Crown Molding Installation and Repair: Metro Boston Home Trim Transformations

When homeowners in the Metro Boston area are thinking of ways to modify their houses and make a big transformation, big renovations tend to come to mind first—and that can feel discouraging if you don't necessarily have the time or budget to tear down a room and start from scratch. But we'll let you in on a little secret: you don't actually have to take on a huge remodeling project to make a positive change to the look and feel of a room. Sometimes all you need is a little appeal boost. Interior trim work, such as Metro Boston crown molding installation or repairs, can deliver exactly that.

You may be feeling rather skeptical that a little strip of wood—or whatever crown molding is made of—around the edge of your ceiling can make much difference, but it is truly surprising how much of a difference interior trim can make to the style and interior design of an entire room. Or, maybe you already have interior ceiling trim, but it's looking worse for wear. Either way, you need the help of a professional crown molding installer or repair professional.

Your local Metro Boston handyman is perfect for the job! If you've decided on crown molding installation or crown molding repair for your Metro Boston home, count on the service professionals at Mr. Handyman of Central - Eastern Norfolk County & South Shore. We are experienced with all types of trim installation and repair, so we have the skill and expertise to put in brand new trim that will enhance your room, or restore your old installation to its former glory.

What is Crown Molding?

It is a type of cornice that runs along the top of a wall. Wondering what a cornice is? Well, it's a horizontal molding that “crowns” architectural elements of a building. If that explanation is a little too circular for your tastes, basically it is a decorative strip of material that is typically used inside a house at the joint between walls and ceilings. It is also sometimes used to crown kitchen cabinets, window bays and other parts of your house that are near ceilings.

The word “molding” can apply to a wide variety of decorative features such as baseboards, handrails, built-in cabinets, chair rails and wainscoting, but a crown molding installation in particular is touching or very close to the ceiling. “Millwork” is another related term that applies specifically to interior trim made of wood, including some ceiling trim.

Is Crown Molding Installation Purely Decorative?

No . . . yes . . . sort of. Some kinds of trim do have clear functions that can go a long way toward protecting your property from damage, or making your home safer. Comparatively, crown molding is mostly just decorative—but that doesn't mean it's only there to look pretty. It's often also there to hide whatever is underneath it, so in that sense it does have a function beyond decoration: obfuscation.

In fact, crown molding and a lot of other decorative interior features were invented to hide the area where two differing materials meet, or where two planes intersect at a 90-degree angle. There's often a small gap at the joining point, so it makes sense to get crown molding installed there to hide the seam and make the room look more polished. Over time, as options and personal tastes became a lot more elaborate, the focus shifted more to decoration than hiding imperfections.

Which Materials are Used for Crown Molding Installation in Metro Boston?

There is a fairly wide range available when it comes to the type of material. Traditionally it was made out of molded plaster, and that's still a popular choice when it comes to those really elaborate styles with lots of detail. That's because you can simply keep making new pieces from the same mold and they'll all come out perfectly uniform, which is a lot more difficult to accomplish with non-molded materials like hardwoods.

Speaking of wood, it's a common type of ceiling trim material as well, especially for installations that involve straight, flat pieces without embellished details. It's classic, attractive, easier to repair and a lot more resistant to damage such as cracking than plaster is. While it is susceptible to wood rot, that only occurs with damp timber. If your ceiling is getting wet, you may have bigger problems to worry about—like a leaking roof or bathroom.

Nowadays, the majority of installations are done with composite materials such as vinyl, PVC, polyurethane foam or extruded polystyrene. These types of composites have a lot of advantages: they can be shaped like plaster, so it's easy to make and install elaborate, embellished styles, and the material itself is flexible and lightweight. It also can't be damaged by insects or moisture incursion, meaning it’s less likely to need future repairs, and once it has been painted it's indistinguishable from plaster. Metal trim is not as common as the other types, but it is becoming increasingly popular for its unique metallic look.

What Kind of Crown Molding Installation is Best for a Metro Boston Home?

When you're considering Metro Boston crown molding installation, you need to decide what room or rooms it should go into, the size of the trim and, of course, which specific design you want. Homeowners typically choose to install ceiling trim in larger gathering spaces, such as their living room, dining room and family room, but there's no real limit to how much you can have in your house.

Some people avoid trim installation in small rooms or rooms with low ceilings, but it can actually help to make a small or squat room feel bigger by drawing the eye upward. That being said, you want to match the size of your trim to the size of a room, as a big, heavy trim installation in a tiny room will feel overwhelming and out of place.

There's a huge array of design options available, but you can narrow it down by matching the current style of the rest of your room or Metro Boston house. If your home is mid-century modern or craftsman style, an over-the-top, highly embellished Victorian style will be really out of place and stick out like a sore thumb. On the upside, no matter what your interior design style is, from rustic and homey to modern and minimalist, there's a crown molding installation that will match it perfectly and enhance the overall look of your room.

Should the Color of a New Crown Molding Installation Be the Same Color as the Wall or the Ceiling?

Having your Metro Boston handyman paint your interior trim to match either the wall or ceiling are both good options. If you're looking to add an illusion of extra space that will make the room seem bigger, keep it the same color as the wall to help “lift” the ceiling. There's a third option as well: paint it a contrasting color that's different from both the wall and ceiling to make it really pop and add some visual interest to the room.

How is Crown Molding Installation Done?

The installation method your handyman will use is going to vary depending on the type of material they're working with. Typically it's lined up and pressed into place using construction adhesive, then secured with nails and a nail gun. If there's a small gap where the installation meets an uneven wall, it can be filled with a bead of caulk. Tiny cracks where two pieces of trim intersect with each other can be smoothed over with a paintable caulk so it's completely invisible after the installation is finished.

Does My Metro Boston House Need Crown Molding Repair?

Crown molding doesn't typically suffer much damage, which makes sense—it's usually well out of reach for people, pets and pretty much everything else, so there's not a lot that can affect it. However, it’s still possible for issues to appear that require repairs. The most common problem is cracked plaster or surface issues such as stains and peeling paint.

If you gaze up at your crown molding and it appears to be in good shape, you probably don’t need to investigate further for possible repairs. But if you notice any of the following signs, you may need Metro Boston crown molding repair services from a qualified handyman:

  • Cracks

  • Dangling or sagging pieces

  • Gouges

  • Peeling, flaking paint

  • Missing sections

  • Stains

  • Excessive build-up of grime that can't be dusted away

What Causes Cracks in Crown Molding?

Cracks can actually be a big cause of concern when it comes to crown molding repair. That’s because they indicate there could be serious problems with parts of your house that don't actually have much to do with your ceiling. When the foundation of a house begins to sink into the ground or heave upward, or there is a problem with your floor joists that are causing them to sag, that could put a strain on other parts of the house that cause cracking.

Plaster crown molding is particularly vulnerable because it's an inflexible material located right at a point where two planes intersect at a 90-degree angle. If you notice cracking in your trim, that certainly calls for crown molding repair—but you should consult with a foundation expert first to make sure the issue doesn’t mean you need repairs for a more serious, hidden problem.

What are Other Common Causes of Damage That Require Crown Molding Repair in Metro Boston?

If the foundation isn't the problem, then what is? Here are the causes of crown molding repair issues that we see most frequently in the Metro Boston area.

  • Excessive Moisture: Wood can be damaged by rot if it is exposed to excess moisture from a leaky roof or hidden plumbing leak, because wood rot is a form of decay caused by wood-eating fungi that require timber to have a moisture content of at least 20% in order to begin growing. Most wood crown molding stays high and dry, but it will still be damaged by excessive humidity. In a poorly ventilated bathroom, for example, steam from the shower condenses on surfaces and seeps in, causing water damage. Eventually that issue could lead to the need for wood rot repair.

  • Pressure Changes: The structure of your building is interconnected, so if one part of the house is put under pressure, you may end up needing repairs for other nearby areas too. For instance, if your roof is groaning under the weight of a huge dump of snow in winter, the pressure from all that added weight is spread throughout the house to parts such as the ceiling joists, and could cause pressure damage to your crown molding that causes it to buckle or separate from the wall.

  • Temperature Fluctuations: Some materials expand when they get hot and contract when they cool down, and if the change is rapid, that expansion and contraction can loosen crown trim or cause other issues such as peeling paint. Even gradual changes from one extreme to the other could cause the need for minor repairs here and there.

  • Impact Damage: Given the location of your crown molding installation, it's not likely to come into contact with a lot of impacts that require repairs, but it does happen occasionally—especially when large furniture is being moved around or you have a kid who likes to practice their baseball throws inside the house.

  • Insect Damage: Insects, especially the more destructive types such as termites and carpenter ants, can wreak havoc in your house—and they often cause the need for crown molding repair. Insect damage may appear as maze-like holes or channels across the surface of the molding, or you may just see increased insect activity near the ceiling.

Do You Need Metro Boston Crown Molding Installation or Repair? Rely on Mr. Handyman!

Whether you are in Weymouth, Milton, Braintree, or a part of the South Shore, such as Duxbury, you can count on Mr. Handyman of Central - Eastern Norfolk County & South Shore for expert installation of crown molding and crown molding repair, along with other interior trim services.

Get in touch with us today by picking up the phone and calling 508-465-2092 to schedule a service request, or to speak with our knowledgeable customer service staff about what we can do to transform your Metro Boston home with dependable handyman services.