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Educational Consumer Tips

Hiring a Carpenter

Author: Rachel Gelb
Category: Home Improvement

If you are interested in furniture, cabinets, or a remodel involving wood, a carpenter is the right person to hire for the job. Carpenters are skilled in many areas of home improvement. Refer to these tips when searching for a carpenter to hire.

Tips For Hiring a Carpenter:

Ask for Suggestions.
 Ask friends, family members, and neighbors who have recently had carpentry work done for recommendations. If you already know a trustworthy contractor, ask them to suggest a reputable carpenter who is an expert at the job you are requesting. Check out carpenters at to read reviews or complaints.

Get At Least Three Estimates.  Be sure to give each carpenter the same detailed description of the job you are requesting to get the most accurate estimates. Note the carpenter’s professionalism when they visit your home. Be sure the carpenter is punctual and clearly responds to all of your questions and concerns. Ask the carpenter how long they have been in business and how many jobs like yours they have completed. Be wary of carpenters that quote an unusually low price, they may not be providing quality craftsmanship and materials.

Request References.  A reputable carpenter will provide a list of references you may contact. If possible, visit the references to see some of the carpenter’s completed work. Be sure to ask the references about their experience with the carpenter throughout the process. Ask if the carpenter was easy to reach and returned calls and emails in a timely manner. If the job you are requesting requires intricate carpentry, be sure to ask for a sample of their detailed work.

Check Credentials.  Be sure the carpenter you hire has liability insurance, workman’s compensation insurance and is bonded so you and your home will be protected in case of an accident. Find out if your state requires carpenters to be licensed, if so, be sure the carpenter can provide proof of their license. Ask if the carpenter belongs to a professional organization such as, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry or the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

Review the Contract.  Before the carpenter starts working in your home, be sure to carefully read the written contract. The contract should include: a description of the project, the materials being used, the estimated start and completion date, and the cost and payment schedule for the job. If the carpenter provides a warranty, be sure the details are included in the written agreement.

About the Author: Rachel Gelb is Communications and Marketing Manager for BBB serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. Find Rachel on Google +.

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