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Carpenter cost guide

How much does a carpenter cost?

Average price range $350 – $550
Lowest price $260
Highest price $15,100

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Thinking of building a gazebo in your garden? Want a double king custom bed? Dreaming of a new decking? Fancy a closet organizing system to keep your home immaculately neat? Then, hiring a professional carpenter is the best thing you can do.

Here you will learn about:

Average carpenter cost

Professional carpenters perform all kinds of services where wood is involved both for commercial organizations and homeowners. They build gazebos, install or repair stairs and decking, create custom furniture, renovate kitchen cabinetry, work with house frames, and implement other projects. Carpenters can charge their clients by the hour or per project. The final figure in the bill depends on several considerations. Among them are the professional’s experience, home location, extent of the job, type and quality of materials, and other factors. On average, prepare to spend from $350 to $550. The highest reported price is $15,100. The lowest cost is $260.

Price-related questions

What payment structures are typically used by carpenters?

As said above, there are two main ways carpenters charge their clients: per hour and per project.

Per hour

This structure is common for installation and building of the custom furniture, as well as for repair work. Several factors affect the total cost:

  • Carpenter’s location. If it’s a city with a great number of well-to-do customers and a higher competition level, the prices are usually heftier.
  • Carpenter’s reputation and experience.
  • Project complexity and other unknown variables. If it’s an elaborate item of furniture the professional has never built before, expect to pay more.
  • Specialization. The general rate of the carpenter is normally lower than that of a finish carpenter. Example: $25-$35 against $40 and more, correspondingly.
Per project

If a professional knows precisely the time the project will take to be completed, the materials that need to be used, and the optimal technology to achieve the final goal, they can take a flat fee for the entire project. For instance, hanging a door with the frame already in place will cost around $180.

How do materials influence the total cost of a carpentry project?

Materials are certainly a major price-shaping factor. More expensive materials that are not easy to find like walnut make the end product pricier. Additionally, if you entrust a professional with purchasing and delivering materials to your home, you may have to cover their travel expenses and the time they spent shopping. The exact figure varies from carpenter to carpenter.

How much do typical carpentry projects cost?

Depending on their specialization, carpenters can tackle different kinds of projects. Here are some of the most common ones along with their tentative costs.

Indoors
Custom furniture, cabinetry, and shelving

All homeowners wish their house to look unique. One way to achieve that is to order custom furniture from a professional carpenter. Going the custom way, you get a piece of furniture built exactly to your specifications: size, color, material, and design. To give you an idea of how much it may cost:

  • A coffee table of solid oak: around $820. To make it, the carpenter spent around ten and a half hours with a charge of $65 per hour.
  • Bookshelf (standalone, three by seven feet): $620
  • Custom cabinets: $210 for one linear foot plus materials
  • Custom built-in shelving unit: $2,100-$5,100 per project excluding materials.
Window and door frames

As the fall approaches, it’s important to inspect all window and door frames in your house for any defects that may negatively reflect on the conditions inside your home. If you’ve noticed that the wood in a window frame has started to rot or there are cracks in a door frame that let the outside air in, these issues should be addressed immediately. On average, expect a carpenter to charge $400 for fixing a window frame.

Interior walls

An interior wall made of wood is an effective way to divide the space inside a home without any changes to the main structure. A wall like that around eight inches in height and nineteen inches in length will cost you between $410 to $1,510 depending on the type and quality of the material.

Trim and molding

These elements will make any room look special and enhance its visual attractiveness. If you decide to get professional assistance, prepare to spend from $770 to $1,160. The exact amount depends on the square footage of the room, the material you’re going to use, and molding design.

Installing crown molding in a room ten feet by ten feet in size will cost you between $310 and $510, provided you’re not using something out of the ordinary. If you wish the molding to be made of a special kind of wood and have a non-standard pattern, the price may go up to as much as $1,100-$3,600.

For wainscoting in a room of approximately the same size expect to pay from $1,260 to $5,650 (materials plus labor).

Stairs

Wood stairs are prone to wear and tear over time. If you can no longer bear the terrible squeaking sound you hear every time you step on your staircase, call a carpenter to rescue them. The most frequently cited price range for putting stairs in order is $360-$670.

Outdoors
Shed

If you need additional space for storing your things or garden tools, building a wooden shed is a good idea. The average cost of this project ranges from $2,120 to $3,550.

Pergola

This outside structure is valuable from the aesthetic and functional points of view. It’s a real pleasure to sit in a pergola in your garden on a hot summer day. Depending on the size, design, and material of a pergola, the lowest cost of installing it is around $2,100, while the highest can be $15,100.

Decking

Read our guides on deck installation and deck repair to learn about average prices of these projects.

Information to check

Insurance

Before hiring a carpenter, make sure they are properly insured (liability insurance and compensation insurance for traumas sustained while working). The professional must also be bonded and licensed for business in your state.

Written agreement

Never let a contractor start working without having signed a written contract with all the details of the future project mentioned (time, description of the final result, materials, and other specifics).

Sample

Ask a pro to show you a specimen of their workmanship. That way, you can understand if the carpenter will be able to give you exactly what you want.

Education

While no formal training to work as a carpenter is required, many finish a program to obtain a degree. This degree is a proof you’re dealing with a real professional who’s serious about their work.

Specialization

Try to find a professional who specializes in the type of carpentry you wish to hire them for. Some may deal exclusively with rough structural work. Others are good at creating custom furniture. Still, others mostly do finish carpentry. Find it out in advance to get the best quality.

Other frequently asked questions

How can I save money on a carpentry project?

Many carpenters have workshops. Rather than inviting a professional to do the work in your home, let them complete the project in their workshop: deliver the materials and pick the item when it’s ready. Thus, the pro will not charge you for travel.

Are carpenters supposed to clean sawdust and debris for free?

It depends on your agreement. Certain contractors include the debris removal service in their per hour or per project rate. Others may price it separately. Perhaps, a beginning carpenter may do it for free as a bonus. Discuss it at the contract signing stage.

Bottom line

Carpenters provide a range of services where wood (or less frequently other materials) are involved. The most common tasks include creating custom furniture, making and installing trim and molding, building sheds, pergolas, and decking. An average carpenter charges between $350 and $550 for their work.

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