Older homes present more of a challenge to a carpenter’s abilities than today’s run-of-the-mill spec houses. There aren’t as many of them in our area (Washington state) as there are on the East Coast, but we enjoy working on them whenever we get the chance. On a recent project, we were contracted to remove a 1970s family room that had been grafted onto a classic 1920s house and replace it with a more architecturally appropriate addition. Coved ceilings were a prominent feature in most of the rooms on the main floor, and the home­owners wanted to replicate this detail in...

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