5 Tips for Hiring the Right Professional Carpenter for Your Custom Carpentry Job

Many people do not stop to think about how much value quality carpentry provides for individuals and for society as a whole. However, carpenters are responsible for creating beautiful and functional living spaces for us to enjoy. A skilled carpenter can help you personalize your home, making it unique to you and convenient for your life. They are so important to how we enjoy our homes that people spend upward of $40 billion in the United States every year on the services of carpenters.

A significant portion of that money goes to custom carpentry jobs. However, with so much demand for carpentry services, you should not be surprised that there will be many carpentry options to choose between.

As someone who is not an expert in the field of carpentry, how can you pick the right carpenter to help you with your project? There are some important principles you can follow to help you find the right carpenter for you with as little unnecessary stress as possible.

Read on to learn all about the most important things to keep in mind when you are choosing a carpenter!

1. Know The Type of Carpentry You Need

One of the most common mistakes people make is looking at their options before they know what they need. Some people think they know what they need well enough because they have a vague sense of what they want their project to look like.

However, the more detail you can make explicit about what you need to install, the easier it will be for you to tell when an option will not work for your situation. You want to figure out exactly what your vision will look like when it comes to life.

Define Your Project Scope

Before beginning your search for a carpenter, clearly define your scope. Determine the specific work you require, such as cabinetry, flooring, framing, or general woodworking. Understanding your project’s scope will help you communicate your requirements effectively and find a carpenter with the appropriate skill set and expertise.

Specialization: Bathroom Remodeling, Custom Cabinets, and More

Carpentry is a diverse field with various specialties. By defining your scope, you can identify the specific expertise required from framing to custom cabinets or just cabinet installers.

For instance, if you need custom cabinetry for your kitchen, you’ll want to find a carpenter who specializes in cabinetry and has experience in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen storage solutions. Understanding your project’s scope helps you narrow down your search to carpenters who have the necessary skills and experience in your specific area of interest.

Kitchen cabinets

Get Inspired

Gather pictures of your inspiration and past projects. Write down the details of what you want, whether that includes custom cabinets or a whole bathroom remodeling job. This portfolio for your custom carpentry project can make sure you and your potential carpenter are on the same page.

Once you are clear about what you need from a carpentry company, you will be ready to talk to several companies and consider your options.

2. Consider Many Options for Finding the Best Carpenters

One of the next most common mistakes people make is not considering very many options. They perform a Google search for carpenters and then pick the first one that they find. This is an easy and fast system for choosing carpenters, but not a very good one.

If you want to find the best carpenters for your custom house project, you should consider your options. Every extra option you consider increases the chance that you will find the right carpenter for you.

Ask Around for Local Carpenters and Carpentry Services

One great way to find good candidates for your project is to ask around for recommendations. Ask your friends and family members if they have worked with any custom carpenters or know anyone who has.

You can then ask them whether or not they recommend the carpenters they have worked with. However, when you ask, it can help to provide them with some of the details you figured out about your project. The more people know about your situation, the more likely that their recommendations will be suitable for you.

Know Who to Avoid

You might also ask people to let you know if there are any carpenters that they do not recommend. That may allow you to remove some of the options from your list and save time.

3. Set Your Custom Carpentry Budget

As you look over your options, you need to be able to remove the ones that will not work for you. One of the fastest ways to remove an option is to know that they are not within your budget. However, to make the most of this technique, you need to know what your budget will be.

Some people think of a budget as the price they hope they will pay for a service. However, if you set a number this way, you will have to agonize over whether or not to pay a little extra if you see a carpentry option that you want (hello, custom built-in wine rack).

It is better to set a budget option that represents the maximum amount you will pay. That way, you will know immediately that you can remove any options you find that charge more than your budget allows.

How to Set a Budget for Construction Projects

Setting a budget for custom carpentry requires careful consideration of various factors. Here are some steps to help you establish a realistic budget for your project:

Determine the Scope—So Important It’s on Here Twice

Remember that custom carpentry project scope you made? Use it to help you budget. Identify the specific items or features you want to be custom-built, such as cabinets, shelving units, or furniture pieces. Consider the size, complexity, and intricacy of the desired designs. The more detailed your project scope, the better you can estimate the associated costs.

Wall cabinets

Research Material Costs

Research the costs of the materials needed for your custom carpentry project. Different types of wood, hardware, finishes, and accessories vary in price. Contact local suppliers, visit home improvement stores, or explore online sources to get an idea of the material costs involved. Consider the quality and durability of the materials as well, as they can affect both the aesthetics and longevity of the finished product.

Factor in Labor Costs

Labor costs can significantly impact your budget. The complexity and size of the project, along with the skill level and experience of the carpenter, will influence the labor costs. Discuss the estimated number of hours required for the project and the carpenter’s hourly or project-based rate. Keep in mind that highly skilled carpenters with a strong reputation may charge higher rates but often deliver superior craftsmanship.

Consider Additional Expenses

In addition to the primary costs, account for any additional expenses associated with building your custom carpentry project. This could include permits or fees required for certain types of construction or installations. Also, factor in any special equipment or tools that may be necessary for the project but are not readily available to the carpenter.

A good carpenter or contractor will help you do this and, for some things, take care of it completely. At Gibin Remodeling, we aim to take care of all the details so you can just enjoy the successful completion of your new space.

Window and cabinets

Allocate a Contingency Fund

It’s wise to allocate a contingency fund within your budget to account for unexpected expenses or changes in design. Custom projects may involve adjustments or modifications along the way, which can impact costs. A contingency fund of around 10-20% of your overall budget can provide a buffer to handle any unforeseen circumstances.

Prioritize Quality and Longevity

While budgeting, remember that custom carpentry is an investment in quality craftsmanship and durable materials. Opting for cheaper options may result in lower quality, which can compromise the aesthetics and longevity of the finished product. It’s better to allocate a reasonable budget that aligns with your expectations for quality, ensuring that you receive a custom piece that meets your standards and stands the test of time.

Consult with Professionals

If you’re uncertain about budgeting for your custom carpentry project, consider consulting with professionals in the field. Experienced contractors, carpenters or interior designers can provide valuable insights into the average costs for similar projects and guide you in setting a realistic budget based on your specific requirements.

By following these steps and considering all the necessary factors, you can set a budget for your custom carpentry project that reflects your expectations, ensures quality workmanship, and aligns with your financial resources.

4. Get Quotes for Custom Carpentry Ideas

Make sure to ask each carpentry option for a free estimate of how much they tend to charge for their custom carpentry projects. You should also give them some details about your project so that they can adjust their estimates to your situation.

You should also ask them about some of the most common ways that the price of a project might turn out to be greater than the estimate. That can help you get a sense of how likely the estimate is to match the actual price of the project.

Cabinet doors

Seating and storage

Communicate and Collaborate

Effective communication is crucial for ensuring the carpentry work you end up with is solid. During your initial discussions with potential carpenters, pay attention to their communication skills, responsiveness, and willingness to listen to your ideas. This can help you see who will have great customer service.

5. Find a Company With Great Reviews

Online ratings and reviews can help you find the right carpenter for you as quickly as possible. If you look at just the ratings, you can sort out the options that have the worst ratings.

You can then read the reviews of the other carpentry business options to help you get a sense of how much they satisfy their clients.

Assess Previous Work and Portfolio

A carpenter’s portfolio is a valuable resource for evaluating their craftsmanship and style. Request to see examples of their previous work that are similar to your project. Examine the quality of their finishes, attention to detail, and overall aesthetic appeal. This step allows you to gauge whether their work aligns with your expectations and preferences.

Beam and floor shelves


Floor cabinets


See Gibin Remodeling’s Gallery of Work Here.

Bonus Tip: Request References

Before finalizing your decision, request references from the carpenter and reach out to their past clients. Ask about their experience working with the carpenter, the quality of their work, adherence to timelines, and overall satisfaction.

Consider conducting interviews with potential carpenters to assess their professionalism, knowledge, and compatibility with your project.

Cabinet and floors

Questions to Ask a Carpenter or General Contractor

When hiring a custom carpenter or general contractor, asking the right questions can help you assess their qualifications, experience, and suitability for your project.

Here are some important questions to ask a custom carpenter before making a hiring decision:

1. Are you licensed and insured?

Verify if the carpenter holds the necessary licenses to work in your area.

Request proof of insurance, including liability coverage and worker’s compensation, to protect against any potential accidents or damages during the project.

2. What is your experience in custom carpentry?

Inquire about their experience specifically in custom carpentry projects.

Ask about the types of projects they have worked on, their specialties, and the duration of their experience.

bath cabinets

3. Can you provide references from past clients?

Request a list of references from the carpenter.

Contact the references to inquire about their experience working with the carpenter, the quality of their work, adherence to timelines, and overall satisfaction.

4. How do you approach the design process?

Discuss how the carpenter collaborates with clients to bring their vision to life.

Inquire about their ability to interpret design specifications, provide input and suggestions, and communicate effectively throughout the design process.

5. What materials do you typically work with?

Discuss the types of materials the carpenter is experienced in working with.

If you have specific material preferences, inquire if they have experience and expertise in handling those materials.

6. Can you provide a detailed timeline for the project?

Ask about their estimated start date and projected completion date.

Inquire about any potential factors that may impact the timeline, such as concurrent projects or availability of materials.

Built in cabinet

7. How do you handle changes or modifications to the project?

Discuss their flexibility and approach when it comes to accommodating changes or modifications during the project.

Inquire about their process for handling change requests and any associated cost implications.

8. What is your payment structure?

Clarify the carpenter’s payment terms and structure.

Inquire about the deposit or upfront payment required, as well as any subsequent payment milestones throughout the project.

Bath cabinets

9. Do you provide a written contract?

Request a written contract that clearly outlines the scope of work, timeline, payment terms, and any other important project details.

Review the contract carefully and ensure that it aligns with your expectations and protects your interests.

Kitchen Cabinets

Find a Highly Skilled Company to Help You Today

Almost nothing impacts the outcome of your custom carpentry job as much as the company you choose to help you with it. Some people rush the carpenter selection process and end up with a carpenter that is not ideal for their situation.

Taking the time to pick the right carpenter can save you a lot of time and stress in the long run. To learn more about how to find the right carpentry company or to speak with experts who can help you, reach out and get in touch with us here at Gibin Remodeling.

We are custom carpenters in Los Angeles and the surrounding area known for great customer service and overall, doing an amazing job for our California clients. We pride ourselves on being family-owned and delivering excellent craftsmanship. If you’re happy with our service, we’re happy. Contact us today.