Good Carpenter

What makes a good carpenter?

Population growth around the world has created a demand for trade and construction skills. Among those valuable trade, skills are carpentry skills.

In addition to the construction of new homes, which will require many new workers, the construction of factories and power plants is also expected to result in additional job opportunities for carpenters.

Carpenters are one of the most important and essential parts of the construction or interior designing of any building. Without them, it is difficult to imagine building a beautiful looking home or office. Not only do they specialise in creating wooden furniture but also several other parts of the house. Hiring a carpenter is a task which requires special research and accurate judgement. One needs to be aware of the characteristics which make any carpenter a great carpenter so that the hiring process can be made easy.

Good carpenters are worth their weight in… lumber. They are an invaluable part of the construction trade, and their expertise ensures structures are solid and built to last. These professionals handle everything from floors and doors to framework and finishing. It’s fair to say that without carpenters, not much of anything would get built. What makes a good carpenter?

Hitch Property Constructions offers carpentry services Melbourne for residential and commercial projects.

What Does a Carpenter Do?

Carpenters construct, repair, and install building frameworks, including walls, floors, door frames, and other structures made from wood and other materials. Their job responsibilities include: 

  • Following blueprints and building plans
  • Installing structures and fixtures
  • Measuring, cutting, and shaping wood, plastic, and other materials
  • Constructing building frameworks, including walls, floors, and doorframes
  • Repairing damaged framework or other structures and fixtures
Good Carpenter

Carpenter Education Requirements

While some carpenters have college degrees, a degree isn’t required for carpentry jobs. Some community colleges and technical schools offer associate’s degrees in carpentry, but the typical requirement is a high school diploma. 

Having a high school degree ensures that you have the basic math and communication skills needed to get started in the trade. One of the most common ways to enter the field is through a formal trade apprenticeship program.

Carpenter Salary and Job Outlook

Median Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for carpenters was $46,590 in May 2018. The lowest 10% earned less than $28,860, and the highest 10% earned more than $82,750. 

Employment Outlook

The job outlook for carpenters is strong. Employment is expected to increase by 8% between 2018 and 2028, which is higher than the national average of 5% for all occupations.

What Kind of Skills Do You Need to be a Carpenter?

Carpenters construct and repair building structures, including door frames and stairways, that are made from wood and other materials. They also install household items such as cabinets, drywall, and siding. 

Carpenters have a variety of skills. Some even specialise in particular tasks, including insulating buildings or designing kitchen cabinets. Carpentry exists within various forms of construction contracts, including residential, commercial, and industrial construction.

Types of Carpentry Skills

Mechanical 

Carpenters utilise mechanical skills to work with a variety of tools and machines. These might include ladders, electronic levels, and rotary tools such as power saws. Carpenters must be comfortable operating, maintaining, and occasionally repairing these types of tools.

  • Power Tools
  • Hand Tools
  • Cabinet Building
  • Drilling
  • Framing
  • Furniture Making
  • Insulation
  • Panelling
  • Sanding
  • Sawing
  • Trimming
  • Woodworking

Math

Carpenters require math skills in order to measure materials that need to be cut and installed accurately. They also use their math skills to plan projects. This might include reading blueprints and making measurements as well as calculating costs to make sure a project comes in under budget. Frequently used math skills include arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and even calculus and statistics.

  • Budgeting
  • Geometry
  • Algebra
  • Estimates
  • Marking
  • Measuring

Detail Orientation

Carpenters must be very precise in their work. They have to measure distances and the size of items exactly when installing household items. An eye for detail helps with making measurements and fitting structures.

  • Building Codes
  • Building Plans
  • Cutting
  • Finishing
  • Installation
  • Quality Control
  • Reading Blueprints

Critical Thinking

Carpenters must be able to problem-solve when issues arise in a project. Often, projects run longer than expected. Other times, errors occur, such as materials arriving late or in the wrong size. Carpenters have to think critically to solve these issues. With strong critical thinking skills, carpenters can use logic not only to solve problems but also to anticipate them.

  • Design
  • Layout
  • Ordering
  • Ornamental Design
  • Planning
  • Project Management
  • Problem Solving
  • Time Management
  • Troubleshooting

Physical Strength

Physical strength is critical since carpenters lift and wield heavy tools and materials, including lumber (which can be quite heavy). They also need physical stamina. Most jobs require standing, climbing, lifting objects, and/or bending down for long periods at a time.

  • Hand-Eye Coordination
  • Maintenance
  • Manual Dexterity
  • Nailing
  • Painting
  • Rigging

Communication

Communication is a useful soft skill for carpenters. They should be able to communicate effectively with clients, as well as listen carefully so that they can understand what the client requires. They also need to be able to explain complex technical issues in terms non-carpenters will understand. Customers appreciate a carpenter who listens to their needs and explains things clearly and kindly.

  • Communications Skills
  • Computer Skills
  • Customer Relations
  • Customer Service
  • Microsoft Office
  • Personal Relations
  • Sales
  • Scheduling
  • Supervision

We have an extensive range of carpentry services at Hitch Property Constructions to meet your constructions and carpentry needs in Melbourne.

More Carpentry Skills

  • Appliance Installation
  • Building Housing Additions
  • Building House Foundations
  • General Construction
  • Zoning Laws
  • Adherence to Safety Procedures
  • Compliance
  • Trade Licensing
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Mobile Devices
  • Precision
  • Assembling
  • Demolition
  • Spirit Level
  • Chiselling
  • Troubleshooting
  • Flooring
  • Refinishing
  • Remodelling
  • Renovation
  • Repairs
  • Restoration
  • Rough to Finish
  • Wood Quality
  • Versatility
  • Deck Planning
  • Deck Construction
  • Roofing

People Skills Needed to Be a Lead Carpenter

Social 

Has a natural ability to show understanding, friendliness, and respect for the feelings of others, but at the same time is able to assert oneself when appropriate. Also takes a genuine interest in what people say and why they think and act the way they do.

Negotiation 

Ability to assess and identify common goals among different parties and at the same time present there and the company’s position. Can also examine possible options and make reasonable compromises.

Leadership 

Can appropriately communicate thoughts and feelings to justify a position. Can also encourage or convince while making positive use of rules or values. Demonstrates the ability to have others believe in and trust in them because of demonstrated competence and honesty.

Teamwork 

Contributes to the team offering ideas and effort, but also does his or her share of the work to be done. Has the ability to encourage other team members and can resolve differences for the benefit of the team. At the same time, can responsibly and appropriately challenge existing procedures, policies, or authorities for constructive purposes.

Cultural Diversity

Works well with people having different ethnic, social, or educational backgrounds and understands the cultural differences of different groups. Can also help the people in different groups make and embrace cultural adjustments when necessary.

Personal Qualities Needed to Be a Lead Carpenter

Self-Esteem 

Understands how beliefs affect how others feel and act. Can identify irrational or harmful beliefs they may have and understand how to change and or adjust them when needed.

Self-Management

Honestly assesses his or her knowledge and skills accurately. Proactively sets specific and realistic personal as well as professional goals and can self-monitor progress toward those goals.

Responsibility 

Works hard to reach goals, even if the task is unpleasant. Will consistently do quality work and maintains a high standard of attendance, honesty, energy, and optimism.

Becoming a carpenter: Everything you need to know.

So you’re thinking about becoming a carpenter? Well, you’ll be entering one of the most versatile and vital professions in the construction industry if you do. Carpenters are skilled craftsmen and women who do a huge range of jobs – constructing and repairing building frameworks, making and installing fixtures like doors, stairs and window frames and cutting and shaping floorboards and roof timbers.

Below we’ll tell you everything you need to know about being a carpenter, including;

  • Experience
  • Day-to-day work
  • Career progression
  • Salary

The list goes on and on because everywhere you look, a skilled carpenter will have at some point worked on every building you see.

Good carpenters are in demand, though, and you can expect plenty of varied and interesting work throughout your career.

Fact: The construction industry will need an extra 4,320 woods trades and internal fit-out occupations, including carpenters, every year until 2020 to meet demand. The Federation of Master Builders’ most recent quarterly report also highlighted that companies are particularly struggling to recruit carpenters. 

Carpenters v joiners: what’s the difference?

Carpenters play a vital role in the construction industry from putting down floorboards to fitting skirting and window frames. They will work on both commercial and domestic projects, and projects can be extremely varied.

For example, they are also involved in fitting out shops, building shop fronts, forming a casing for concrete structures while they set and making shelving for retail outlets. 

Carpenters and joiners have pretty similar roles, and there is a lot of crossovers, but typically a joiner will be involved in making the wood pieces or constructions that a carpenter then installs on-site. Joinery also tends to involve cutting and fitting joints of wood without screws, metals or fasteners, i.e. wooden doors.

Both jobs are highly skilled and require a good knowledge of woodwork, power tools, design and construction. 

What experience and skills do I need?

You’ll need to put in some study and get carpentry qualifications plus most employers require a bit of on-site job experience.

Becoming an apprentice carpenter is a great way to learn on-the-job, and you’ll be paid at the same time. You could also get work as a labourer or joiner’s apprentice and pick up some experience that way. If you don’t qualify for an apprenticeship you can take a course at a local college to pick up the know-how you need to progress.

Don’t forget to brush up on your literacy and numeracy skills too – you’ll need to be able to read technical drawings, take measurements, calculate quantities and angles, so a good level of maths and English is a must.

What will I do on a day-to-day basis?

You can expect a lot of on-site and outdoor work if you train to become a carpenter, some of it weather dependent. What you do will hinge entirely on the project you’re working on, but it’s likely to be pretty creative – you could be building door frames, installing stairs or measuring skirting boards. Or you could be constructing wooden frames to support permanent structures whilst they are built. 

Expect some long hours and irregular days if a project is nearing completion and you won’t stay in one place. You’ll move around on different jobs, meeting lots of different people.

Specialist Roles.

Once you have experience as a carpenter there are a number of areas you can specialise in:

  • Heritage carpentry – in this area you would concentrate on rebuilding, restoring and renovating buildings of historical importance. You might train specifically in traditional techniques.
  • Set design – you could find yourself working in the film industry building sets for big-budget Hollywood movies.
  • Shopfitting – the scope for fitting out different shops is immense as companies seek to create their own unique spaces and brand. You could work with big high street names or small quirky independents.
  • Furniture design – some carpenters concentrate on furniture, making everything from wardrobes and cabinets to dining tables, shelving and chairs. If you are creative, then this side of carpentry could appeal to you.

Looking for hConstructions igh-end Melbourne carpentry services? Look no further! Hitch Property has you covered. 

What Makes a Good Carpenter?

Carpentry is more complicated than it might seem. Sure, the standards of plumb, level, and square are absolute. And most of us know a tight joint when we see one. But those easily measured standards aren’t the whole picture. Underlying plumb, level, and square is structural soundness. In years past, that was ensured by institutional memory and the integrity of the builder. Good carpenters got it right. Bad ones didn’t.

Today, codes have largely replaced experience and integrity as guidelines for carpenters. At that, most carpenters, I know think less about the code than about “what the inspector wants.” One dangerous consequence of going from depending on personal experience and judgment to depending on a set of imposed regulations is that it’s easy to think there’s no structural consideration beyond what the inspector says.

I’ve seen some wonderful work — railings, for example, with newels plumb and lined, balusters perfectly spaced, tops flat as the horizon at sea. The maker knew a thing or two about his craft. But below the deck, the posts were notched halfway through and bolted only to the rim. Back in the May/June 2007 issue, PDB excerpted an article from JLC about proper newel attachment based on testing done at Virginia Tech (Question & Answer, deckmagazine.com/article/37.html). The researchers concluded, in part, that 4×4 newels installed as in my tale didn’t come close to meeting the IRC’s sideload requirement. However, the inspector who looked at that deck had no problem with those notched posts. In my experience, most wouldn’t have.

Another example is an otherwise beautifully executed deck stair whose stringers’ bottom level cuts were unsupported for 6 inches behind a landing. If such a stringer cracks at the bottom notch, the stair is coming down. It passed inspection. Two years ago I spoke with a carpenter who’d been building decks with bright, ungalvanised nails and hardware since 2004. He’d heard that with the elimination of CCA, the electro-galvanised nails and hangers he had been using were no longer allowed. His work passed inspection.

I have nothing but respect for most inspectors. They do a tough job, and they can be great resources. But it’s still the carpenter’s job to build correctly. The carpenters who built the decks I’ve talked about here didn’t think they were doing anything wrong. Judging by the look of their jobs, they take pride in their work. But they counted on the inspectors to find their errors, and the inspectors didn’t. Maybe they were too busy to look closely, and maybe they just missed the problems, maybe they were giving the carpenters a break. In the end, it is the carpenters, not the inspectors, who are responsible for the work.

That takes us right back to the idea of internal standards and integrity. It is incumbent on carpenters to know their trade. But we all get some things wrong. One difference between good carpenters and poor ones is that good carpenter face their mistakes and learn from them. That’s hard to do. But as Tom Hanks’ character says in A League of Their Own, “It’s supposed to be hard … The hard is what makes it great.” Good carpenters don’t stop looking for better ways to do their job. They don’t think that ten years in the field, or 40, has taught them all there is to know. I like to think that’s the kind of carpenter who reads this magazine.

Since a carpenter works either within the house/office or just outside it, he must be trustworthy and honest. For this, you must always hire one which is either recommended by someone to you or one who has good reviews online. Ask for verifications or written reviews when hiring the carpenter.

These qualities make a great carpenter, and you must always look for them when hiring one for your house or office.

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