How To Hire A Carpenter
Learn how to hire a great carpenter
Choosing the right tradesperson can be a complex decision. Getting an underqualified or unskilled carpenter can cost you time and money.
1. Have a plan
You should have a good idea of what carpentry work you want completed prior to contacting a tradesperson.
Have your plan set out so you know exactly what you want and within the time frame.
Even a rough sketch can be something to work off.
Consider giving examples of similar carpentry work that you like.
This ensures you will like what you get.
2. Know what type of carpenter you need
Different types of carpenters carry out different roles. Knowing what carpenter you need will focus your search. Here is a list of the types of carpenters:
Rough carpenters, also called framing carpenters or framers. They mostly build wooden structures for buildings and homes, scaffolds, tunnels, bridges, support beams or billboards.
The work built by rough carpenters is used to construct larger structures.
Finish carpenters follow up on the work done by rough carpenters. They work on the house structure that has been built. They handle things such as door and window installation, wood flooring, trim work and more.
As their name suggests, they essentially put the final touches on any structure that is built.
Cabinet makers are carpenters who specialise in building, repairing or reproducing timber furniture or timber passed products. They work on kitchen cupboards, dressers, wardrobes and more.
As the name suggests, these carpenters special in rafters, beams, trusses and other elements of roof construction.
By knowing exactly what carpentry you want to be done, you already have a good idea of where to start your search.
3. Look for reviews
Your next step should be to seek out reviews of skilled carpenters in your area.
Firstly, seek out the opinion of people you know and trust.
Almost everyone knows someone who has hired a carpenter.
Ask these trusted people if they can recommend any skilled carpenters.
If this was not enough, go online and search for carpenters in your area.
Most carpentry businesses have web pages with reviews.
Read these reviews and make a shortlist of your best options.
4. Communicate with carpenters and compare
Once you have your shortlist down, call up the businesses and talk to them.
You can judge a lot about the professionalism of a business from how you’re treated by the staff. You should ask several questions. Consider taking notes along the way. Ask questions such as:
- What would be involved?
- It’s important to know exactly what the carpenter needs to carry out the job. Ask for a basic outline of the process and what materials they will use. This helps you understand the job and you can get a sense of their competency.
- Can you follow my timetable?
- Make sure you and the carpenter are on the same page in terms of timeframe. You do not want to have the project left too late.
- What about your qualifications and insurance?
- When hiring any tradesperson, it is important to know they are licensed, qualified and insured. This protects you in case anything goes wrong. Furthermore, knowing about the background of your carpenter and how long he’s been in business can help you paint a picture of their skill.
- Can I see examples of your work?
- Talking is one thing, but you shouldn’t just take their word for it. Instead, request to see an example of the work they’ve done. This lets you know with your own eyes just how skilled they are.
5. Narrow the search
Compare the quotes given to you, review your notes and trust your gut when choosing your favourite.
Ensure that the carpenter meets your needs with respect to the budget, time frame, experience and so on.
Consult with others if necessary.
Once you’ve decided, follow through and don’t delay.
6. Ensure you have everything in writing
Make sure you have a contract written up and that it includes everything from time frame to price. That way, you both know exactly what is expected.
Outline that deviation from the contract should be fixed or will result in a penalty.
That way you are both legally bound to follow through. This ensures fairness for both parties.