Details: Modern Skirtboards

Many of our clients like modern clean lines and simple, strong shapes – but they worry that it doesn’t “match” or “work well with” older homes.

With years of field and academic experience in vernacular residential architecture, our opinion around here is that there’s no need to mimic the past, but instead, we should learn from it.

For instance, we installed a “skirt board” under the risers and treads on this stair, which is a more “traditional” detail. But trim is not just there for looks, it’s got jobs to do, like provide a transition between materials, span gaps between framing and drywall, absorb some of the shock/vibrations of the stair treads so that the plaster below doesn’t crack, etc.

When you understand the purpose of trim pieces, you can employ them in sensible and practical ways that aren’t just about looks! ⁠

Learn more about Lexington Avenue here >>>

We’ve also done stairs with no skirtboard, just a clean drywall return under the tread and riser. This is a bit more prone to cracking at the seam, but is a cosmetic and not a structural issue.

Nothing can beat the clean lines of a trimless stair, you just have to be ready for a bit more maintenance and upkeep!

Learn more about Allston Street here >>>

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