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handyguys 03-19-2009 06:34 AM

wonky house, new kitchen with crown question
OK - I need some experts to help out here. (or non-experts with ideas)

I am doing a remodel on a kitchen. Its an older house and wasn't built level or has shifted many years ago. The main beam in the basement runs side to side and is about 1.5" lower than the foundation wall where the joists sit. All doors close, no cracks in plaster. It was like they built it this way.

Sooo - in doing the kitchen. I couldn't jack the beam w/o needing to rework the entire rest of the house. I couldn't shim down the ceiling w/o doing demo in the adjacent dining room.

Here I am at the finishing stages, dealing with the slope. Floor and ceiling are parallel.

The base cabs are shimmed so they are level, the upper cabs are level.

The design calls for a built up crown above the cabs, tight to the ceiling.

The crown is two pieces. one vertical, directly above the door and then my angled piece attached to the vertical and to the ceiling. Make sense?

I have an 8' run of uppers and the gap between the cabs and the ceiling changes 1.25" over 8'. My initial thought was to run the vertical board straight to the cab and the angled board tight to the ceiling. That looks like hell. I thought it wouldn't be too noticeable but it is. If I bring down the angled piece to be straight with the cabs I have a huge gap between the crown and the ceiling.

That's where I left things. I need some advice.

- Do I fill and caulk the gap? how the heck would I caulk it?
- Do I fabricate a piece of tapered trim to fit in there and paint it to match the cabs? Paint to match the ceiling?
- Do I make crown tight to ceiling and live with my enlarging crown? (looks bad but how I thought originally I would do it.)

Thanks all!

inspectorD 03-19-2009 02:00 PM

GOOD LUCK....that's all I have.:D

You need to cheat and steal at all the areas you can. The cabs need to be level, but you may be able to raise the doors as you go, only a little. Then your piece of first molding needs to be raised 1/8 or 3/16 as you go. You may not notice a 1/4 inch in 8 feet, tack it and see what looks acceptable. Then you need to raise or roll the crown as best you can. Rolling cabinet crown is probably to hard to do, but another 1/8 of an inch will help. Last is to caulk and match the ceiling color. I have even backplaned some of the crown to get it to sit tighter to the ceiling in the low areas. What is even more fun is when the ceiling rolls continually, then you need to float some compound.
Those are my tricks of the trade.
It is what it is, old homes have character, now you know what to tell the folks on the next job.:)

handyguys 03-20-2009 05:57 AM

Thanks InspectorD - I'll be back at it tomorrow I think. Granite is being installed on Tuesday so my priorities are to do everything I can that will be easier with no granite (need to make that list). I think finishing this crown will be one of those things.

Playing with the doors will be interesting. Someone else suggested that to me as well. Not sure if I can do that effectively because the base vertical piece of the built up crown is in the same plane as the doors, just above them. That piece would need to shimmy up a bit too. Anyway, I'll come up with something.

Thanks for your suggestions, I really appreciate it.

Quattro 03-24-2009 09:15 AM

You've probably come up with something by now, but I like the "shim the ceiling" option the best. I think by using some combination of plywood and perhaps drywall on the facing side, you could make a reverse "ramp" whose bottom edge was parallel to the top of the cabs. At the tall end of the ramp, you'll have 1.5" (or so) of drywall on top of the crown, but when it's finished and painted to match the ceiling, I bet it won't look too bad. The return to the wall would be the most noticeable thing, I'd think.

handyguys 03-24-2009 10:50 AM

I worked on this on Sunday afternoon. i did multiple things to hide my 1 1/4" gap.

First - My vertical piece, base, of the crown. I dropped that out a level by about 1/4" over 8'. To enable this I lowered some doors, raised others.

I then took the crown and held it parallel to the base and scribed it. I took a plane and shaved off the top of the crown on the low end of the cieling. That gave me another 3/8" of an inch or so.

I then installed that out of level by another 3/16" or so.

What I ended up with was a 3/8" gap for a couple of feet then tapering down to zero.

I caulked the gap and painted it cieling color (white).

I think it looks pretty good, not perfect.

Thanks all for the advice. Sorry for typos.

inspectorD 03-24-2009 04:54 PM

Greta long as the customer is OK, you did the best you could.:)
Sounds like an old colonial I know of here in fact lots of em.:D

handyguys 05-15-2009 08:23 AM

Some before and after pics of the kitchen

another couple finished pics here....

Jacob 05-17-2009 10:09 AM

Hello Im a 3rd gerneration carpenter. im new here. I do alot of trim work. What makes a good trim carpernter is that he can hide and fool the eye. You did a great job kitchen looks really nice. I install alot of kitchens and i run into this problem all the time.
If its painted trim its easier than stained trim cause you can use caulk to hide gaps. Looks

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