For lovers of old homes, the flipper is often a foe when it comes to preserving a building’s historic charm and character. In addition to ripping out original built-in cabinets and tile, one of the most common old house features to wind up in the dumpster is molding – the decorative wood or plaster trim found around doorways and at the top and bottom of walls. Now, urban homesteader and Root Simple blogger Erik Knutzen of Silver Lake wants flippers to think twice before they rip out that molding.
In a blog post titled In Defense of Molding, Knutzen writes:
Molding is both functional and ornamental. Functionally, it serves to hide the inevitably imperfect intersections between walls, ceilings, doorways and floors. Conceptually, it creates a hierarchy between rooms (the living room should have larger molding than the bedroom, for instance) and it serves to mark a transition between spaces. It feels different to walk through an ornamented door than it does through what is merely a hole punched through a wall.
Many people view molding as a fussy, dust-collecting artifact that is out-of-place in homes and apartments inspired by Dwell magazine. But Knutzen says that most flippers don’t remove molding over aesthetics. “Rather it’s simple cheapness and, perhaps, a lack of skill.”