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Brick Molding

goldhiller's picture

Can anyone out there explain the "who,what,when,& why" that established brick molding as the "now to be, universally accepted" casing that will come on all new pre-hung exterior door and window units?

Brick homes in our area are certainly not predominate and at least 50% of the time, we tear them off, fabricate, and install an appropriate molding.

I have this sneaking suspicion that this all came about as a result of the profit motive.

Set me straight and educate me if I'm all wet.


Edited 9/7/2002 12:04:43 PM ET by GOLDHILLER

Knowledge is power, but only if applied in a timely fashion.

(post #54452, reply #1 of 23)

Good question Goldhiller- I have no idea who or why they set that standard. I know it works great for cedar siding, and hardiboard siding, but does it fit inside or outside the brick? I wouldn't think it would offer much of a seal on the outside face of brick. But then I build decks, and not many of them go on brick houses.


Did you know that when I did spell check it offered the name Godzilla as a replacement for your name?


Bob


"Rather be a hammer than a nail"

"Rather be a hammer than a nail" Bob

(post #54452, reply #2 of 23)

Godzilla here........

It's not the issue of whether or not it works that I question, as it's nearly always thick enough to accept whatever siding one junctions with it, but rather it's the profile/style of it that I'm questioning as being the "universal proper solution". It strikes me that perhaps the "style nazis" decreed one day that heretofore all houses shall be trimmed with brick molding and therefore this is all you are allowed to offer.......... "Go ye into all the world and render all houses with brick molding for this is the appearance that pleases mine eye."

Somehow, I still think this has a monetary impetus and most of us just don't question it anymore, but rather just go with the flow and throw it up there. Maybe the manufacturers were right about being able to get this accepted as the unquestionable norm. Seems to have worked out that way.

Houses used to have much wider and/or elaborate casings on the doors and windows and there was a wide array of varying styles, but now when I've looked around for the last thirty years at the vast majority of new and/or remodeled homes, they have this common appearance created by the "universally accepted" brick mold.

The stuff is regularly applied to vintage homes and leaves them looking like they been plundered. To quote Maynard G. Grebes (for those of you old enough to have any notion who this character is)...... "Dullsville, man". Homogeneity for its own sake.

We have an extremely mediocre to poor contractor in our area ( bet you've got one of these too) who, when questioned by the client about the appropriateness of most anything at all, replies " That's the way they do it now".......... I guess he's right.

Maybe I should just get in line and stop questioning the matter, too. However, you won't find me mounting them on our 1875 Vic.

Knowledge is power, but only if applied in a timely fashion.

(post #54452, reply #3 of 23)

hey, 'zilla :). I bet some carpenters somewhere, somewhen had a local mill house add their own style brick mold, and it just caught on. And, of course, they could charge a few extra bucks for it, too. Nowadays, I bet it would cost extra for them to not put it on, as it would be a custom item - even though you are buying less. So folks who care just remove it and find a home elsewhere for the brick mold and fabricate their own.

Theresa        Cowtown information junkie...

Theresa        Cowtown information junkie...

(post #54452, reply #4 of 23)

In the modern world with the list of available mouldings there are no stock items that measure thicker than about 3/4"...except brickmold.  And as pointed out this special thickness lends itself to the application of exterior sidng............in the old style.


What else could a fabricator place on the outside of his wooden door frame to allow it to be fastened to the frame and sheathing?


If you install a door unit from a manufacturer of clad window and door units most, if not all, have only a 3/4"x 1-1/4" clad exterior finish rail that has the nail fins attached to the sides.............no brickmold.


On your next job that requires an exterior wood framed door unit.......order the unit without the brickmold and save $10-$17 off the price.....then apply what you wish.


Some nice stock 5/4 x 6 mouldings and 6/4 blocks would suite me well ......but where I do business that would be "special custom order" and cause wallet and heart failure for most of my potential clients.


Just my TWO CENTS............................Iron Helix

.......Iron Helix

(post #54452, reply #5 of 23)

Understood. That's what we're always faced doing as well.........but......I keep a largish supply (300 -400 BF) of clear 5/4" and 6/4" in stock as about 50% of our clients won't live with and don't want the brick mold. I remember (jeez,am I dating myself?) when I went to order or select a unit for install and we were given a choice of various moldings as stock choices. Those days are gone forever, I'm afraid.

And those finish railed units we all install.........have that same almost "no casing" look to them. I guess it's just become the normal "moe..dern" accepted look. Strikes me as somewhat humorous tho as we've seen alot of Vic reproduction homes go up in this area and then there they set with brick mold on the doors and windows.....a mere shadow of the original appearance.

Belly up to the bar , boys.........a round of brick mold for everybody.

I guess this issue is just one of my pet peeves as a contractor, but then my partner feels the same, other contractors and builders in our particular area feel the same, and alot of our clients. It's gone the way of so much stuff these days. Here's what we offer.....it's what all of us manufacturers offer....it's all we offer...take it and shut up.

Since we've all talked of our displeasure concerning this for the last few years, I thought I'd test the waters on this one and see if contractors anywhere else felt the same. Doesn't appear that they do. Guess we got our answer.

Maybe we're all just contrarians out this way.......so be it.....say it loud and say it proud.

Maybe it's because we expect to step up to the counter at McDonald's and hear other than "Would you like a hamburger or a hamburger?"...."Wonderful, one hamburger cummin' right up."

Knowledge is power, but only if applied in a timely fashion.

(post #54452, reply #10 of 23)

We can go one deeper. Why is it that all brick mold is all the same style? You would think there might be some variety.


It's not just brick mold. Buy any commercially made door and it will have a fake multi-panel relief. As if everybody wanted some tacky pseudo-historic look to their home. Pay more to get a clean design that costs less to make!


It reminds me of back in the early eighties when digital watches and digital car dashboards were all the rage. Even though they were ergonomically proven harder to read, they were thrust on the public at a premium price as a 'benefit'. Of course, most people didn't realize they were simply cheaper to make so it was to the manufacturer's benefit.

(post #54452, reply #12 of 23)

I just sat here and found myself thinking on this matter again after reading your post. But this time I'm going to show better judgement and just keep it to myself. Let it suffice to say.....things change, but not always for the better, especially where there's a buck to be made,IMO.

Knowledge is power, but only if applied in a timely fashion.

(post #54452, reply #6 of 23)

If you don't want the brick molding, then just order the door "without" - that's what I did to solve a 'sizing' problem. BUT, if you add your own brick molding, remember that it can't be vinyl/metal clad

.

Phill Giles

The Unionville Woodwright

Unionville, Ontario

<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 

Phill Giles

The Unionville Woodwright

(post #54452, reply #7 of 23)

Phill, what the hell did that mean?

to the rest, great question and answers, made me think...I've got some moulding knives, from Sears no less, that make the brick mould profile...I've used 'em for years when I replace exterior doors that have rotted out brick mould and/or jambs...I run the new trim out of clear PT...after the question, I'm not sure why I run it with that dopey brick mould profile, I can't see any advantage, other than matching existing, and like everybody else is saying, where'd that come from...Greco-Roman? dang the stuff's not even that good looking...that 1 and fat 1/8th" does help with the siding and screen doors, but what's with that profile?

www.tvwsolar.com

The Village Woodworks, Inc

Chapel Hill, NC

 

We'll have a kid Or maybe we'll rent one He's got to be straight We don't want a bent one He'll drink his baby brew From a big brass cup Someday he may be president If things loosen up

(post #54452, reply #8 of 23)

I buy my doors from the big stores with the brickmold on. It is cheaper then special order without brickmold. I then rip it off and either put on a wider pt brick mold or one of the others milled locally by a quality lumber yard. I think that any door on the front of a house is worth more then the stock brick mold.

(post #54452, reply #9 of 23)

Amen brother, you're preachin' to the choir...ain't it weird how it's a special order and more expensive without brickmould...must be a gubmint subsidy...and what's it got to do with bricks?


Edited 9/8/2002 9:06:36 PM ET by bucksnort billy

www.tvwsolar.com

The Village Woodworks, Inc

Chapel Hill, NC

 

We'll have a kid Or maybe we'll rent one He's got to be straight We don't want a bent one He'll drink his baby brew From a big brass cup Someday he may be president If things loosen up

(post #54452, reply #11 of 23)

Bucksnort, sorry if this was confusing:

1) You can buy doors without brick molding, around here they're cheaper.

2) (and here's where I over-estimated everyone's ability to follow this theme) Some doors and windows are "clad" some with vinyl, some with metal; and if you order this type without bick molding, then the molding you add will not be clad - that's an important consideration to some customers.

.

Phill Giles

The Unionville Woodwright

Unionville, Ontario

<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 

Phill Giles

The Unionville Woodwright

(post #54452, reply #13 of 23)

I don't think "greedy profit" is always a motive.........but I do believe that when running an honest business controlling the factors that generate profit or loss at the end of the P&L statement is critical.


Inventory on hand and the number of turns that are generated by that inventory greatly effect the bottom line.   Therefore door assembly companies try to keep on stock those items that give the most turns.  On a yearly basis they look at what supplies are not being used in any volume and decide whether to keep them any longer in inventory.


I have a book from Huttig millwork dated 1920...........the number of instock common mouldings is staggering compared to todays listing from the same company.


Their reason for deletion is that stagnant inventory yields no profits and consumes capital for other expenses.  As a result what becomes readily available is what is popular in the consumming masses and the trends that follow.


At the retail level there are the common items.....at the wholesale level there is more available than is displayed..................but you must have a retail establishment that has people who are knowledgeable as to what and where these "not so common" items are to be found.  


Hence the battle as a builder in finding the "unusual" or "something different" for our client.  This means knowing where to "special order" or having the rough stock and machinery to make it "special".  These services to the customer make the finished product more expensive.  


Special orders and special details separate the mundane from the best.


To steal and bastardize a fellow breaktimers byline..."Excellence has its own price."


It is the demand that drives the market.  Profit is not a dirty word...it is what drives the engines in this world and puts the bread on my table. 


IMHO


...................Iron Helix

.......Iron Helix

(post #54452, reply #14 of 23)

Well said.........and well understood, as I have been in business for myself since a young age, but I still find the situation to which I refer highly questionable and definitely lamentable.

I doubt that because some of these manufacturing and retailing decisions are based upon consumer demand, we should therefore conclude that they all are.

It's not always demand or the will of the people that drives the marketplace. Frequently, the decision is made to discontinue a product simply because it does not provide as high of a margin of profit as another. You cannot buy what is not available.

And ..............more and more frequently these days we are forced to buy what we do not want/cannot truly afford. Things come in "packages" these days. I've been around and awake long enough to see these "package deals" grow more frequent and larger. This is forced consumerism and is surely driven by a greedy profit motive. You cannot purchase "this" without paying for and dragging home "that" in addition. Sometimes, these package deals are financially crippling to the consumer. Take new car "packages" as an example of this. I doubt I need to elaborate.

Frequently, these marketing practices are not in the best interest of the planet's resources either, as much of the "extras" quickly find their way to the landfill. I doubt these folks wanted to buy and pay for the contained extra items just for the thrill of storing them until such a time that they toss them in the garbage.

Yes sir, I understand the need for profit if a business is to survive and provide its product and services, but the flip side of this equation contains a question that needs to be addressed, as well; at what cost to the world at large is the drive for the highest profit margin ethically defensible?

Do manufacturers and retailers of their products, as well as the rest of us, have an ethical and/or social responsibility, even if a safety/health concern is not involved which would provoke governmentally enforced compliance,......... or is the individual's/corporate drive for maximum profit without right and/or wrong despite the consequences to the world at large? (I realize this is a much larger question than that which began this thread)

I sleep well at night knowing that I have acted on my client's best interest, all too often at the cost of lowered profit/gain to myself. Perhaps, I'm a chump, but I realized long ago that my mattress isn't stuffed with money. Besides, too soft of a mattress isn't good for one's back.

(temporarily steps down from soapbox)

Knowledge is power, but only if applied in a timely fashion.

Edited 9/9/2002 11:33:10 AM ET by GOLDHILLER


Edited 9/9/2002 11:38:04 AM ET by GOLDHILLER

Knowledge is power, but only if applied in a timely fashion.

(post #54452, reply #15 of 23)

Well put.


I wonder, however, if we can explain why all variety is missing in mainstream products.


I can see how one manufacturer or retailer gravitates towards a limited selection. What I don't understand is how it seams that all brickmold is cut with the same set of knives! There must be hundreds of suppliers of molding. Did they all get together and agree to the same design?


A bulk of the customers would hardly know the difference, so to say they created the specification is suspect.


I really think we have the makings of a conspiracy here...

(post #54452, reply #16 of 23)

When I made repairs to windows or doors a few years back that needed only one piece of brickmold replaced, I couldn't find a match in the available pickins', so made my own from scratch in the shop. This was for Pella windows and theirs didn't seem to quite match anyone else'a at the time. I haven't had need or call to do this in the last few years,and must admit that I haven't kept track of the profiles and don't know if they're all identical now. I'll take your word for it. The variances were sutble before but may be virtually indistinguishable now.

Knowledge is power, but only if applied in a timely fashion.

Knowledge is power, but only if applied in a timely fashion.

(post #54452, reply #17 of 23)

Hey Goldhiller..................nice SOAP BOX.   About the same as mine.


Other thoughts...........................


There is a term in retail/wholesale called "80/20" and it means that 80% of your business volume comes from 20% of the number of stocked items.  So this means that 80% of the stock on hand constitutes "slow moving or dead" stock which reduces turns in sales which ties up capital.


The big boxes are masters at capitalizing on zoning in on the nationally derived hot 20% and investing ang effectively pricing these moving items.  Slow movers are quickly liquidated to add to the cash flow.


Speciality items are left to "niche" suppliers.


Moulding Profiles...........................


Manufacturers refer to a set of "profile numbers" that are accepted as standard size for each commonly made moulding.   The profiles are cut into a set of shaper knives as per profile specs, but slight variances occur as per each manufacrurer and with each resharpening of the knives.   I have had two bundles of the same moulding number arrive on the same shipment from the same manufacturer only to find that miters made from each bundle do not match the other bundle miters. Used bundle A in room #3,4,7...............Bundle B in the other rooms.....but no mixing.


..........................Iron Helix


 


 

.......Iron Helix

(post #54452, reply #20 of 23)

I've got a book that quotes this same 80/20 differential, but says it applies to our actions and their effectiveness in most everything we do. Claims we're not at our highest potential effectiveness 80% of the time and implores the reader to reexamine his/her daily actions and just can the ones that aren't the "most effective". Well, I don't think that I nor my auto would last all that long if I was to push the pedal to floor, weave in and out of the traffic lanes, and ignore stop signs and yellow lights. This may not be the best analogy to describe my position on this theory, but it's the best I've got at this moment. I think you get the notion.

I'm in a hurry to get things done, so I rush and rush until life's no fun. Oakridge Boys, I think.

P.S. You're an effective debater.

Knowledge is power, but only if applied in a timely fashion.

Ignorance is always effective.

Knowledge is power, but only if applied in a timely fashion.

(post #54452, reply #21 of 23)

makes for a nice place to set the screen door! Jeff

.......Sometimes on the toll road of life.....a handful of change is good.......

    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa

(post #54452, reply #22 of 23)

Yeah, I recently made some of my own too for a match.


That's what got me thinking about this.


I don't mind the gratification of making my own for my own home. If builders have to make every little detail themselves, I don't see them staying in business long. No wonder houses are looking more the same!

(post #54452, reply #23 of 23)

McHouses.

Knowledge is power, but only if applied in a timely fashion.

Ignorance is always effective.

Knowledge is power, but only if applied in a timely fashion.

(post #54452, reply #18 of 23)

I got a couple of questions.

You say that brick molding is the: "....casing that will come on all new pre-hung exterior door and window units".

While I see it on virtually all doors, I only see it on low end stock windows at the big boxes. Maybe this is regional?

On doors, I've never really seen anything else. Any chance you could come up with a pic of something you (Or any of you guys) do that's different?


I always thought music was more important than sex-then I thought if I don't hear a concert for a year-and-a-half it doesn't bother me. [Jackie Mason]

(post #54452, reply #19 of 23)

I'll see if I can lay my hands on a dig-cam. Don't own one myself....yet.

Knowledge is power, but only if applied in a timely fashion.

Ignorance is always effective.

Knowledge is power, but only if applied in a timely fashion.