Doing the finish work in your new home

The finish work is really anything that isn’t rough work. If you won’t be covering it up, it’s finish work. Cabinets, handrails, shelving and anything that involves skilled craftsmanship or any other trim carpentry. This may be a place to bring in a finish carpenter because their work looks really good and they are experienced. If you are patient and careful though, you can do your own finish work. Just take your time to make sure all trim and other finish pieces are cut even and fit together nicley.

Let’s start of with the window trim. A really inexpensive product for windows is called MDF.

It means Medium Density Fiberboard. (I think) It’s durable stuff. It will fit into the windows to cover up the rough opening boards.

Then you’ll put baseboard trim around the face of the window. You will need to paint the MDF. MDF and finger-jointed trim is the finishing work that needs to be painted. You can opt for real wood, but it’s super pricey!

window sill

You can use the same kind of trim around the doors that you use for the windows. The corners fit really well if you use a miter box to get 45 degree corners. A miter box is cheap and a good thing to have to help put the final touches on your project.

door trim

You will need to put your floor on. The first layer or the sub floor went in first back when we built the floors and walls. Now we need to finish the floor. Usually the under layemnet floor is considered as part of the finishing process.

interior trim

Floor coverings are expensive, but they really make the whole house seem complete. If you’re doing carpeted floors, the price will probably be the same if you install it or if the vendor does. That’s just the way it is. If this is the case, let them do it.

carpet installation

Next, you’ll put in fixtures. Toilets are really easy to install. They come with instructions, but the most important thing to remember is to get the wax ring on and centered perfectly. It will make a good seal that way.


You’ll want to get all your sinks installed. The fresh water lines will need to be connected and the drain waste line with a P-trap will have to be hooked up.

kitchen sink

The lights and cover plates will be the last things to put on.

ceiling fan

Kitchen cabinets are the single most expensive set of components that you will have to deal with. You have many options though. You can have them custom-made by a cabinet shop which is really expensive, but probably worth it. I say that because kitchen cabinets are a heavily weighted factor in determining a homes value after the comparative process by appraisers.

You can buy cabinet kits and install them yourself which is much cheaper. You can make the cabinet boxes or carcasses and have a professional make the doors.

Whatever you do, make sure they look nice.

kitchen picture

build a house

Entryways and hallways should look nice. The trim you pick out will make all the difference between an average home and a home with a personality.

The finish work takes a long time to complete because everything has to look good. Don’t get impatient. Just try to do a great job, you’ll be looking at it for many years. It will be a constant reminder of your patience or your recklessness.


More Finish carpentry

Installing handrails

Inside door trim

Inside window trim

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