Trim Tips for Doors and Windows
Pro Moves for fast and Accurate Casing
Ever been impressed by the skills of professionals? I love to watch professional hockey, probably because three times a week I play the game in a local league. Although I have learned a thing or two watching the NHL, I will never come close to matching their speed and accuracy on the ice.
When it comes to door and window casings, however, you can learn skills to match professional finish carpenters, which will greatly improve your speed and accuracy. A house with 20 doors and 20 windows will need 200 individual pieces of casing to trim out the interior. That’s 200 boards that will need to be measured, cut, fit, glued and nailed into position.
Professional finish carpenters must find efficient ways to get this job done. You may not have plans to go pro as a trim carpenter, but you can benefit from pro tips in casing preparation, cutting multiples, consistent nailing sequence and precise adjustments.
Getting the door jambs and window surrounds ready for casing varies a bit between remodel and new construction. Whether you are removing nails left over from the old casing or you are cutting off shims and beating back drywall on a new construction project, it’s important to make sure that all of the windows and doors are ready before getting started.
We pull all of the doors off the hinges and set them aside. This really helps in prepping the door jambs. After cutting off any overhanging shims and beating back drywall (within the bounds of the planned casing), use a gauge block to mark the reveals on both the door jambs and window surrounds.
Make a list of the doors that need casing. Take note of which doors are exterior doors. Because the stops are constructed differently, like-sized exterior doors will have slightly different casing lengths, so cut these separately.
Make a list of the window surround sizes as well. Often you will have a parts cut list from building the surrounds that can be used as a reference for the windows. The important thing is to determine which windows have matching horizontal or vertical measurements.