By Gene and Katie Hamilton
In many grand old houses, much of the character and grace of the rooms comes from the crown molding. More and more buyers of new homes are looking for that same fine detail, and builders are responding with intricate cornices and crown moldings to trim out rooms. You can add that distinguishing detail and transform an ordinary house by installing wooden crown molding and then painting or staining it to fit your décor.
To get an idea of how crown molding will look in a room, use blue painter's tape to approximate its depth and scale. It's simple to do this with easy-to-remove tape, and it will help you visualize how the molding will call attention to the ceiling and add a fine detail to the space.
A carpenter will charge $341 to install 70 linear feet of finger joint pine crown molding in a 12-by-20-foot room. This includes labor and material. If you have experience with finish carpentry and tools you can buy the molding and install it for $195, the cost of the material. That's a 42 percent saving. You'll get the best results using a power miter saw, cordless drill and finish nail gun. And it helps to also have an electronic stud finder to locate wall studs. You'll also need a tape measure, hammer, chalk line, coping saw, wood rasp and ladder. Use finish nails to fasten the molding to the walls, wood putty to fill nail holes and caulk to seal any gaps between the molding and walls and ceiling.
There are different qualities of wooden molding and the least expensive is often finger-jointed, which means it's a composite of different wood. It's a good choice if you plan to paint the molding because the paint conceals the mismatched wood. But choose a quality-grade wood if you plan to finish the molding with a stain because the grain of the wood will show through.
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Wrapping up, given the average cost to install ceiling molding you can compare the price of a contractor’s bid with doing it yourself. For a local cost input your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020