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Carpenters — Commonly Asked Questions

Looking to engage a carpenter? In this FAQ list we cover over a dozen of commonly-asked questions in carpentry work.

If you are looking for a qualified carpenter, click here to check out our list of qualified carpenters in Singapore:

General Carpentry Questions

Carpentry contractors: All you need to know

Carpentry is a skilled trade in making or repairing things in wood. The agents in this trade cuts, shape and building materials during the construction and installation of kitchens, timber frames, cabinet making, concrete formwork, etc.

Carpentry contractors used to mainly work with natural wood in the past, but as the market becomes more complex these days, many other materials are also used and they do finer trades of cabinetmaking and furniture building.

What do carpenters do?

Carpenters install, create or repair structures and fixtures made from wood and other materials. Carpenters can be involved in many different kinds of construction, from building of highways to installing a cabinet at you home.

Carpenters may do may different carpentry tasks, or they may specialise in one or two. Carpenters who remodel homes and other structures, for example, need a broad range of carpentry skills. Well trained carpenters are able to switch from residential building to commercial work, depending on the opportunities present.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks carpenters can do:

  • Measuring, estimating, selecting, and requisitioning the right materials;
  • calculating height, width, length, and other proportions;
  • planning out the necessary steps to carry out the designs;
  • determining and calculating requirements after studying the necessary designs (e.g. drawings, blueprints, or sketches);
  • Building, maintaining, repairing, or demolishing wooden structures and frameworks in industrial and residential establishments, using hand and power tools;
  • cutting, sanding, carving or moulding, and assembling different materials (e.g. wood, wood substitutes, and lightweight steel);
  • installing anchor bolts and embedded steel prior to pouring concrete footings, foundations, walls, columns, slabs, and beams
  • reading blueprints, planning calculations, and preparing layouts;
  • select, measure and mark the materials for the project in order to guarantee that they are the right dimensions;
  • building, installing, and repairing structures and components of structures made of wood, wood substitutes, lightweight steel, and concrete;
  • demolishing structures and components of structures as required;
  • removing debris to avoid workplace accidents;
  • cutting and joining.Cutting can be done by using power tools or manual tools. The cutting process also will include any shaping work that must be completed. These materials are assembled by using nails, glue, screws or bolts and rulers. The levels and other framing tools can be employed to guarantee accuracy when the parts are joined;
  • interpretation:Carpenters can interpret and read the plans and blueprints for a project in order to figure out the requirements; and
  • following building codes:Carpenters must follow the regulations that are set for by the local authorities whenever they are performing services.

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What qualifications do carpenters require?

Carpentry is a highly artistic and skilled position that requires attention to detail and vision.

When carpenters walk into an empty lot, they need to envision the type of structure that will grace it. If the job is to create cabinets for an empty room, they should know the best color of stain, type of wood, and design that will best fit in the space. So what qualifications do carpenters need?

School and vocational training

Carpentry education can start from school, and additional skills can be obtained via job experience (working for another experience carpenter), attending a trade or vocational training to receive more trade-related training.

In structured lessons in classroom, apprentices may learn about safety, first aid, sketching, mathematics and other carpentry techniques. They may learn about the relationship of carpentry and other trades  Both in the classroom and on the job, they learn the relationship between carpentry and the other building trades.

On-The-Job Training (OJT)

On the job, apprentices learn elementary structural design and become familiar with common carpentry jobs, such as layout, form building, rough framing, and outside and inside finishing. They also learn to use the tools, machines, equipment, and materials of the trade.

Carpenters learn their skills through an apprenticeship. In the program, which lasts 3-4 years, carpenters learn technical training and safety standards and building codes.The number of apprenticeship programs is limited, so only s small percentage of carpenters can learn their trades through these programs.

Other qualifications

Carpenters also need

  • Manual dexterity: Carpenters need good eye-hand coordination, physical fitness and a good sense of balance as they work with their hands, using saws, hammers, and many other tools.
  • Attention to Detail: There are often many details in the work which requires your carpenter to pay attention to. Attention to detail is crucial in carpentry work.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Not every job is the same, and carpenters need to be able to adjust plans to compensate for any environmental issues that come up.
  • Strength and stamina: Carpenters will lift heavy lumber, cement and other objects. Carpenters spend long days on their feet, often outside in hot weather.

Carpenters, especially supervisors and contractors, should also have good communication skill to deal with clients requests. Having the ability to identify and estimate quantity of materials needed to complete a job and estimating project duration and cost is also can important skill for them.

Speak to reliable carpenters

Other common names for carpenters

Carpenter-Joiner, Building Carpenter, Construction Carpenter, Bridge Carpenter, House Carpenter, Residential Carpenter, Concrete Form Carpenter, Interior Finish Carpenter, Finish Carpenter, Maintenance Carpenter, Renovation Carpenter, Restoration Carpenter, Carpentry Repairman, Journeyman Carpenter, Wood Frame Carpenter

Projects carpenters can do

The list of tasks which carpenters can do depends on each individual. Below is a non-exhaustive list of jobs carpenters can provide, which includes:

Doors: Carpenters can visualize, recommend, install, repair and replace various types of doors from different materials to functionality depending on your needs. You can find professionals in door customisation here.

Windows: Carpenters are also able to recommend more accessories such as hinges and openers, on top of installing windows or work on repairs of old windows.

Renovations: If you are doing any type of renovation at home, a carpenter may be able to give inputs and help out with the process. A carpenter can help install cabinets, build a deck, put down new flooring and offer many more kinds of services.

Formwork: Formwork is required when concrete is laid on the property. Carpenters are usually qualified and best for designing, building and dismantling formwork and making sure it can hold up the structures

Handrails: Handrails are useful to maintain the integrity of structures like staircases, balconies, patios and decks. Since handrails could be made of timber, carpenters may create a custom handrail that will fit into your overall home outlook and theme.

Building a deck: A carpenter can either build a deck for your home or help the professionals building a deck for your home. They can install custom made accessories such as stairs, ramps and handrails.

What kinds of wood are suitable for my project?

The type of wood you suitable depends on what it’s good for, the look you’re going for, and your budget. We strongly recommend you talk to carpenter for your project.

We have included a list of wood encyclopedia for your reference. This encyclopedia talks about each type of wood in detail and what is best for your home needs.

Why do I need to provide specific dimensions, references and requirements?

Providing specific dimensions, references and requirements can speed up the process. However some professional carpenters may require an on-site assessment in case of any errors in customers’ own measurements.

Would you like an instant quotation from the lists of several contractors that will have? Find out a list of qualified carpenters from Singapore from our directory.

Browse our directory of  carpenters

Questions for Carpentry Professionals

How long is the lead time?

It varies, depending on each vendor and the place they source materials from. It is useful to ask this to plan your schedule and manage expectations.

Most delivery dates will be confirmed once production can begin.

Are there other materials I can work with besides wood?

It depends on individual carpenters. Some carpenters offer different types of metals, acrylic, mirrors, glass, and others as well.

Where is my furniture made?

It will be helpful to ask your carpenter where your furniture is being made.

At which part of my renovation stage will the carpenter’s installation take place?

It will be useful to ask this question to avoid miscommunication and confusion.

Usually carpentry work will start only at the later stages of the renovation process when most of the renovation works are done and before your painter comes in for the final touch up (if any).

When is a good time for installaton?

Depending on each professional, some carpenters work during and after office hours as well as the weekends.

It is good to check with your carpenters’ schedule and availability and see when is a good time to meet them.

How does your carpenter charge?

Project are usually charged by the following guidelines:

  • complexity of your designs
  • choice of timber use
  • colours of the pipes
  • 360 swivel and brake-able heavy duty caster wheels
  • built-in light and built-in power points

Since most work are customized, carpenters may need to meet you personally for a quote. It is best to schedule an appointment so the carpenter can access the site and make an accurate judgement and estimate.

What type of payment does the carpenter accept?

The most common methods of payments are:

  • Cash
  • Bank transfer
  • Cheque payment

However, this is a question you should clarify with your carpenter just in case.

Does the carpenter provide delivery and installation?

Most carpenters provide free delivery and installation above a certain amount.

How long do I need to wait for the completion of my order?

Typically, 4 to 6 weeks but it may be faster for works of smaller scale.

How long will the installation take?

It is helpful to clarify how long the installation will take with your carpenter.

As a guide, most small scale projects take 2-3 hours, up to half a day.

Where are the products made?

It is useful to ask your carpenter where their products are being made.

Can I change my design after you start work?

While it is best not to change anything after the final design is confirmed, carpenters understand such scenarios may occur due to various reasons.

Depending on your carpenter and the stage your project is at, your carpenter may be able to compromise and pivot from there.

Is there any warranty for my furniture?

It helps to clarify as well whether there are any warranties that comes along with the product. Typical products do cover the first year of ownership.

However, most warranty does not cover damages resulting from negligence, abuse, wear & tear, or accidents: including (but not limited to) burns, cuts, scratches, tears, scuffs, watermarks, indentations or pet damage.

To prevent this, kindly request your carpenter or read from our blog for more care and maintenance instructions.

I am not sure of the measurements

Most carpenters are open to scheduling an appointment with you and helping you with the measurements.

Whilst some carpenters offer this service for free, do check with them for a possible fee for the professional work as it varies from carpenters to carpenters.

What kind of accessories do you provide?

Most carpenters have other accessories which can be added to your product.

As a note of caution, some carpenters do include assorted accessories unless you specifically do not want them. Please clarify if with your carpenter if they include, and if they do, whether they charge a fee for these extra accessories.

Get quotes from carpenters in Singapore

Do products from different timber ranges match?

Most carpenters make it a point to ensure the timbers used in all their furniture stays consistent between ranges.

Other common faqs

  • What kinds of table legs do you guys have?
  • I have my own timber top. Can you just construct the pipe legs for my timber top?
  • Is your furniture made of 100% solid hardwood?
  • What are your choices of timbers?
  • Where do your timbers come from?

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