Carpentry is an immensely rewarding pursuit, favoured by millions of weekend tinkerers. These people might spend a Sunday afternoon at work on some timber structure in the home, and finish with something highly functional and satisfying.
If you’re got a burning passion for carpentry, then you might wonder whether you can turn it into a profession. But is this possible?
What do carpenters do?
A carpenter is a person who creates fixtures and fittings from timber. That might mean installing doors, flooring and stud work. Carpentry might be considered slightly different from ‘joinery’, whose focus lies more on creating one-off items of furniture.
As a carpenter, you’ll focus on the timber elements that go into making a building. If you need to throw up a new wall in the home, it’s mostly carpentry skills you’ll be calling on. A grid of timber beams will need to be arranged, aligned, and fixed into position before the plasterboard is attached. That, for the most part, is the job of a carpenter.
How to start a carpentry business yourself
To make a success of life as a carpenter, you’ll need to start with the right skills. Without those, you’ll have limited chance of success. Generally speaking, these skills can be acquired through an apprenticeship, or through other on-the-job training.
You might seek to work in a related trade, and then pick up carpentry more gradually. Or, you might be embarking on a large project as a homeowner, and looking to attempt most of the carpentry yourself.
If you have the right skills, the next step is to compose a business plan. This should detail what you expect to achieve, and how you intend to achieve it. It’s here that you’ll set your rates, and project your profits. You can use the business plan to measure your success after you’ve been running the business for a year or so. Think of it as an ongoing document, which you’ll continually add to over the years.
One factor that’s vitally important is your supply of materials. The price and quality of these will often spell the difference between success and failure. Certain materials, like plywood sheets and timber studs, you might use literally every day. Securing a quality supplier is vital.
Finally, you should consider the tools you’re going to use. Invest in quality from the outset, and you’ll enjoy superior results in the long term. Buy cheap, and you’ll end up spending more, and suffering more frustration.
Marketing is something that also matters enormously. Take advantage of social media, and get some liveries for your van. Generally speaking, you’ll be relying on word of mouth. If the quality of your work moves your customers to not only call you back, but recommend you to their friends, then your business will tend to thrive!