If you love your home and are always looking for ways to make it look "finished," then adding trim may be a great option for you. Trim is one of those things which home builders skimp on, and it's a shame, because it can really make a room. A house without trim is like art without a frame.
Take a look at my latest project and you'll see what I mean:
My clients' home is in the historic neighborhood of Montford, and it has many old-fashioned architectural details, so I was surprised the builder hadn't installed any trim around the doors. As you can see, it gave the rooms the finishing touch they needed.
I started by measuring the doorways. Then I went back to my workshop to cut and mill the trim pieces. I used pre-primed wood for efficiency, but I made sure to sand and round the edges to soften the look of the wood and make it appear original to the house.
I basically have a portable workshop in my van, so I could have done the mill work onsite, but this kept all of the sawdust and noise in my shop instead of my clients' yard. It made their life easier and kept dust to a minimum.
Once I had it milled up, I took it to their home and cut it to length on site where I could be sure to get the perfect fit.
Of course, I'm simplifying my explanation. There were lots of little details to fiddle with. For example, this doorway was originally out of square, so I had to correct it:
It turned out beautifully. As you can see, the new trim blends in perfectly with the classic woodwork that was already there. It really frames the views into the next room nicely.
Could your home use a few small updates like this? If you live in Asheville or Weaverville, give me a call, I'll be glad to help.
Driveway gates can make a big difference for a small investment. Here's what I like about them:
I've installed several of these, and I'm always satisfied with the outcome. Here's the story of my most recent custom driveway gate installation.
One of my regular customers just adopted a 6 week old puppy. She wanted a gate installed so she could let the cute little troublemaker wander around in the yard without roaming into the road. She already had a fence, so we designed a gate to match it.
I started with a metal gate kit called "Adjust-a-Gate."
This is a really nifty system. It's basically a pair of steel frames that I can adjust to be wider or narrower depending on my client's needs. Once I had the right width, I added lumber to the top and bottom to help it maintain its shape. The diagonal steel cable is also adjustable, and it's what keeps the fence from sagging over time.
Although it's very sturdy, I still needed to make sure the gate was level when I installed it. I used an extra 2x4 as a level check.
Of course, no puppy is going to consider this a barrier. It's time to make this more than just a suggestion.
The neat thing about these gates is that they are infinitely customizable. Not only can I adjust the width and height, but I can change the look depending on what kind of boards I install. This one is made from simple fence boards cut on a straight line, but I could also make it curved, carved or curly. The design is up to you.
For example, I also installed a little side gate. Since I reused the old fence boards, the gate is nearly invisible. You can only tell by the handle. (You can click these three pictures to enlarge them.)
Here's one I installed a few years ago. I think it has a Japanese aesthetic. The owner later had an electrician install an automatic gate opener, which is nice when you're coming home on a rainy day.
And one more example... this has a driveway gate on one side and an ordinary wooden gate right next to it. Since the latches are all on the interior, it looks like a plain board fence from the road. And since this one uses old barn boards to match the barn it connects to, it just blends right into the landscape.
These metal gate systems are very durable. Although they can be adjusted if they sag, I've never even had to adjust one of them. In fact, the one shown above is retrofitted to an existing gate, and it's wider than the recommended limit... but it's still in great shape three years later.
Do you have a driveway in need of a gate? If you're in Asheville or Weaverville, give me a call... I love this stuff.
Sometimes my projects are just nice to look at, and this is one of them. I recently installed a wisteria vine trellis for ones of my Asheville clients who loves to garden.
We started with this inspiration photo, which I believe she took in the Montford neighborhood:
Then I dropped by her house and took a look at the actual porch. My client decided that she wanted a question-mark-shaped trellis so that the wisteria would frame the view.
Of course as we were planning the trellis, my client explained that she knows about the dangers of growing wisteria on a home. (It can twine into the siding and damage the house.) However, she loves to weed and tend her garden, so she'll take preventative measures.
In case you're wondering about the cover photo, the vine hasn't already taken over! That's just a little Photoshop magic. I'm sure the real vine will be even more beautiful. I'll have to come back next summer and take a photo of the view from the porch swing so you can see it in all its glory.
Meanwhile, here's what it really looks like now. It blends in well with the architecture.
Would you like help installing a vine trellis or making other small porch repairs? If you live in the Asheville or Weaverville area, give me a call. I'll be glad to help.
Photo credit for wisteria vine: Mike DelGaudio
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