Alter Eagle

Master Carpenter

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Moulding & Millwork Installation

If you own one of the many homes in the North Bay that never had the achitectural moldings completed or 
has builder trim packages we offer easy affordable upgrades to make your home your own.
We make home visits and offer free estimates while on site, for room by room or your entire home.
All of our installations are with the craftsmanship of a master finishing carpenter.

Finishing Carpentry - Master Finish and Trim Molding Carpenter

Location and Service Area

Located in Sebastopol our general service area is West Sonoma County and North Marin County
in the San Francisco North Bay region of California
Bodega Bay • Forestville • Healdsburg • Novato • Oakmont • Occidental
Petaluma • Rohnert Park • Santa Rosa • Sebastopol • Sonoma • Windsor
Licensed Bonded Insured - Building & Construction

the trim molding

profiles, installations

the trim cost

Finish Carpenter
Supply & Install

We used to own the trim molding store King of Crown in Santa Rosa. Now instead of having you go to the store we come to you

We still supply the materials and architectural mouldings for all of our finishing projects

For estimates we'll set up an appointment that is convenient for you and come by to measure.

Typically for most projects I can get you the final install and material cost while on site.

We have many profiles not available in box stores and can provide you with any design style from craftsman to victorian.

All of our molding and millwork installations are by a master carpenter

Trim Packages & Home Style

We used to own the architectural moulding store King of Crown in Santa Rosa so we know the fine art of proportion scale and style. We have updated many homes through out the North Bay from historic craftsman and victorians to our modern contemporary styles.
Baseboard • Window and Door Casing • Wainscot wainscoat and chair rail • Library and Office Paneling • Crown molding and Cornice • Coffered and Box Beam Ceilings • Curved radius and arched

Crown Molding - Crown Moulding Installations

Crown Molding (cornice) in the modern sense is a decoractive trim that typically sits on an angle at the top of the wall to the ceiling.

As long as there has been buildings people have been decorating them but the earliest evidence of classical crown molding was first used by the Egyptians and ancient Greeks as a cornice to top their entablature at the roofline. Similar to this cavetto cornice on the early Egyptian Temple dedicated to Sobek on the left. The classic shape most popular today is a Cyma Recta which means "upright wave" and has a scotia base, top right.

The earliest written record of Cymatium (crowning molding) was by 1st century BC Roman Architect, Vitruvius in the "De architectura" scrolls. The only surviving treatise on Greek and Roman architecture from classical antiquity, and not re-written until 1452, "De Re Aedificatoria".


In classical architecture, crown is the third or uppermost division of an entablature.
Of the classic orders and it's divisions of 3, if the base column entablature were applied to rooms. The classic entablature gets divided into 3, architrave, frieze and cornice then our upper wall moldings represent picture moldings, frieze and crown. An excellent example is the cornice (1897) by Architect Henry Rill to the right.

Cornice is derived from the French corniche, a blending of Latin cornix crow and the Greek kopwvis coping stone. The first use of this term in English was 1563.

Built up architectural crown elements with lighting

Crown Moldings

It's the little details that can often make a big difference in creating a room with character, few other molding details offer the visual impact or can upgrade your home's interior for less than crown molding, it sets the tone of the room.

Coffered - Box Beam - Ceiling Treatments

Coffering is the sunken panels created by crossing members such as beams.
The ancient Greeks and Romans used coffering to decrease the ceiling load, beautiful design aestetics and to reduce echo. The classic example of a coffered ceiling is dome of the Pantheon, a temple dedicated to all the roman gods built in 27 BC Pan meaning all and Theon, gods.
When Michelangelo first saw the Pantheon in the early 1500s, he proclaimed it of angelic and not human design.


Palazzo Spada 1632, in Piazza Capo di Ferro
One of my favorite uses of a coffered ceiling is by the Baroque architect Francesco Borromini who created a masterpiece of forced perspective with an optical illusion. The diminishing rows of columns and a rising floor extends the visual apperance the 26 foot gallery to look as if it would be 122 feet. The sculpture at the end of the corridor looks life size but is actually only waist high. He used a coffered ceiling on the barrel vault of the gallery mathematically layed out with perspetive to the dimishing point.

Ceilings

Ceilings are often overlooked but can be quite dramatic. Ambient light for a master bedroom or theater with back-lit crown or box beams with crown moldings in a formal dining area.
Skylights or light tubes make excellent choices for enhancing dark areas of your home like hallways kitchen and especially baths.

Paneling - Wainscot - Casing - Doors - Baseboard

Walls

Updating builder trims with properly sized baseboard, casing for those bare drywall return windows and crown enhance unfinished rooms. 
Panelled library den or theater room, wainscotting for the office or dining offer visual imapact.
Walls are like a classic order where crown is the entablature that completes the column and base.

Wainscot, (wainscoat) is the lower paneling on walls.
Wainscot first entered the English language around 1352 and referred to a fine oak imported from Germany and Holland, which was used for furniture as well as paneling. The original use was probably wagon and coach building, as evidenced by the Dutch "waghenscote," from "wagen" (wagon) plus "scote" or "scot" meaning "partition."


Wainscoting origins
The earliest documentation of wainscoting appears in homes in 1500's England to cover the lower part of walls at a time when homes made from stone and were not built to resist dampness wicking up from the ground. It was very popular in Victorian and Crafstman homes here in America especially in kitchens and baths where it protected the lower section plaster walls from moisture. These days it is used as an elegant way to decorate rooms in the home as it eminates the feeling of warmth from it's original use.





Of the classic orders and it's divisions of 3, if the pedestal (base) column entablature were applied to rooms. The classic pedestal gets divided into 3, base or plinth, dado, parapet or die and cornice or cap then our lower wall moldings represent baseboard, wainscot and chair rail. A beautiful example would be Palladio's San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, on the left - if you ever get a chance to see it look at the carving inside for the choir paneling it's amazing.

Proportion scale and style in finishing carpentry

Proportion

"For without symmetry and proportion no temple can have a regular plan; that is, it must have an exact proportion worked out after the fashion of the members of a finely-shaped human body."
Vitruvius Scrolls, book III, 22BC
The drawing Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci used the proportions from Vitruvius and the measurements found in his study of ancient buildings, a symbol of the symmetry of the body and by extension the universe as a whole.

Golden Ratio

A is to B as B is to C the numeric value 1.618 is called "phi", named for the Greek sculptor Phidias. The Parthenon in Athens (440BC) and The Great Pyramid of Giza (4,600 years old) are based on the Golden Ratio. Leonardo called it the "divine proportion" and featured it in many of his paintings. We still use it today as the perfect proprtion for finishing carpentry.

Scale to Volume

When I finish homes I look at the volume of the room as well as the scale of the finishes. You can use the golden ratio as a basis for scale but really it comes down to the room and it's dimensions. A good example is the orders for column design and the difference from ionic to tuscan. One room with a ceiling height of 10' might be able to take a 7 1/2" crown and 5 1/2" base where another would need 5 1/2" crown with a 3 1/2" base. It comes down to exerience.

Style

The style is about you and what you prefer, we can build to practically any period and style of architecture or design needed.

Website design by owner © Alter Eagle

This page last modified on Sunday, June 03, 2012

History of molding design
Our architectural molding styles basically came from two sources in the Renaissance period (early 15th century) the ruins of ancient Classical buildings, particularly in Italy and the De architectura scrolls (22 B.C.) by the Roman architect Vitruvius. Which was a study on Greek Temple design similar to Segesta in Sicily (416 B.C.) with it's Doric columns, left.
The ten scrolls of Vitruvius' De architectura are the only architectural writing that survived from Antiquity. In 1562 Vignola recorded the classical orders based on the Vitruviun treatise with just a brief introduction and 32 drawings but is considered the most significant. In the early 19th century in America, architect Asher Benjamin wrote The American Builder's Companion, which influenced many of our early builders.


The Acropolis
Caryatids supporting the porch of the Erechtheum, on the Acropolis, Athens. According to a story by Vitruvius, caryatids represented the women of Caryae, who were doomed to hard labour because the town sided with the Persians in 480 bc during their second invasion of Greece. It fades into an office remodel with as an example of classic proportion to our scale.

Of the classic orders and it's divisions of 3, if the pedestal (base) column entablature were applied to rooms. The pedestal would represent our wainscoat and chair rail, the column our walls and the entablature our picture rail and crown molding. The proportions are still based on the golden ratio and scaled to the volume of it's elements.

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