What Is Colonial Casing?

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Colonial casing emulates the appearance of layered sections of wood trim, creating an elegant effect at a low cost. Many types are available, and the cost varies by design and manufacturer. But none are as expensive as hiring a professional carpenter to create customized edging for your doors and windows.

Function

  • Casing, such as you might install around a door or window, can be as simple as a flat slat of wood with rounded edges. Casing is mainly decorative, providing a finished look around the edges of an entryway or window.

High-End Casing

  • High-end projects might feature custom casing, which involves finished carpentry and detailed woodwork, usually resulting in a complex design. For example, an installer might attach a flat piece of wood to act as a base, followed by a series of thinner, narrower pieces of trim to create a layered effect. Each piece must be cut to size and mitered, which means ensuring the angles where sections of wood meet are equal and complementary. A typical miter joint is 45 degrees on each side, creating an even seam. The process is lengthy and difficult.

Colonial Casing

  • Colonial casing provides a less expensive means of achieving the same effect. Instead of hiring a carpenter to install a series of layers, you can purchase a finished piece of layered trim. Many designs exist. Some fully emulate multilayered trim, while others have grooves or rounded ridges that don't look like independent sections. Some types of colonial casing are extruded plastic. Others are machine-carved wood.

Considerations

  • Choose the type that works well with your home’s overall design. For example, complex colonial casing might liven up a relatively plain interior, while simpler designs can surround windows and doors tastefully and unobtrusively, allowing other elements of your home’s design to take precedence.

Installation

  • You can prime and paint after installation, but the process goes much faster if you lay out all the pieces side-by-side and finish them before installation. To cut the casing, a miter saw is preferable. It speeds the mitering process, allowing you to perform quick complementary cuts. If your project is small, however, you can use a simple hand saw to cut the casing to size. Finish nails, which are small and thin, hold the casing in place. After nailing, cover the nail heads with wood filler, then prime and paint the patches.

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