If you are thinking of installing crown molding in your home, you will quickly find that it is quite expensive.
Crown molding is a feature which adds a tremendous amount of character and a finished look to a home.
The downside of crown molding is that it can be very expensive to install.
Some people skip crown molding all together because of the high pricing that is associated with this addition.
Here are some reasons crown molding is so expensive.
Knowing these reasons may help you reconsider if crown molding is the right fit for your home.
Why Is Crown Molding So Expensive?
1. Made from Wood
Excellent crown molding is made from wood.
Wood products are not cheap, and there are certain types of wood that are priced even higher than others.
With this high pricing of wood, you will find that the price of molding is also relatively high.
Wood products can sometimes be hard to source, and the pricing of wood will go up and down at times based on economic factors.
Crown molding that is made with wood is typically considered to have the highest return rate because of the quality and durability.
If you use the proper wood for crown molding in a home, it will last a lifetime.
You will never have to replace this product, and it will continue to bring value and beauty to your home for years to come.
Although you can get crown molding in other materials, you will notice that there are quite a few downsides to the other materials.
If you’re going to do this right, it is best to use the wood even though it is high priced.
Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes wood is lighter than the other artificial materials.
With the wood being lighter, it will attach to the walls a bit more easily and cause less stress over the years.
This is especially important for those who are doing ornate crown moldings with several layers built into them.
Crown molding takes quite a bit of planning.
This is where you are going to be glad that you paid attention during math class in high school.
To get crown molding to properly fit around the walls of a home, there is quite a bit of work involved.
You will need to plan out the necessary amounts, the cuts that need to be made, and of course, how the gaps between the two pieces will be filled.
Most of the time, you are not going to be able to put four pieces of wood up along the walls of your home.
You will have to mix and match and cut some angles so that the pieces can blend into each other while still appearing seamless.
The planning is made even more difficult in the sense that not all of the rooms are going to be the same size.
Since the room sizes will vary, the amount of molding and type of molding may change as well.
Those who are planning to do crown molding need to consider how it will blend in and out of interconnecting rooms.
They will also need to consider what to do should the molding reach any sort of barrier or awkward area.
This is unfortunately not a quick and easy process, and therefore, the costs are going to be increased.
Anytime a person needs to spend time mapping out a plan and putting the crown molding objectives together, the price will go up.
Crown molding has quite a bit of detail.
The detail is going to be seen in the pattern of the molding.
Although some moldings are going to be simple and stock made, you will see that they still have a pattern to them.
The detail that is put into these crown moldings takes time and effort.
When you do anything that is customized in any way, the price is going to skyrocket.
However, not all of the stock moldings are a good match for all homeowners.
Many believe that, if they are going to pay the high price to have the molding installed, they might as well get a look that is perfect for their home.
The detail associated with the crown molding will increase the cost, but it will also improve the look of the project.
We recommend making sure that you research pricing on the different levels of detail and how it affects the overall price of the project.
If you can move from a basic stock molding to a model which brings the true character back to your room, a little extra money will be worth it in the long run.
Remember that the molding you put up is going to last for a lifetime.
Spending just a bit extra at the time it is hung up will likely pay off.
However, if you want to save money, go with a crown molding that does not have that much detail.
4. Synthetic is Still High Priced
As we mentioned, crown molding which is made of wood is quite expensive.
Wood is not always the cheapest material to work with, and the price can vary based on other economic factors.
Therefore, many people will look to synthetic products.
However, though wood is priced so high, synthetic products tend to be priced almost as high.
Although the production costs could be quite high, we believe the higher costs of the synthetic moldings are related to a business decision.
If the wood is already quite high, the synthetic does not need to cost much less to naturally start winning some business.
The synthetic material can also sometimes have a different look to it than the wood.
If you know that you are staying in your home for a long time and want the best of the best, it is worth it to go with the wood.
One of the major reasons crown molding is so expensive is simply that there are really no great alternatives.
Essentially, if you want crown molding, you are going to have to pay for it.
5. Challenging Walls
Walls in a home are not always level.
In fact, if you made it all the way around your house with crown molding and found that all the walls are level, consider yourself extremely lucky.
Challenging walls are a major reason the price of adding crown molding to your home is high.
The more difficult a wall is to work with, the more work it is going to take to add crown molding.
Some homes have curved walls, while others are just older and the walls are not going to be all that level.
If your house has settled and you can see dips in the walls, it is only going to look worse when crown molding is installed.
A qualified contractor will be able to make the crown molding look level even though your walls are not square.
Other houses have areas where walls are intended to be curved.
These areas involve much more work when it comes to crown molding.
Some spots may not have an option for the molding, and others will require intricate cuts and potentially bending of wood.
Although this can be accomplished, it is undoubtedly going to add to the overall cost of the product.
If your home has relatively square walls, you can rest assured that the price of your crown molding project is likely going to be quite a bit less.
If your walls are not in the best of shape, the crown molding project may not be one that you want to take on by yourself.
Finding a trustworthy professional to help could be a smarter choice.
6. Complex Corners
In addition to curved walls, many homes have complex corners.
These corners will make the cuts and the work that a contractor has to do quite a bit more complicated.
The complex corners can make or break a room with crown molding.
If corners are not able to blend in with each other, the overall look of the entire project is going to change.
Essentially, the corners will need to fade into each other, and the two cuts will have to be exact.
Over time, if these corners are not perfect, the molding will develop gaps and holes in it, and you will clearly be able to see that it was not done right.
In order to work on these complex corners, you will need high-quality saws which can be set at precise angles.
As we mentioned, if your walls are older and not 100% straight, you will struggle with these angles and corners.
The corners will likely be the areas of the wall where any imperfections will have to be hidden.
This can be done by slightly alternating angles that will blend in without the homeowners even being able to notice.
If you have had no experience cutting corners on wood, you may underestimate the time and attention to detail that this will take.
7. Not Truly Necessary
Another reason crown molding is so expensive is that it is not truly necessary.
The molding will look good and add quite a bit to the home, but it isn’t something that you will have to have in order for a home to function.
In fact, crown molding does not add anything to the overall functionality of a house at all.
Simply stated, the crown molding looks good.
Sometimes with a product like this that is considered to be a luxury and non-essential, the pricing will go up.
Manufacturers and installers know that you most likely have some discretionary income if you are looking to install crown molding in your home.
Crown molding is something that will completely change the look of your home, but it certainly won’t work like a window or door when it comes to functionality.
8. Increases Value of Home
Crown molding will give you a return on your investment.
In fact, if you find a great price on the installation of crown molding, you will probably end up making money on the process of installing the molding.
As a general example, if you were to spend $5,000 installing crown molding, but it enabled you to sell your home for $10,000 more, you will have made a $5,000 profit.
At the very least, when homeowners make an improvement to their house, they are going to want to at least break even when it comes to resale value.
If you do a $30,000 crown molding project and it does not increase your home’s overall value, that would be quite surprising.
Typically speaking, the addition of crown molding will make your home more valuable.
This increase in value is another reason the price of crown molding is quite high.
Since contractors and manufacturers know that you are going to make money from this process, they want to get their share of the income as well.
You will notice this quite a bit when it comes to things that increase the value of a home.
For instance, a bathroom or kitchen renovation is very likely going to cost quite a bit, but there still should be some room for it to increase the overall cost of your home.
9. Time to Produce
If you are installing custom crown molding in your home, the process can take quite a while.
The time to produce the molding with its specific cuts and corners for your home will undoubtedly increase the overall cost.
Any time a product takes time to complete, the pricing is increased.
This is mostly because of the cost of labor.
Labor costs are extremely high, and the craft of making crown molding is a detailed and difficult one.
You will have to be an accomplished woodworker to start putting together custom molding designs for a home.
The time that people spend to learn to be a woodworker like this and the time they spend producing the product will increase the overall price.
If you know how to make your own crown molding, you will save quite a bit of money.
When you realize the time, attention to detail, and materials and tools required, it’s relatively easy to see how the pricing on crown molding gets so high.
You will notice that some of the stock molding choices are going to be cheaper simply because they don’t take as long to make.
Last but certainly not least, crown molding will be expensive because of the cost of installation.
The installation costs on crown molding are relatively high.
The process is time-consuming, and therefore, a contractor will have to dedicate quite a few days to your project.
The longer a project takes, the more a contractor can charge for their time.
Most of the time, a professional will have to set up in your home with a saw and tools so that they can make cuts and adjustments as they move through the process.
It is very difficult to show up to a house with all of the pieces of crown molding pre-cut.
These pieces will not be able to match up exactly, and it will require the woodworker or contractor to go back and forth to their shop.
As we mentioned, it is impossible to know what issues you will run into when installing crown molding.
Especially when dealing with an older home, a crown molding installer needs to have quite a bit of knowledge to make a crown molding job go off without any issues.
How to Save Money on Crown Molding
As expensive as crown molding is, there are a few ways that you can save money.
The easiest way to save money is to do the installation and building of the molding yourself.
When you don’t have to pay for the labor, the costs are quite a bit lower.
Another way to save money on crown molding is to choose a simpler design.
If you can stay away from custom patterns and details, your pricing will be quite a bit lower overall.
Crown molding is also easier if your home is newer and the walls are all level.
You may want to take a bit of time to scope out your home’s features and see what type of work you have in front of you.
There is no question that crown molding will add some character and charm to your home, but the problem is that it will come at a cost.