Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. Installing moulding and building custom cabinets
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. You can't buy a Mercedes on a Volkswagen budget!
I have met too many people that hire the cheapest only to find that the craftsmanship was poor or the work was not completed.
Remember - you get what you pay for!
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. How to install crown moulding on a pitch. It takes a transition piece!
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. Have an idea of the type of materials you want. If your looking into installing moulding, decide if you want paint grade or stain grade. Paint grade is less expensive. Decide on the profile of the moulding. If your purchasing your own mouldings, check the dimensions of your existing mouldings. I recently installed casing that was purchased by the homeowner. His existing casing was 2 1/4" wide. He bought 3 1/4" moulding without realizing he did not have room in the corners of some of the rooms in the house for a 3 1/4" moulding. I needed to trim a lot of the moulding back to properly fit, some of which had to be overlapped.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I take pride in everything I do. Some say I'm a perfectionist, I say that "If it isn't good enough for me, it isn't good enough for anyone"!
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. The positive comments I receive from my customers.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. How much does it cost? Pricing is dependent on products and hours.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. The cost of products and labor. Nothing in a home is simple, walls bow, ceilings sag, and 45 degree corners can be more or less. With that said, installing cabinets and trim can be a time consuming task.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. My wife and I did a complete remodel of our kitchen in Excelsior, Mn. It was at that time that I learned what tools and skills were needed for building and remodeling.
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. I had a neighbor who broke the leg of his dining room table. He asked me if I could make one for him and I did. I milled, finished, and installed the leg and no one would ever know it was replaced.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. I watch a lot of HG TV and programs like This Old House. I also keep my eyes open for the latest and greatest tools. I periodically attend woodworking seminars and am always interested in reading online articles.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. I've been looking at a miter saw that includes a laser for both miter and bevel cuts. This would take some of the guesswork out of installing crown moulding.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. 08/24/2010: I just built a bookcase for a gentleman in St. Paul. He wanted to match two existing bookcases. They were unfinished and made out of pine. I drove from Mound to St. Paul to view and measure the existing bookcases. I quoted him a cost of $200.00 to include labor and materials. He paid half down. I picked up the materials that day and built the bookcase in two days. I am now ready to deliver back to St. Paul.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Trim carpenters can charge by the project, cut, or by the hour. My pricing will be determined only after I speak with my client and have a general idea of the work that needs to be performed.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Have all the tools of the trade! Measure twice and cut once!