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Planning Makes Perfect

It always seems like when building a house it is a race. Thereare deadlines you have to meet, packages that are supposed to arrive, and theweather is never cooperating. Some of the last final steps in this year long,or more, process is to finish the interior. This includes putting trim aroundthe windows, doors, put in your cabinets, and flooring. During these last fewsteps you are able customize your trim to the size, shape, and type of wood youwant. This is where I come in and become the working grunt for my Mom and D ad’sbusiness.
Most of the time, people don’t think about getting their trimuntil the very last minute. This kind of annoys me because it adds more stressto my family and daily life. For example, if the person needs their trim thenext week, my family and I are scurrying across our yard to get the job done inthe allotted amount of time we have. They think that they’re able to order it upoff the internet and be at their doorstep within five to seven business days. Usuallyto make house trim it takes six to eight weeks. First of all, the wood wouldhave to be cut out of the logs and then loaded into the kiln. I hate loadingwood into the kiln. I always end up being to the person who gets stuck at thetop of the pile for the last couple of rows. The sunny-side of this unfortunateevent is that being stuck up there has cured me of having claustrophobia. Forthose who don’t know what a kiln is, it is a device that is able to pull themoisture out of the wood by the gallons with a dehumidifier. Wood has to bedried to prevent warping, cupping, and bowing once it is inside the house. Justto dry the wood it takes about three to four weeks. During this time it is likethe calm before the storm.  Once the woodis dried, it is then planed down to a certain thickness, cut to a certainwidth, sanded, and then there are certain characteristics added to the wood. Inmy down-time for the next three weeks, I’m usually picking out the splintersthat have peppered my hands.
There are many types of wood to use as trim. I prefer usingsoftwoods over hardwoods for my trim. A few of the types of softwoods used areDouglas fir, Hemlock, and Cedar. There can be two types for these threesoftwoods: old growth and second growth. Old growth wood is salvaged wood thathas been lying on the forest floors for hundreds of years and had lived formore than a thousand years before falling over. This wood has hardly any knotsand is extremely tight grained. Old growth should not be used for structuralreasons, because the wood is not as ridged and strong as its counterpart; thesecond growth. The old growth is sometimes so tight, that in a single ten inchpiece of wood it has lived for more than two hundred years. Second growth woodhas looser grains and is not salvaged wood. Hardwoods are usually used asflooring, furniture, or cabinets. A few types of these woods would be BlackWalnut, Big Leaf Maple, Birch, and Alder. People are always analyzing on howthey could save their money and I don’t blame them. Here is a good tip whenbuying your trim, order it in the winter other than the summer. This is becauseduring the winter business is slow, which makes the prices of the wood lower.In the summer it is a different story. The prices of the wood would be slightlyhigher than the prices in the winter.
With customizing your own trim you are able to choose how thickor wide you want your trim to be. It doesn’t have to be the generic sizes likeat Home Depot or at Lowes. Also, you are able to order the trim with certaintypes of profile on it. Profiles add unique characteristics to your wood. Forexample, round-overs are put on the edges of the trim to make the corners moreround than sharp points. There are many different sizes of round-overs too. Youcan have the round-over be small and have the board’s appearance be sharper. Also,with a round-over on the edges of the wood it prevents slivers and cuts.Sometimes when I was helping my Dad plane the wood, I would get little papercuts on my hands from running my hands along the edges. Or you could have theround-over be large and the edges would be more rounded than square. Moldingcan also be made to suit your desires. For example, crown molding can be madeto match base board, and would give your house a more Victorian style to it.
There are many options and styles to have your trim as. Just aslong you take your time and think ahead on what the trim around your windowsand doors would look like. Besides with custom trim packages you are able tomake your trim suit the style of your house and your personality. I have beenworking with wood since I was twelve. Now I’m seventeen and within those fiveyears I have learned a lot about wood. Before hand, I used to be clueless onhow lumber was made. Within those five years I have learned how to take a logand turn it into something usable for your house. These past five years havechanged me from a clueless little girl into a person with a hard work ethic.I’m grateful for learning this trait because it will benefit me for the rest ofmy life.  

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