Homeowners typically use the words “carpenter,” “contractor,” and “woodworker” interchangeably. However, these three terms refer to very specific jobs, each with its own distinct set of duties. Each of these jobs can have different skill sets and tools to get the job done. Just remember as a carpentry professional to make sure you protect yourself and your business with the right insurance for carpenters.
This article describes the many functions that these various trade experts play.
The bulk of people refer to “General Contractors” (GCs) as “Contractor.” However, the phrase “general contractor” is often misused to reference anybody who works on houses for a living.
Surprisingly, very few general contractors actually perform any type of manual trade labour!
General contractors typically manage a project and engage other individuals to complete the tasks themselves.
GCs are essentially project managers. On behalf of their clients, they coordinate building projects. They should ensure that competent, certified tradesmen are brought in to do the task in a predetermined order.
GCs will ask for a high price for this service, often as high as 50% of the total work value. That is, at least 50% of the total cost of the goods and labour contracted.
WHAT EXPERIENCE DO CONTRACTORS HAVE?
Most GCs have gained previous work experience as professional tradesmen; as such, they will possess some building experience. Having a trade background, on the other hand, is not required to work as a contractor, and anyone can designate oneself a contractor. However, they may be only capable of managing projects up to a particular amount.
Obviously, this situation can lead to problems.
Dishonest contractors can maintain revenues at a high level and work expenses at a low level by using a variety of methods. For instance, they may try to increase profits by hiring low-cost, untrained subcontractors or utilizing substandard materials.
As a result, “contractor” has become a derogatory term among some members of the trade. In the worst-case scenario, some GCs can be very dishonest people who do not perform any real work yet attempt to reap as much benefit as possible.
However, it’s important to understand that not at GCs should be tarred with the same brush.
Many GCs take additional steps to ensure that their clients are happy and their fees are as low as possible. This is all while managing the wide array of issues that can rear their heads on a building job.
Carpenters are skilled workers who construct and repair wooden structures and homes. If that appears to be relatively unclear, it is because it is really quite hazy. This is because carpenters cover a wide array of jobs. Basically, any type of construction that involves wood… decking, sheds, outhouses, fences, summerhouses, you name it, they can build it.
Furthermore, in addition to constructing these items, they are also the ones who are typically called in to replace them when they break.
Carpenters are regularly engaged by GCs to complete a lot of work on residential projects. Carpenters often collaborate with plumbers, HVAC professionals, electricians, and other tradespeople to assist them with their tasks.
If you have minor work to complete, such as a fence repair, you probably won’t need to go to the extent of hiring a general contractor. Instead, you can directly employ a freelance carpenter and save yourself a bit of money.
A trade expert who works on both contracting and carpentry is occasionally described as a “builder.” Builders will work on the task for which they have qualifications. They frequently work on major parts of a house, such as the roof, siding, and structure. Then they hire the rest of the trades they’ll require to get a job done.
Custom built-ins, stain-grade trim, and one-of-a-kind cabinets are examples of fine carpentry work that blurs the boundary between trade and real workmanship.
Woodworkers are highly trained wood-crafting experts who build elegant timber structures such as furniture.
Woodworkers’ are typically armed with high-end, sophisticated tools, and they also devote more time and effort to their profession than the average tradesperson.
As the work of woodworkers is such high quality, they typically opt to focus on smaller projects; for instance, building a cabinet as opposed to constructing a summerhouse.
Many woodworkers take pride in their profession and would have no interest in performing general carpentry labor. On the contrary, many carpenters simply wouldn’t have the skill to perform high-end woodwork.
Of the three professions described herein, carpenters can be the most expensive because you are paying for years of honed skills and practice.
In some cases, you may come across a woodworker who will be prepared to make kitchen cabinets. However, be aware of the fact that the price he or she may charge could be significantly higher than that of a carpenter.
So, there we have it: A quick and simple guide to general contractors, woodworkers, and carpenters. Here’s a quick summary of the broad definitions you should consider when making a decision as to who to call for a given project:
- General contractors: Supervise tasks and employ subcontractors to complete the actual work.
- Carpenters: Construct and refurbish large-scale structures such as homes, sheds, and barns.
- Woodworkers perform high-skilled woodwork and tend to work on furniture and beautiful, handcrafted items.
Each project you engage in will have distinct needs. Make sure you do your research before contacting a tradesman. Check the type of work they complete, how their prices compare with other professionals, and the areas in which they specialize, for instance if you are looking to get a deck build you should search for deck contractor in VA (or wherever you live) to find professionals who can help you. You should also ask to see previous customer reviews and samples of the work they have completed.