When you want to have a new home built, are adding a home extension or doing major structural renovations, you need to hire a licensed building practitioner (LBP). Usually they are highly experienced and charge accordingly. There are hundreds of other building-related tasks that don’t require large work crews or structural engineering. For these, a carpenter may be the ideal person for the job.
Any work you are considering getting done to your home you need to consider if it’s ‘restricted building work’ or not. If it is, you will need a licensed building practitioner – or LBP – to do it.
Restricted building work involves the building’s structure, weather tightness, and design of fire safety systems.
Because this work is so important, it’s only allowed to be done by licensed building practitioners (LBPs). LBPs are assessed before getting licensed, and have to maintain their skills to keep their licence.
A carpenter builds, erects, installs and repairs objects which are made mainly from wood, although they are sometimes made from other materials. They are skilled craftsmen who carry out an extensive variety of woodworking, which ranges from constructing buildings to making furniture.
Most carpenters need a broad range of skills so that they can adapt to the environment and perform many of the different tasks needed. However, often carpenters will develop significant expertise in one area. Although this may mean that they lose out on certain areas, they will be more attractive to people who require their type of work, as they will be more skilled than other carpenters.
- Rough Carpenter –does rough carpentry, which includes framing, formwork, roofing, and other structural and large-scale work which does not require joining or polishing.
- Joister –lays floor joists, which are horizontal boards that are connected to the frame of a structure just below the door level. Floor joists give a position to which a floor is attached. They also add extra strength to the floor for holding weight, and are put on decking for buildings.
- Finish Carpenter or Joiner – finish carpentry includes cabinetry, furniture making, fine woodworking, model building, parquetry, instrument making and other such wood fashioning. The focus here is on wood where exact joints and minimal margins of error are vital.
- Trim Carpenter –specialises in mouldings and trims, for example mantles, skirting boards, door and window casings, and other such ornamental work. Cabinet installers are also included in this bracket.
- Cabinet Maker – performs fine and detailed work, concentrating on making cabinets, dressers, wardrobes, storage chests and other furniture.
- Ship’s Carpenter –specialises in shipbuilding, as well as all maintenance and repairs on the ship/boat.
- Framer – is responsible for building the skeletal structure, or the framework, of buildings.
- Roofer – specialises in roof construction, focusing mainly on the rafters, beams and trusses.
Residential carpenters typically specialize in single-family building, renovating and remodelling. As part of a single job, they might build and set forms for footings, walls, and slabs, and frame and finish exterior walls, roofs, and decks. They also frame interior walls, build stairs, and install drywall, crown moulding, doors, and cabinets. In addition, residential carpenters may tile floors and lay wood floors and carpet.
Commercial carpenters usually remodel commercial office buildings, hospitals, hotels, schools, and shopping malls. Some specialize in working with light-gauge and load-bearing steel framing for interior partitions, exterior framing, and curtain wall construction. Others specialize in working with concrete forming systems and finishing interior and exterior walls, partitions, and ceilings.
Industrial carpenters typically work on civil engineering projects and in industrial settings. They are often found building scaffolding and creating and setting forms for pouring concrete. Some industrial carpenters build tunnel bracing or partitions in underground passageways and mines to control the circulation of air to worksites. Others build concrete forms for tunnels, bridges, dams, power plants, or sewers.
When comparing quotes, look at examples of the carpenters previous work. Often they will have a website or brochure that includes photos. If they do not, you can always ask them to send you photos. If the style is not as important as the quality of work, then ask for references or check out websites that review contractors like www.nocowboys.co.nz
No matter the size of your job, you should always choose a licensed and insured carpenter. A reputable carpenter will always provide you with a detailed written quote and when you hire them to do the work, will provide you with a written contract.
The spoken word or a handshake agreement is not enough. A written contract protects both you and your carpenter if a dispute arises.