I wouldnt recommend stopping the panels an inch short, you will definitely see where the panel ends, even with a layer of foam. Even with a 1/8" panel running under the garnish moulding, it will still create a gap. For the best results, cut the panel to butt up against the bottom of the mouldings. The best way to make this very precise is as follows: Cut the door panel with excess to allow it the go underneath the mouldings. Attach the garnish moulding over the panel (it will make a gap but its OK for now). Now just trace the edge of the bottom of the moulding on the panel. You now have a cutting line which should make a perfect fit up to the moulding. Remember to leave a 1/16" to 1/8" gap inbetween the moulding and the panel, to allow for teh thickness of the panel.