Custom Moulding vs. Stock Moulding: The Pros & Cons

custom moulding vs. stock moulding

Years ago, there were basically two types of casings available; “colonial” and “clamshell,” in either 2 1/2″ or 3 1/2″ widths. Of course those two old standbys are still around, also available in finger jointed versions, either primed or bare wood.

I refuse to use anything that is finger jointed. If you buy finger jointed mouldings, you will see that each length is made up of a lot of ridiculously small pieces. The ONLY advantage to this product is its low cost, due to using what was mill waste cutoffs in its manufacture. I have had carpenters tell me, “Oh, I would never use it outdoors; but it’s fine for interior trim, and it is clear.” While I agree that using finger jointed materials outdoors is about as good an idea as framing a deck with conventional lumber, I don’t like using it for indoor trim, either.  Sooner or later, you are always going to see those little lines where the pieces were glued together, which can be as bad or worse than seeing the outlines of knots.

While there are dozens of stock moulding profiles in clear White Pine, it is not a very durable species for use in door jambs, casings, or baseboards.  Poplar is a much better choice, and for not much more money. Some stock moulding profiles are available in poplar, primed or natural.

However, when you can’t find what you want, the sky is the limit with custom mouldings! 

First of all, a custom moulding can be milled using any species of wood that you like. At Barney & Carey, we have dozens of cutters for all types of custom mouldings, and if you need something else, we can have knives machined to produce any profile you can imagine. But at what cost, you ask? Actually, a lot less than you may think, especially if you are ordering larger quantities of moulding, as the cost per lineal foot goes down as quantity increases. 

That being said, if you need only eight feet to match a moulding in a historic renovation, we can do that, as well.   

We make custom mouldings for some of the finest builders and craftspeople in New England. Let us quote you on your project, big or small. You will be pleasantly surprised at how cost-effective our custom mouldings will be, while being assured of the very finest quality and craftsmanship!

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