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Basics for trim carpentry when finishing a new home

Finishing up with trim carpentry

The best part of the whole project is the trim carpentry and finish work. Many people who have finally gotten to that point have said to me, “I just want to get it over and done”. I like it and it’s easy to get fired up to put the finishing touches on things before you move in.

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In most cases if the house is financed, the leinholders or banks won’t let you move in until you get the occupancy permit, which is actually a good thing. I know some families who moved in to their unfinished houses and they had a difficult time getting motivated to finish.

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The occupancy permit varies from state to state, but it is basically the green light to move in from the local inspectors stating that the house is completely finished and safe.

Now, we still have a few things left to do to finish our house. The walls may or may not be painted. It’s easier to paint the walls before the carpet goes in. The stairs need railings, and the baseboards need to be put on.

All the lights and cover plates still have to be put on. Windows need to be finished. Trim has to be put up and we’d like to put a deck and a sidewalk in.

I don’t have a clue what I’m doing when I’m painting. I really don’t like to paint so giving advice how to paint would be poor advice. When it came time to do all the painting, my wife and sister-in-law stepped up.

They really enjoy painting and they had the whole interior primed in one day, then they came back the next day and painted everything. It looked perfect and they never made a mess at all like I always do.

I won’t go into how to paint because anyone can do it better than me, so I will move on to other things that I’m better at.

Many modern homes use a lot of wood trim, so you will want to bring out the grains in the trim with a good quality varnish. You can get this in different shades depending on your preference.



I always use Varathane brand Polyurethane for staining cabinets and trim carpentry projects. I have used a shade called “golden oak” throughout my house. It lasts for years and protects the wood.


oak trim



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