How to Choose the Right Carpenter for you
Choosing the right carpenter can be a difficult task. There are so many to choose from that the average person with no building knowledge wouldn’t know where to start!
The process of finding the right one can be time consuming, but if you get the choice right you will build a trusted and valuable relationship that can last for years.
To help you avoid the trap of being promised the lowest market rates only to find yourself with a below average finished product, we have put together a list of things to consider when looking for an experienced and trustworthy carpenter for your next project.
Find a carpenter with relevant experience
It is important to understand the difference between a joiner and a carpenter. They are often grouped in the same category, but the roles are quite different.
Someone who installs and repairs existing structures
Cabinet Maker / Joiner
A person who builds wooden structures, typically working off-site to produce the goods.
Small carpentry companies will often employ one or the other, whereas larger carpentry firms will often employ both to expand their level of service. Don’t be afraid to ask about the skill set of a company in your assessment of whether they will be a good fit for your project.
Find a carpenter who can work to your scale
Have a good look at a company’s previous projects. This will give you a clear understanding of the type of jobs they regularly undertake. An image gallery will give a good indication of their scale of work and it will also help you to compare and contrast your project.
Specialist carpenter or all-rounder?
Another thing to consider when sub-contracting for any project is to have a clear idea of your specific requirements.
A speciality joiner will be good for specific tasks like making windows and doors. It is likely that their workshop will be solely set up with mass production in mind. This means they will be able to offer a quick turn around on goods.
On the other hand, an all-round carpenter is best for projects with lots of different aspects to it. The production time may be comparatively slower, but their greater knowledge and expertise of construction will see them design and build your project, seeing it through from start to finish.
Check their reviews
You can get a true sense of the reliability of a carpentry company by checking their client testimonials. Often you will find answers to the following questions:
- Did the carpenter stick to budget?
- Did they complete on time?
- Was the quality good?
It is always good to ask lots of questions when making an inquiry with a carpentry company. Ask about common issues related to your project and how they propose to resolve them. The more open and honest they are, the better they will be!
Do some research into what type of materials you would like to use with your project. No two timbers are the same so get to know the materials you are working with and find out what your options are. Bear in mind, the cheaper options are always likely to cost you more in the long run. If you are looking for longevity, ask your carpenter to recommend a good sustainable product.
Providing your own materials is also an option but make this clear before you ask for any quotations. It will no doubt have a big impact on cost. Also, make sure you understand your chosen materials suitability for your project. Again, if in doubt, ask!
Get a detailed quotation
Obtaining a detailed quotation is vitally important when choosing the best carpenter for your project. You need to fully understand the costs and what is included before you make your decision. Look out for the following items and if they are not clearly presented on the quotation, ask if they are included:
- Waste Disposal
- Skip Hire
- High Level Access (if required)
- Transport & Delivery Fees
It is always good to ask for their hourly rates. This will give you a good indication of cost if any additional works are required.
Get to know the team who will be working on your project
Although visiting a premise isn’t always an option, a good carpentry firm will have an about-us section on their website. Most of the time, this will include their staff bios so be sure to check them out. A quick check on the company’s social media pages can also give you a good insight into the team that works there.
We hope that you found this article helpful but if you have any questions and want to speak to one of our team then get in touch.