Just about all my trim details could be described as old-fashioned; I like to build new houses with the traditional look and feel of homes built a century ago. I still cope molding joints rather than resort to corner blocks, and I still build railings with balusters and handrails rather than using drywalled cripple walls with wood caps. I don't take shortcuts when it comes to trimming the windows, either: Instead of picture-framing the units, I always build stools with aprons underneath and fitted window casings.

Years ago, when I was trimming apartments, I could make a window stool and install it with casings and an apron in less than 30 minutes. Today I spend several hours to trim out a single window using the method described in this article. I consider it time well-spent, however, because nearly everyone notices how attractive my windows are. I've...

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