Carpenters and joiners work with wood and have the skill set to create beautiful bespoke pieces of furniture. They are able to fit and repair doors, windows, floors and staircases. A joiner will build the structures for a house (window frames, staircase…) in a workshop off-site whereas the carpenter will build smaller projects on site like the perfect alcove shelves for your home as well as install, maintain and repair the structures the joiner has made for you. To make it less daunting when deciding on your project, HaMuch has put together information including questions to ask to keep the project running smoothly, to how much to budget as well as how to find the right carpenter and joiner for you.
When choosing a carpenter and joiner try to get 3 comparison quotes so you have a feel for the value of service and what is being offered at what price. Ask if the quotes include removing left over debris after installation, this might be left over sawn wood or if the project is to be a replacement, then the removal of the old replaced broken piece e.g. banister. Make sure there won’t be any hidden charges, that the quote includes accessories needed for the project, e.g. nails and glue. Ask the carpenter and joiner if they are vat registered so you know to add VAT on top of the quoted price. Always insist on being given a ‘written quote’ to avoid disputes over payment and job expectations at the end of the project, plus don’t agree to any upfront money prior to the project commencing.
Study your quote to see if materials have been included or if you need to still supply materials. If you do, then make sure to order the wood plus 10% extra for wastage.
Depending on the skill required for your project, check what qualifications the carpenter and joiner has (e.g. NVQ or City & Guilds). Where possible, try to choose a carpenter and joiner that is part of a reputable association, some noteworthy associations are; Institute of Carpenters (IOC), British Woodworking Federation (BWF), the Guild of Master Craftsmen or the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). Also take into account the number of years the carpenter and joiner has been in business to get an understanding of their years of experience. If choosing a joiner, see if you can pop in to their workshop for an idea of quality of craftsmanship on other projects they are working on.
Depending on the size of the project the carpenter and joiner may be using an apprentice or an employee, make sure the quote covers any extra ‘hands’ needed for the project. Before the project commences, have an agreed end date so you can be prepared for how long to expect the project to take and to have workers in your home, possibly needing you to arrange daily parking for their vans. Agree to the amount of vans you can have parked on your street or drive.
When your chosen carpenter and joiner arrives at your home to quote the job, be clear what project you need doing. If you are considering turning a section of your bedroom into a built-in wardrobe, have an idea on the placement of the wardrobe, the size and depth you would like, how many shelves versus hanging space suit your personal requirements, do you want sliding or opening doors, must the doors be mirrored or designed with wood panelling, what wood would you like the wardrobe constructed in, do you want it painted or vanished. The more detail you can discuss, the more accurate your quote can be from the start with an idea of time to complete the project.
If you are needing a loft ladder constructed and installed or a staircase banister repaired, make sure which ever room or section of the house the project is in, the carpenter and joiner can easily carry tools into the area to measure up and see the amount of work needing to be achieved. If you are wanting to discuss pulling up old carpet to restore existing wooden flooring buried underneath, make sure that the room has floor space available the carpenter to get a good look at the floor surface area.
While discussing your project, get advice and opinions on materials, design and overall look of the finished project. If they are building furniture for you, discuss what would be the best wood to source for the project as well as where you could source wood at trade rates. Pine is great for being versatile and easy to work with but can’t hold very heavy objects on a shelf. Plywood is a sturdier option and is a good choice as it is inexpensive and unlike MDF won’t sag over time. If your project is to fit a back door ask for advice on best style of door to purchase that would suit your style home (e.g an oak cottage door) and have the carpenter and joiner look at your existing doorframe to ensure a replacement door can be fitted to the existing frame.
|Design and create a wooden chair||£300|
|Design and install shelves in an alcove, no painting||£200|
|A small bookcase or a bathroom cabinet, cupboard door replacement for existing cupboard||£300|
|Design and install a built-in wardrobe, cupboard, cabinet or desk||£600|
|Replacement and hanging of a new interior door shaving if needed to fit||£100|
|Replacement and hanging of a new exterior door shaving if needed to fit||£100|
|Putting together IKEA style furniture||£100|
|Repair scratches, scuffs on furniture||£200|
|Lay a flat and prepared floor in an average size room||£250|
|Lay flooring in a loft that covers a 2 bed house||£600|
|Create and fit new skirting boards for a room||£250|
|Make a wooden replacement sash window frame||£700|