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Why New Homes Lack The Interesting Moulding Traditionally Used

By Frank Wright

One of the most popular upgrades for homes and office buildings is crown moulding. New buildings often lack mouldings or skimp on them, causing rooms to be plain and ugly. Door, crown, and window architectural mouldings can be installed to add warmth and beauty to any room.

Experts in real estate often recommend installing crown moldings as a way of increasing visual appeal especially in an entryway or at least one major room. When sales are slow, homes and buildings with enhanced moldings sell faster than plain ones. While some home improvements cost more than they add to a property’s value, crown molding is frequently mentioned as one upgrade that increases value beyond the cost of installation.

Steve Berges, author of 101 Cost-Effective Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home, says “When you’re comparing two houses, the one with the crown molding is going to show better.”

According to’s consumer expert Holly Slaughter, “Trim work can really add interest, depth, and sophistication to your house, and put money back in your pocket at resale.”

Did you know that crown molding doesn’t have to be expensive? While six inch crown molding in rare woods can run six dollars a foot or higher, prices for the least expensive woods start as low as only sixty cents a foot.

Adding crown molding to one average sized room can cost as little as $300 to $500 including installation, materials, staining or painting. Installed prices can be as little as $8-$12 per running foot.

Millwork companies offer vastly more crown molding choices than retail stores and many installers. They can match existing moldings – even in historical buildings of any age.

Manufacturers also stock far more wood types, sourcing 100-200 different wood species – and because they are the manufacturer it actually costs less – not more – to buy direct.

When you consider the wide selection of styles, shapes, thicknesses and heights there are hundreds of Crown Molding profiles to choose from. Crown moldings can be two to twelve inches wide; the thicker and wider the molding the more impressive they are. Consider taller or wider moldings from less expensive wood or narrower or thinner moldings from the most rare and beautiful woods.

While some now use polystyrene (a fancy word for foam), cured polyurethane (aka flexible plastic) and polyvinyl chloride (recycled cellular pvc), the most beautiful moldings are still milled from wood. The most popular wood species are pine, poplar, oak, mahogany, and cypress including the rare sinker deadhead cypress.

Installing crown molding is generally best left to an expert unless you are a talented diy-er or carpenter. Cutting crown molding requires understanding angles and cutting them accurately. Complex corners and arches add even more complexity and few rooms are square which can make for some real challenges.

Be sure to have your new moldings stained, sealed or painted on all surfaces before they’re installed. Don’t let anyone talk you out of doing this because any unsealed surface can deteriorate or warp from moisture. Greatly prolong the life of your moldings by insisting all sides be sealed, stained or painted.

There are specialized tools that make installing crown molding easier for talented carpenters and do it yourselfers including compound mitre charts, True Angle measuring gauges, and specific mitre saws.

DIYers and carpenters alike will benefit from the tips in the book Crown Molding and Trim; Install It Like A Pro by Wayne Drake. Wayne provides 350+ photographs and hundreds of specific examples.

If you have a favorite historical building or house you remember and admire, have you ever wondered what it was about it that made it special? Look again and you will notice the rooms have wide, thick moldings around the doors, windows. They may feature impressive crown moldings and much wider or fancier baseboards or special moldings like chair rail that was commonly used to protect wallpaper from damage. Moldings turn a plain room into one with charm and warmth.

Crown moulding is one of the most widely recommended ways to increase the value and beauty of your home or office. Whether you install it yourself or hire a crown moulding installation expert, consider adding crown moulding to at least one room. When you see the difference it makes you may decide to continue adding interesting architectural mouldings in other rooms.

Frank Wright gets his answers about Crown Molding from Good Millwork, a quality manufacturer of Architectural Molding selling direct to the public.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Wright, Frank "Why New Homes Lack The Interesting Moulding Traditionally Used." Why New Homes Lack The Interesting Moulding Traditionally Used. 17 Jan. 2010. 20 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Wright, F (2010, January 17). Why New Homes Lack The Interesting Moulding Traditionally Used. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Wright, Frank "Why New Homes Lack The Interesting Moulding Traditionally Used"

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