By Gene and Katie Hamilton
To add warmth, beauty and character to a room, consider installing raised wood paneling as wainscoting. Traditionally, wood panels would be found in a library or den, but these days wainscoting is used to enhance just about any room. But no matter how small the room, raised paneling is not a low budget item; it's a long term investment you'll enjoy for years to come.
Surrounding a room in wood involves measuring and laying out the panels, then installing the horizontal base rails, followed by the vertical panels, and then finishing with top rails. The material is fastened to the walls with adhesive and nails.
A carpenter will charge $2,380 to install raised paneling as wainscoting on the lower third of the walls of a 12-foot-by-15-foot room (approximately 50 linear feet) including a top rail and baseboard molding at the floor. This includes labor and material. You can buy a customized kit for a room that size for $1,750 and install it yourself, saving 26 percent. The components, which are precut and milled to fit together, come paintable and in different wood finishes. You'll find wainscoting sold online and at building material suppliers and lumberyards.
At www.newenglandclassic.com, you can watch an installation video and get inspired by different design ideas. Their modular system has raised and flat panels and beadboard in a variety of woods with styles ranging from Colonial to contemporary. You can download a sketch sheet for your walls and get an estimate for the materials with detailed drawings and a material list of what you need.
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That sums it up. Knowing the average cost to install raised paneling lets you compare doing it yourself with what you can expect to pay a contractor. To customize the cost to where you live add your ZIP Code in the cost box.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020