Starting Your Carpenter Business

You’ve been working for a manufacturer of ready-mix concrete as a sales representative. You like your job because you get to meet a lot of people in the construction industry. You know your way around wood, nails, hammer, and self-tapping screws because you’re a hobby carpenter. Your father was a real carpenter until he suddenly passed away a couple of years ago. You learned most of the stuff you know now from him. But you know you could have learned more.

It’s been in your head for several months now. You did the math, and you need to have an extra source of income to support your brother. After both your parents passed away, you were left to fend for yourself and your brother. This is what you’re considering right now. You have the contacts because of your current job. But would that be enough? How do you start running a carpentry business?

An Overview of the Carpenter Industry

Carpenters are one of the most in-demand jobs in America today. The carpenter industry earned a total revenue of $39 billion for the first half of 2019. The projection is that more than 4,300 woodcraft and fit-out experts will be needed every year by the construction industry. This number includes carpenters.

The Federation of Master Builders also cites in their recent report that recruiting carpenters is one of the challenges for the construction industry. It seems that the situation is ripe for you to start your business.

Getting Things off the Ground


The potential for the business is significant, with earnings ranging from $33,000 to upwards of $47,000 depending on the state you’re in. With the high demand, you can price your services competitively and get more projects. Here are more things that you should know:

  1. Specialization. One of the critical steps you need to take is determining your specialization. Would you focus on construction site-based carpentry like doing structural work (e.g., roofing), or are you better at doing finish work like making cabinets? The difference is that structural work is done outside while completing a cabinet can be done indoors. Thus, the latter presents an option for you to do your business from home instead of renting out a separate space. Still, you need to check for zoning laws in your area.
  2. Get those tools. This is one investment you need to make. Get the best tools you can find. Plan this carefully and prioritize the tools that you’re going to buy so that you can also offer the right kind of services. The basic should be there, like hammers, saws, drills, and chisels. There are variants to the saw, like a jigsaw and a miter saw. You will need to invest in them as well.
  3. Get Trained. You’re right to miss your dad. He could have given you the necessary training. Most carpenters learn the complicated skill sets while being on the job. You can also enroll in a training program, like the one provided by Home Builders Institute (HBI). You might also need to pass the test provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

These can be your starting points. Drafting a sound business plan will help you through the rest of the requirements to start your business, like developing a sound marketing plan and your overall financial strategy.

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