The office doors
Wainescot in the girls' room
Shelving and coat rack in the mud room
The stairs to the basement Inside the pantry

Finish Work

The finish work did not actually take as much work as it might seem from the date range listed above. Our finish carpenter crew was working on another job at the same time as our project, and a few days here and there were lost as the result of waiting on materials. Additionally, given that it is hunting season, they had a number of days when they were out of town. I suspect that they were on the job for about 4 or 5 solid days, scattered through a couple of weeks.

The crew did a very good job, particularly on the stairs which turned out very nicely. They were not able to install the baseboards in the entry way and the kitchen as we will be installing hardwood floors in those areas. Our hardwood flooring contractor (Croft Beck Floors, which is owned by my brother's father in law) *highly* recommended holding off on the hardwood installation until the painting was complete to prevent moisture problems in the wood. (More on that in a separate topic.)

We learned that the material choice for your finish work makes a huge difference in the price. Since we are planning to paint most of the finish work, we went with the most cost-effective material available: MDF (medium density fiberboard). MDF is a man-material composed of recycled wood products, resins, and other materials. It is popular as a finish material because it is perfectly true, free of knots, and is inexpensive.

In the main entry area, we used more natural wood products to add a bit more character. The front door, office doors, and stairs are made from knotty-alder which gives a bit of a rustic feel to the room. It has turned out very nicely.

One of the areas we paid particular attention to was the closets. In our last house, it seemed that the shelving in the closets was laid out very quickly and not necessarily efficiently. My wife spent quite a bit of time with the finish carpenter the first day to discuss how we wanted the closets; he gave us some additional ideas, and I think we came up with a good use of the space.

In the girls' room, we put up bead board as a six-foot wainscot in an effort to make the room have a little bit of its own personality. I think it turned out nicely - we will see how it looks when it is painted.

With the doors hung, the base & case up, and the closets finished, it is really starting to look like a place you could live in!

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