A carpenter is a person who creates objects made of wood for various projects, from home remodeling to furniture. These skilled craftsmen should be able to complete the work per your specifications. There are several types of carpenters to choose from and hiring one should be determined based on the scope of the project.
A rough carpenter is someone who specializes in roofing, framing and structural work. These designs are not likely to need exact finishing edges or artistic ability. These people are generally used for home construction, additions and remodels. Choose an individual who has experience and can provide references of past projects. They may also need to have knowledge of structural safety and local building codes. Ask what requirements are necessary for your area and ensure they comply with those standards. If the project is small, budget may be a consideration. Many inexpensive rough carpenters are available who will provide a quality product.
A finish carpenter is someone who artistically crafts fine wood pieces with an eye toward exact joints and finishes. There is minimal margin for error so carpenters of this sort are generally highly skilled and experienced. Because of this, the cost is typically a bit more expensive but you will get a quality product. These types specialize in furnishings, cabinetry and other fine woodworking. Larger projects such as home remodels and building may also utilize this type if it is necessary to have precision or an artistic flair. It is important to discuss the ideas you have and get feedback on how the carpenter will accomplish the task. Look at pictures of previous work to get a feel for their style and skill level.
When hiring a carpenter get a contract in writing. This should include the scope of the work to be completed outlining all specifications, requirements and any special considerations to be made. Ensure the total price for the project is detailed as well as payment procedures. Many carpenters will require a down payment for purchasing materials but do not require a complete advanced payment. Ensure you have some leverage for quality assurance by retaining a portion for acceptance of work. Check the terms of any warranties available. Even pieces that look nice may not be structurally sound or may need tweaking after in use for a period of time. Be sure the carpenter will be willing to make minor repairs within the scope of work if necessary.
A carpenter becomes more skilled with experience, so it is important to check references and see past projects. For minor, one off work, hiring on a budget is acceptable and you will likely get decent quality of work inexpensively. For more important or larger projects, however, look for a carpenter who has a track record of quality work and sound references. The slightly added expense in the beginning may be worth saving frustration and disappointment in the end.