The charm of historic homes lies in their architectural details. But like any home, historic homes need maintenance, and sometimes even renovation. When it comes to historic ceiling moldings, trim, and baseboards you won’t find your molding profile at a big box hardware store like Home Depot or Lowe’s.
Many of these more decorative and elaborate molding profiles are no longer mass-produced and instead require the work of a professional millworker.
At Mouldings One we help homeowners decide whether restoration or preservation is the right choice for their historic home, and then our expert millworkers use our state-of-the-art facilities to create a perfect match for your existing mouldings.
Deciding Between Historical Restoration or Preservation
The words “restoration” and “preservation” are often used interchangeably, but they don’t actually mean the same thing. Historic preservation aims to maintain as much of the original trim, moldings, and baseboards as possible. Homeowners may choose to preserve the original structure, style, or even the choice of paint or stain.
Due to the challenges of historic preservation, including discontinued paints, stains, and more, many homeowners opt for historic restoration, allowing them more flexibility to use newer, more readily available, and affordable materials.
There’s no right or wrong answer, but the condition is one of the most significant deciding factors. If the historic architectural details are too damaged or in poor condition, restoration is likely the better route.
How to Replace Damaged or Missing Moldings
Every homeowner has varying degrees of building experience. Whether you’re comfortable with an Allen wrench to assemble pressboard furniture or you have years of experience using a full range of power tools.
Being upfront about your own building experience is important because while some basic molding repairs can be a simple DIY project, renovating moldings throughout a historic home will likely require a professional. Some historic moldings, like the elaborate crown moldings in Georgian-style homes, require precise measurements and installation.
If you’d like to get it started before hiring a contractor, we recommend taking measurements of all the moldings, trim, and baseboards you plan to replace. Putting these measurements in an easily shareable and organized document or spreadsheet will make it even easier to provide these details to your contractor.
We also recommend organizing your measurements on a room-by-room basis to keep track of every phase of your project easily.
Professional Profile Matching
When starting a historic restoration project, the first thing a contractor will do is take ideal samples from each architectural element you plan to restore. The ideal sample should be the best profile condition you have available. This ideal sample will serve as the basis for all of your new profiles.
Next, either you or your contractor will need to find a woodworking mill. Using your ideal sample, an experienced millworker can recreate as much new moulding, baseboard, or trim that you’ll need that perfectly matches your historic style.
Ideally, the mill should have experience recreating historic profiles, and have the right equipment to digitally recreate the profile. At Mouldings One, our woodworkers have recreated everything from arches for Gothic revival homes to the extravagant details of Art Deco architecture.
Custom millwork has come a long way. While we can still match profiles by hand, we opt to use the latest state-of-the-art technology to produce digital 1:1 recreations. These files are then used to perfectly machine cut your custom molding profile before being quality checked by our master craftsmen.
This level of custom millwork takes hours and expensive commercial equipment, it’s not something you can do with little experience and basic tools.
Accuracy in Architectural Details
Architectural details are what help to bring a house together and give it a cohesive interior style. Getting these details right is crucial whenever undergoing a historic home restoration.
At Mouldings One we have generations of millwork experience and craftsmanship that we bring to your historic home restoration project needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us for your next home renovation that requires custom mouldings, trim, or baseboards.
Please enjoy our vast library of resources and mouldings museum as a source of architectural inspiration. You can also shop our ready-made Historic Moulding Combination packages, perfect for many historic home renovations.