Trim Carpentry


Finish carpentry is the last step in the carpentry process. It involves the installation of finish woods and trim made of plastic or molded polyurethane. Finish carpenters perform tasks such as installing crown molding, baseboards, windows, stairs and other features of a building that requires aesthetic appeal. To become proficient in finish carpentry, it takes years of practice, learning a wide range of woodworking tools.


Cutting, fitting and installation of fascias and molding comprises a large portion of finish carpentry work. The installation of molding is a straightforward task that doesn’t require a lot of tools. Hand tools are mostly used to cut and fit molding; however, some carpenters use power tools to save time and effort.


Another large portion of finish carpentry work includes putting up the trim surrounding doors and windows, as well as installing each unit so it is level and operates correctly. Once the door or window has been installed, the trim is cut and nailed into place. A lot of window or door trim is installed with a similar method to creating a picture frame by connecting each corner at a 45-degree angle.


The field of finish carpentry involves so many skilled tasks, such as cabinetmaking and stair-building, that certain areas of home-building may be handled by just one person or even a small crew. Building stairs and cabinets are two of the more complex tasks, where at least the original work needs to be done in a woodworking shop. Once the cabinets are made or the stairs are built, the finish carpenter will have the task of installing these items on-site.


Finish carpenters use a wide variety of tools. Some commonly-used power tools are the electric drill, circular saw, electric screw gun, table saw, router and compound miter saw. This last tool is one of the most important for a finish carpenter to make the angled cuts the job requires. Finish carpenters also use measuring tools such as tape measures, rulers and scribes, which are used to measure curves.