Trim includes crown molding, baseboards, casing, wainscoting, chair rails, picture rails and decorative trim, all of which can be installed by a carpenter or handy person. Customers can provide the materials or request that the carpenter do so. Pros can install trim onto drywall, plaster, brick or wood. It’s often made of either solid wood, engineered wood or vinyl. Professionals can also make crown molding from plaster. Some clients need help with a straightforward installation job, and others need help with designing the look of the molding or trim. Trim can be left bare, painted or stained before it is installed. Several factors affect the cost of trim installation.
Different trim materials cost different amounts and will affect the overall cost of a project. Crown molding made of plaster is the most expensive because it requires the most labor to install. Next are hardwood trims, such as mahogany, followed in cost by softer woods, engineered woods and various types of vinyl trim.
Most handy people and carpenters charge for trim and molding installation by the linear foot. Costs can be negotiated in several ways. The price per linear foot may be solely for labor; it may include the cost of labor and materials; or it may include the cost for labor, materials and finishing (painting or staining) the trim. The cost for each job varies depending on the house and the particular requests of the homeowner. In addition, different types of trim (casing, chair rail, etc.) usually have different costs per linear foot, depending on the complexity, location and amount of labor required to install it. Here are some pricing examples from K2carpentry in Port Richey, Florida:
Chair rail installation: $4.50 per linear foot, including paint and materials
5¼-inch baseboard installation: $4.75 per linear foot, including paint and materials
5¼-inch primed finger-joint crown molding: $6 per linear foot, including paint and materials
Wainscoting in foyers or dining rooms: $20 per linear foot, including paint and materials
Shiplap, which is whitewashed or stained interior siding, for a feature wall: $30–$40 per linear foot for an average 9-foot ceiling.
Some carpenters charge set rates for installing trim, particularly if this skill is one of many that the company offers. Yusnier Pardias in Homestead, Florida, doesn’t get a lot of requests for trim installation, but he offers quality service for it as needed. He finds it more practical to offer one set rate for the service as demonstrated below. These examples include a range of trim options, from crown molding to baseboards:
Trim installation with paint: $3.50 per linear foot, including materials
Trim installation without paint: $3.25 per linear foot, including materials
Average cost to install trim in a 10x10-foot bedroom: $500 for one window and one door, including labor, materials and paint.
Some carpenters charge an additional travel fee if the job site is outside of his or her standard service range. This fee covers the pros time and transportation expenses for getting to and from the location.