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Tolerances for installing natural wood trim12/12
Doing a job for a customer installing the inside window casing on an old farmhouse. They framed up new walls on the inside because the old ones were so fast out of plumb. Some of the casings are 4 7/8" at top and 5 1/2" at bottom on one side while the other might be 5 at the top and 5 3/4" at the bottom. So everything has to be ripped down at an angle.
The casing is 1x knotty pine, the trim is 1x4 and 5/4 knotty pine.
I guess my question is... what are the tolerances for the casing and trim? Gaps.
I've never had someone question a 1/32" gap between the casing and the window . Is there supposed to be zero tolerance?
What is the AWI standard for gap tolerances?
If we donít mill the material, all bets are off. The material is guaranteed to be warped, cupped and at the very least not flat. You could get 1/32 gaps from the material forget what you do with it.
Then the species. There is a massive difference between the stability of knotty pine vs cherry or maple.
Are the window doors themselves square,level,plum. Are the joints mitered or butted?
1/32Ē would be the maximum for any joint in any of our paint grade work. Clear finish is tight. Tight enough the glue fills the gap not wood filler.
Iíve worked on plenty of houses built pre 1900. It all can be done perfectly, but few customers are willing to do the last 5%.
I like to price it as a situation where the more customer is willing to pay the better a job he gets.
I guess if the customer said "I don't care what it takes and I'm willing to pay", then possibly you could expect perfection. Even then there are just way too many variables to get it with zero tolerance, in my opinion. They are planning on doing the trim, however i have a feeling I'll be asked to do it. I trimmed out one window so they could see what it will look like. All of the but joints are tight, but on the sides of the trim it's not 100%tight because the drywall is not perfectly flat.
It is not reasonable to hire a person to do work when they have to follow the work of others that may have made the problems worse. That is, if you don't have control over what your predecessor does, or the owner decides, then you may want to reevaluate your attachment to the work.
As a secondary, you may want to do the work on time and materials, and have your customer sign off on one completed window, so you can work without second guessing yourself.
David you are right on point.
And from the start i told them this would be a t&m job. Way to many variables.
I would think this would be an easy one to just say it will be approximately XX for this level, and cost plus or a higher XX for super tight.
Sounds like your talking that your main issue is with regards to the extension jambs and stool running back through the new window openings to the face of the window. It is not uncommon in old (and sometimes new) homes for these to never be a simple straight rip. Horizontal drywall seams leave a fat area in the opening as do vertical seams split over a wide opening (hopefully your not coming behind someone who splits sheets on a corner).
While it is more work, its not terribly hard to scribe the extension jambs to the window face. It adds a step to each leg of the opening but its most definitely possible. Once your extension jambs are flush or slightly proud of the drywall face the world is right again and your off to the races. That said, I woudlnt be adding that step without having incorporated it into my bid.
Sounds like maybe they should have incorporated a bit of crafty profiling into their trim package that would allow for some sliding interfaces and perhaps a back band around the casing to provide some quick fudge on the install. But if they are not wanting to pay, they arent going to go that route.
As far as tolerance go, 1/32" for trim joinery
However, unless you did the work, there is
I dont really agree at all. The answer to me lies in your statement of pointing out the field conditions on your initial evaluation. You may well have a customer that when shown that the conditions will require extra hours (extra $$) may well state that they understand it's an old house or progress to this point has been less than perfect and they dont expect perfection. As I stated it's pretty common for us to have to scribe in new construction and it's just part of what you do.
If the OP bid the job without the discussion or a mutual agreement of some sort of standard and now feels shorted it's a little late.
I dont agree with arbitrarily working to the highest standard if your not being compensated or expected to. If you bid all your work that way, have good foresight, and land enough work that's wonderful.
The point was that on viewing the field conditions it would be very easy to see how much work would be required to get to industry standard results and the conversation happens then not after.
In my experience it doesn't matter whether it's new construction or old, it's impossible to get a perfectly 100percent tight fit up against the window and the drywall. You might scribe the jamb to fit the window, but if the drywall has waves in it, you'll see it from the side. If it's painted trim that can be caulked for a seamless fit. I don't see how that is possible with natural wood. If you coped the jamb to the drywall you'd see a potential wave where the trim meets the jamb.
So my point is the has to be some sort of tolerance.