Hiring a Contractor for Crown Molding

Crown molding can set the tone for any room, whether it is a dining room, living room or study. If your old house is missing this classic detail, here's how to find a contractor and add it.

Finding a Contractor
While crown molding can be put in by a variety of contractors, the ideal installer is a good carpenter. You can look for one by contracting friends and neighbors, and asking around at local lumber yards. If you know a good general contractor, he or she should have a few sources for you.

Questions to Ask
As you talk with carpenters, ask about their experience with old houses. This type of project can be vastly different from adding molding in new construction, where you often are starting from scratch with straight walls and even corners. You want a carpenter who is skilled at installing molding in odd shaped areas that perhaps have settled a little with age.

Also ask the contractors for recommendations on the molding style. If there is crown molding in adjacent rooms, the answer might be obvious. If you are adding it to the entire first floor, then you want a contractor who takes clues from the home's architecture.

A good carpenter should be able to examine your window and door trim, as well as any decorative arches and columns for ideas. Look for someone who focuses on blending the new wood with the old, as this will create the best results.

Where to Add Crown Molding
While crown molding can work in many rooms, it is a natural in large rooms and those designed for entertaining. This includes the dining room, living room, and library.

One tricky aspect of this project is knowing when to stop. When adding molding in one or two rooms, you'll want to find a natural stopping point. This can be difficult with varying ceiling angles and high-reaching arches that get close to where molding would be placed.

The solution is to find a carpenter who has an eye for balance. In the end, the crown molding should flow from room to room, as if it has aged naturally over the years.

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