Replicating Old Window Moldings and Replacing House Trim and Boards

Project: Basement Finishing and Family Space, Episode 5, Part 1



Back in Melrose, MA, Bob reviews the exterior work on the 1921 Dutch gambrel. The home's trim, built-out bays, and columns all need replacing. The crew starts by making a template of the trim profile and creating a special knife to cut all the boards for the job. The fascia, trim, porch deck, and porch ceiling are replaced with western red cedar, which is naturally rot and insect resistant. The new porch ceiling is installed with staggered joints for a beautiful finished appearance. Pulling up the old porch deck reveals rotted and insect-damaged joists that must be replaced with pressure-treated joists hung from galvanized hangers. The stucco columns have rotted away inside and are repaired with a brick-and-mortar base and a concrete fill poured in through a hole at the top of the column. A new, energy-efficient, fiberglass-skinned polyurethane-core front door is installed with a pressure-treated custom jamb. Inside, Bob looks at the new aluminum-clad wood windows that have been installed throughout the home. The tilt-in sash, low-e coated and crypton-filled glazing, and pine interior make for an elegant replacement window that blocks noise and unwanted air from entering the home.

Part 1: Replicating Old Window Moldings and Replacing House Trim and Boards
Bob explains that the house being remodeled was built in 1921 and has never had a real facelift on the exterior. As a consequence, the home's trim, porch ceiling, decking, and windows were all in need of repair. Bob points out the oriel window's exterior frame that has allowed cold air into the home. To fix this problem, local carpenters were called in to tear it apart, insulate, and restructure it. Forester Molding & Lumber was then brought in to replace the 85-year-old trim. Bill Hopkins from Forester Molding & Lumber reviews how old house moldings cannot be found in lumberyards and must be replicated. Hopkins uses a needle gauge to trace the profile of the trim. The needle gauge is then placed on a piece of graph paper and traced. The profile is then used to search for available matches in the Forester catalog. If there is no match, the trim is scanned into the computer and a specialized knife is cut. The knife is then used in the machine to rip the molding. Bob talks with Paul Mackie from the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association about the features and benefits of western red cedar in home remodeling projects. The wood comes from Northwest America and western Canada. The wood is beautiful, durable, and rot- and insect-resistant because it has natural preservatives within it. There is very little sapwood within the tree itself. Bob then reviews some of the types of red cedar boards being used in the project. A local company was called in to replace the floor and ceiling of the porch with red cedar. Doug Coyle from House Doctors reviews how the boards were installed for the ceiling. The joints were staggered to give the ceiling a more finished appearance. Bob explains that the crown moulding was also a custom job. Western red cedar is lightweight, easy to work with, and takes a good coat of paint. Stainless steel nails and fasteners work best for this type of wood.
Part 2: Fixing a Rotted Deck and Columns on the Porch
Part 3: Replacing an Exterior Door and Windows

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