In the construction of standard houses in the Philippines, window casing and architrave are not standard features. Even baseboards are often additions shouldered by the buyer.
In our case, the house came with baseboards but the windows were bare. I wanted to frame the windows so we bought moldings and had the carpenter install them.
Moldings? In local parlance, moldings come under the generic term “kornisa” or cornice. Most people know them as the angled wood placed where the wall and the ceiling meet. But there are different kinds of moldings. Baseboards, the kind placed where the wall and the floor intersect, are moldings. There are also moldings for windows and these are called casing or architrave.
The photo above shows the living room windows after the casings had been installed and painted. Wood-stained, actually, like the kitchen cabinets but in a lighter shade that matches the stair banister. The front door was wood-stained as well to match the banister.
What’s the big deal about the casing? Well, if a window shows a nice view outside, think of the view as a photo or a painting that you’re framing. The casing is the frame. The casing also defines a window or a door, making it a distinct architectural feature of a house. You know, they’re not just holes or openings. They serve a purpose but they can serve their purpose more beautifully. :)
Above, the dining room window and the French doors leading to the lanai have been framed with casing as well. The original plan was to do the same with the windows of the office/study but we’ll need additional lengths of molding for that. We’ll see first if we’re not already stretching the budget too far. Those casings, plus the labor, are no longer part of the purchase price of the house. Those are extras, extras well worth the expense in my opinion, but not important enough to cause budgetary problems.