stairs stripped of carpeting
stair skirtboard added to lower and upper stair runs
wainscoat added to walls with panel moulding
cap rail moulding
Stair skirting protects the walls of a stairway in the same way baseboard protects walls around a home. Stair skirting also is a decorative element which adds a more finished appearance.
The ideal time to add stair skirting is during the installation of a stairway when a home is being built because the skirt needs to be trapped between the wall and the treads and risers of the finished stairway. In a finished stairway, adding skirting is more involved.
After pulling out the scaffolding and packing up our tools from this Porter Ranch crown moulding and ceiling medallion installation, the homeowner continued with other work including hardwood floors, painting, installing new lighting fixtures and opening up the wall to their kitchen from their dining room. Quite a transformation from the stark interior it began as a home in a gated community. Like many new homes, the path for crown moulding is often obstructed by heating and air conditioning vents and the air return vent was in the path of the crown in one of the hallways. Rather than stop the moulding on either side which would draw attention to the vent I fabricated a section of moulding to pass through the vent area.
Starting around the 1980’s, tract homes began appearing around Southern California which to this day often lack warmth and refinement.
I regularly get calls from folks in areas like Walnut, Chino, Diamond Bar and Upland who are the second or third homeowner and the discussion is very often the same. They desperately want to make their home feel more refined, more finished looking, but they’re frustrated by the randomness of the ceilings and the lack of traditional space found in other homes. The challenge with such homes has to do with the tall sloping ceilings which can make rooms like the living and dining room feel empty and lack warmth. Contrary to what most people might think, adding crown moulding will not solve the problem – in fact it will usually emphasize the issue even more. Here’s an example of crown moulding on a sloping ceiling that I installed a few years ago.
Once the homeowner saw the picture, they agreed that adding crown moulding wouldn’t change the look of their rooms. After sharing lots of pictures from my portfolio and considering our options with the homeowner, I recommended a wainscot effect achieved by meticulous layout with laser and skimcoated walls rather than adding bulk to the walls with wainscot panels. The goal was to essentially ignore the slanted ceilings and draw the eye down making the room feel more finished. I also emphasized the windows and niche by upgrading the window stool, apron and casings.
Inherent in these types of homes are some insurmountable obstacles to good design, but these kinds of decorative remodeling changes are well worth the money compared to the much greater expense of complete home renovations. An alternative to wainscot/wall frames for ceilings like these is to add a beam treatment or other ceiling treatment like this:
Visit spectaculartrim.com to see more examples of our work.
Last year, I had the pleasure of restoring the crown moulding in a large home in Pasadena that was designed by the famous architect Myron Hunt, the same architect who designed the Huntington Library estate, the Rose Bowl and other renowed and historic properties in the greater Pasadena area.
The 9 bedroom estate built in the early 1900’s which was purchased around 2013 was originally going to be lightly remodeled before being moved into, but the new owners discovering that the home was painted with lead base paint took the home down to studs and restored it to its former glory. When I was asked to do the layered crown moulding restoration work I jumped at the opportunity as its not often that a finish carpenter has the chance to work on historic layered custom ceiling work like this in Southern California.
After waiting for more than one month for the mouldings to be reproduced from samples taken from the home, the mouldings were primered by the painting crew to prevent twisting and warping. The mouldings were stored in site made racks inside the home to allow for acclimation while I fabricated blocking to support the 3 and 5 layer crown moulding treatments throughout the home.
Working on ceilings that are 10 ft and higher downstairs is a slow, painstaking process but the results are satisfying. As I did the work, using the best and most efficient equipment available for cutting, shaping and installing architectural woodwork, I kept imagining how slow and laborious it surely must have been for the original carpenters who built this home and others like it.
Crown Moulding by SPECTACULAR TRIM Earns Esteemed 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award
Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service
Spectacular Trim has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of customer service to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2016. This is the fifth time in a row Spectacular Trim has achieved this achievement that is extraordinary and reflects their commitment to high quality and customer satisfaction.
This achievement is also particularly significant as Angie’s List experienced unprecedented member growth in 2016. More than 1.6 million consumers, many of whom were eager to quickly hire highly qualified service pros, joined Angie’s List after the company added a new, free membership tier.
“Companies that can meet higher demands without missing a beat in their exemplary performance standards truly do stand apart from their peers,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Only a fraction of Finish Carpentry and companies in Southern California were able to do it.”
Angie’s List Super Service Award 2016 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must also be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.
“It’s an honor to serve Angie’s List customers, and I thrive on their appreciation” says owner/master carpenter Paul Comi.
Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.
For more than 21 years, Angie’s List restricted access to its verified reviews to consumers who paid membership fees. When the company removed that barrier, some companies worried that the new, non-paying members would not be as engaged as members of the past. Experience has shown, however, that these newly added members are just as engaged – across all age groups – as prior members. Also, because the company continues to adhere to its review verification process, there has been no degradation of review quality.
“The biggest change at Angie’s List is that we are connecting even more consumers to high quality service professionals,” Hicks said. “And that’s good for everyone.”
Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than 4.5 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.
Visit Spectacular Trim at their website www.spectaculartrim.com