Carpenters are skilled craftsmen who build things out of wood. Depending on what the carpenter builds, they may be referred to by various names. A framer is a carpenter who puts up the framing on a house. A trim or finish carpenter installs the finishing touches of prefabricated or custom trim and detail work once a house has been built and the walls are up. A furniture maker or woodworker builds furniture — such as tables, beds and dressers — out of wood. A cabinetmaker is a carpenter who builds custom and semi-custom wood cabinets. If you’re having a home built or remodeled, your general contractor will either provide or subcontract the carpentry work for the framing, cabinets and trim. You can hire a carpenter directly to update the trim in your home, build you a piece of custom furniture, or repair or replace your wood cabinets.
In any kitchen, the cabinets are the main focus, so you want to make sure new or replacement cabinets are installed correctly. A professional carpenter can properly, securely mount new cabinets to the wall; the national average cost for this service is $7,725, although the cost varies widely depending on the type of cabinets, their material and their size, and the accessories you add. A typical fee is $70 per linear foot to remove existing cabinets and assemble and install new ones; the cost is less if you do the demolition and removal yourself. Stock cabinets are the least expensive to have installed, ranging from $75 to $400 each; semi-custom cabinets range from $150 to $900 each; and custom cabinets cost from $500 to $1,400 each. Wood cabinets are more expensive than those made from plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and finished with a laminate. Wood cabinets range in cost from $80 to $160 per linear foot. Laminate-finished cabinets cost $35 to $75 per linear foot, on average.
Custom cabinets can be built for any room, including bedroom closets and built-in armoires. Measured carefully and built precisely, custom cabinetry can increase storage and beautify any room. The national average for building custom cabinets ranges from $500 to $1,200 per linear foot. The cost is highly variable because there are so many styles, colors, glazes and other options. In general, the linear footage of the cabinets, the materials used to build them, and the cost of the labor will determine the cost. Solid wood costs more than plywood and wood veneer, and costs vary among different types of wood; maple and cherry cabinets are more expensive than pine. Glass-front cabinets can cost more, as can decorative hinges, handles and door pulls, which can cost $2-$45 each; choose carefully to stay within your budget and pull off the exact look you’re going for. Some carpenters also charge for installation, on average $100 per cabinet box. Additional molding and trim, such as crown molding at the ceiling, cost an average of $70 per 8-foot section, and adding finished ends to exposed cabinets averages $100-$200.
Carpenters are trained to work with wood. That means that any part of your home that is built of wood is very likely to involve a carpenter. Framing carpenters will put up the wood that makes up the bones of your home. If you’re having a wood floor installed, it may be done by a carpenter — although being a carpenter is not a requirement to install flooring. Trim, baseboards, wainscoting and any other detail work is typically installed by a finish carpenter. The wood boxes of custom cabinets will be built and installed by a carpenter.
Although all of these components in your new or remodeled home are built by carpenters who specialize in building things with wood, a general contractor typically oversees construction of the entire house. If the general contractor is also a carpenter skilled in all these areas, they may well construct your entire home. More often, the general contractor subcontracts out the various building stages to different individuals, including carpenters.
In general, home service providers such as electricians, plumbers and contractors are professionals who don’t expect tips. They expect to do a job for you for the specific price they quoted. Of course, they may appreciate a tip for a job particularly well done or for which they’ve gone beyond what’s normally expected, such as completing the project early or under budget. Even better than a tip, it’s always appropriate to leave a positive review online after a good experience.