than interior designers and architects.<<

    You said it Brother!

    I don't know anything about New England, but around Chicago, the best examples of nice, well-proportioned trim are on old houses and buildings (pre- WWII or earlier).

    Although there is some nice new construction, looking at new stuff will just as likely provide design examples of what NOT to do.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    11

    Default Re: New England Home Details

    dan-i've lived in new england my whole life and to say a new england type house, is swinging a pretty broad brush stroke. there are so many variations to they afore mention type styles , there's more precise info that needs to processed here. lets have some details .....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    597

    Default Re: New England Home Details

    I'm an architect so I don't actually know much about detailing myself, but I own a lot of good books. I recommend the following books.

    "The American Houses of Robert A. M. Stern", an oversized hardback book available at Amazon.com for about $50 is very good. Mostly colonial revival meets deep pockets. There are five paperback versions of his "Buildings and Projects" showing all of his buildings from 1965 to 2003 which are less relevant.

    "New Old House" by Martha Stewart tracks the restoration of a CT house and is a must see for anyone who likes to restore old houses and can get past the slick presentation.

    "Old New Englnd Homes" by Stanley Schuler shows some interiors but mostly exteriors from 1620 to 1900.

    "Creating a New Old House: Yesterday's Character for Today's Home" by Russell Versaci, Erik Kvalsvik

    "Colonial Style : Creating Classic Interiors in Your Cape, Colonial, or Saltbox House" by Treena Crochet
    Last edited by Sweep8; 05-26-2005 at 11:15 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: New England Home Details

    Thank you for the input. I will purchase some of the books that were mentioned. The home is all shakes with some stone on the exterior. The interior is all 10' ceilings (basement, first, and second floors) with painted woodwork. Most of the cabinetry is natural cherry as well as the hardwood floors. The doors are a 8' tall 2 panel door, the panels are flat. We were struggling with a casing for the doors. I want something simple and clean looking and most of the stock moldings I came accross have too much detail. I am looking for a flat casing with possibly a bead on the inside and wrap it with a backband.

    I have never built one of these type homes but they appear to be very simple and clean on the interiors.

    Thanks again!

    Dan

  10. #10
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    Sep 2004
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    Default Re: New England Home Details

    Dan,

    You are a man after my own heart - and that of many trim carpenters in new England.

    The casing you describe is an excellent choice - with or without plinths one piece or two ( ie. separate backband or one molded as a part of the rest).

    In my opinion, the biggest advantage to that style casing is its versatility. If two piece, the bead can be jackmitered, the rest of the casing butted, and the back band mitered. The jack mitered legs can be pocket screwed together prior to the back band being installed. You will have zero problems with wood movement using this method, and is the way it was done in colonial times.

    Another advantage is that you can vary the widths of the flats to make things fit properly - which is not possible with highly detailed profiles. For instance, if a cabinet starts a little too close to a window or a door, the trim guy can use an entire casing that may be slightly smaller than the rest in the house - but no one would ever know.

    Upstairs, where the closets are jammed into the corner where the bedroom door is, a bead can be run on flat stock with a router (Whiteside makes beading bits in increments of 1/32 radii), and the two flats (the adjacent closet leg and door leg) can be jack mitered into the head casing. Then the back band runs up one door leg across the head casings of both door and closet continuously, then down the furthest closet leg , all in one continuous piece. It then looks as if the architect knew what he was doing. You will be able to maximize much desired wall space without sacrificing the aesthetic integrity of the room.

    Though it may cost you a little more to do two piece, that is the way it used to be done, and the way I prefer to do it as well (despite the fact that miter clamps are not used).

    If you have window walls, adjacent legs can also be easily jack mitered, making a series of windows appear to be a single unit.

    This can be done with one piece casing as well as two piece- if I haven't made that clear.

    So three chears for you, Dan.

    In case you're interested, the second picture down on this link shows the jackmitered look with a simple backband. It matches the casing in the existing structure which was built in the mid 1700's.
    http://www.miterclamp.com/radius/pag...ncontinued.htm

    Regards,

    jim

  11. #11
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    Default Re: New England Home Details

    Sweep8,

    You got a good sense of humor, so my guess is you are a good architect as well. Thank you for the book suggestions.

    If you never forget that any crown molding profile which drops below the horizontal cannot be coped, you will be a trim man's architect.

    If you also remember that the closer a crown profile comes to approaching the horizontal, the harder it is to cope and to install and then do not draw them that way, you will see smiles when you walk onto the jobsite and will probably even get offers of free coffee and doughnuts.

    regards,

    jim

  12. #12
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    Jul 2004
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: New England Home Details

    Ditto everything that Jim said. Very nice way to trim out your place. My own home is done this way, without the plinths. And, Jim, very pretty in cherry....mine are all painted in original colonial colors. As was said, one or two piece works, but I personally prefer the two piece because generally there are more options, depending where you get your molding, to select the band you want instead of relying on "only" the ones that are available on one-piece molding.

    And since Jim is semi-reluctant to push his miter clamps...I will for him. If you decide to miter your casing joints (vs. jackmiter and butt)...or if you are faced with other mitering situations...grab a pair of Jim's clamps...you'll be glad you did.

    >>RJ

  13. #13
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    Default Re: New England Home Details

    Jim:
    I enjoyed the peek at your work.
    Henry

  14. #14
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    Default Re: New England Home Details

    Thanks for the pictures Jim. Very nice, that will be a good fit for this home. Are you from the northeast?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: New England Home Details

    Jim,
    That was a really good explication of the benefits from using a flat beaded casing (any kind of bead would work, huh?) with a backband. Now I'll have to learn how to do those jack miters and stop showing people how to miter that casing...oh, maybe I'd better not.....I'll have to find time for both techniques.

    You had a demo somewhere at one time about how to do those jack miters. I never understood that. I know Jeff B. did a thing somewhere on it, too. Maybe one of you can refresh that subject, and under a new thread? Or I can combine both your stuff into an article? I'd like very much to learn how to do that--if it's easy. I can't do hard stuff, like radius cabinets, or shaping bullnose stool returns.

    Gary

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