How To Start a Carpentry Business

a man drilling into wood.

This article offers the steps needed to start a carpentry business. Next, we’ll go over a few points to consider and an overview of the business. Finally, you’ll reach the resource section which will help you expand your knowledge of the industry.

Steps to Starting a Carpentry Business

Here are the steps to follow for starting your own carpentry business.

  1. Researching a Carpentry Business – See An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start.
  2. Choosing a Location for Your Carpentry Business For more, see Choosing The Best Location for Your Business.
  3. Choose a Name for Your Carpentry Business. See How to Choose a Business Name.
  4. Legalizing Your Business – See  How to Register your Business.
  5. Create Your Corporate ID – See A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages.
  6. Carpentry Business Equipment – See The Most Recent Google Search Results Related to Carpentry Business Equipment.
  7. Estimating Your Start-up Cost – See Estimating Start-up Costs: Are you Missing Anything?
  8. Writing a Carpentry Business Plan – See How to Write a Business Plan.
  9. Set up a Business Bank Account – See, How to Open a Business Bank Account.
  10. Get the Funding for Your Carpentry Business – See Getting a Small Business Loan.
  11. Software Setup – Check out Google’s Latest Search Results for Software Packages Related to a Carpentry Business.
  12. Get Your Carpentry Business Insured – See the latest Google Search Results for Carpentry Business Insurance.
  13. Carpentry Business Office Setup – See, Here are Considerations for The Setup of Your Office.
  14. Choosing Suppliers for Your Carpentry Business – See, How to Choose a Supplier You Can Depend on
  15. Hiring Employees – See How and When to Hire a New Employee.

Points to Consider Before Starting

Carpentry jobs are divided into two areas: rough (or structural) and finish (or detail) work. Rough work is the framework or roofing or other construction that becomes the skeleton of the building.

When the building is complete, the internal and external parts of the building cover the rough work. Finish carpentry, however, includes detailed work such as wall trim or cabinets. Detail and precision are important in this type of construction.

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If you plan to do all the work yourself, you must also have proper training and qualifications in carpentry as well as some experience.

Lack of training would result in low-quality products and this would significantly affect the competitiveness of your service. Therefore, if you lack knowledge and training, it would be a very good idea a take a course on carpentry before you start a business. A technical college would be the ideal place for training and education.

Apprenticeships usually last between three and four years, so look for a company that can provide you with a variety of experiences. Larger companies are often better able to do this than smaller ones. After the apprenticeship is over, you will receive a certificate indicating that you are now a journeyman carpenter.

You can also take the route of hiring tradesmen. You focus on the business aspect rather than the technical aspect. This may work to your advantage if you’re knowledgeable in the industry, and are good at finding and closing contracts.

Skill Set:

  • Handle the necessary machinery and equipment adequately.
  • Skilled and knowledgeable about all types of necessary tools.
  • Calculate estimates.
  • Remodeling.
  • Building custom, shelves, and cabinets.
  • Proficiency in trim work, drilling and setting hardware for doors and windows, setting windows, stair layouts, etc.
  • Ability to read blueprints.
  • Employee management.
  • Project management.
  • Ability to perform physically demanding tasks such as crawling for long distances and climbing extended ladders.
  • Common Business Skills

Employee Considerations:

Hours of Operation:

Depending on your location, this job typically has longer hours that span from early in the morning to early evening and, often, weekends.

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Depending on the niche you’re filling or what aspect of carpentry work you are doing, you may be required to be on the premises with other work crews very early in the morning.

Equipment and Supplies:

  • A variety of hand tools including:
    • Hammers
    • Speed Square
    • Chalk Line
    • Chalk Line Clamp
    • Chisels
    • Carpenter’s Pencils
    • Framing Square
    • Utility Knifes
    • Framing Hammer
    • Cat’s Paw
    • Screwdrivers
    • Measuring tape
    • Level, Grease pencil
    • Toolbelt
    • etc.
  • Staple guns
  • Nail gun
  • Portable air compressor
  • Table saw
  • Bandsaw
  • Angled chop saw
  • Cordless drill with assorted bits
  • Hand-held circular saw
  • Nails, screws, and other fasteners
  • Work truck with ladder rack and utility box
  • Sledgehammer
  • Trucks, Vans
  • Office Equipment

Operating Costs To Consider:

In addition to the common business expenses, your carpentry service will require a budget for wages, and building supplies such as nails, staples, drill bits, wood, etc.


You will need to check with your local jurisdiction regarding zoning laws and any required permits to operate at your home or at another location.

It’s preferable to be bonded and insured. Check with your homeowner’s insurance company to see if your current policy covers a home-based business.

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Licensing requirements vary for home remodelers, so perform your due diligence. Some states have a cost limit before a contractor’s license is required.

See Our Page on Licenses and Permits

Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:

The average startup cost may vary from a few hundred dollars if you already have a lot of the equipment to thousands of dollars if you want new, top-of-the-line equipment. You can start off small and expand your crew and equipment as you grow.

Pros And Cons:

The Pros:

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  • If you have the skill or workforce it’s easy to start.
  • You have the advantage of being your own boss.
  • You get to do creative work with wood.
  • Completely Expandable.

The Cons:

  • Work tends to slow down during the winter months.
  • A lot of times you work in adverse weather conditions.
  • Physically demanding: a lot of heavy lifting.
  • The equipment that you work with could be potentially dangerous.

Type of Customers:

People looking to build their custom homes, people looking to purchase new homes.

Many people today prefer to keep their existing homes and renovate them rather than upgrade to a larger or newer home. This is where your carpentry skills help with outdoor woodwork framing, finishing, and incorporating innovative storage areas into places where none existed.

Homeowners replacing their “make-do” cupboards and cabinets are major customers to those in the carpentry industry.


Below are some resources you might find useful during the start-up phase and once your business is up and running.

Businesses For Sale

Buying an established business is an option to consider before starting your carpentry business.

Pros and cons exist. Among the pros are that the business is already up and running, revenue starts flowing the day you take over, and you already know if the business is successful.

In contrast, purchasing an established business is usually more expensive. Furthermore, drastic changes could have adverse consequences. So see, Buy a business or build one from scratch for more. See the latest Google Search results for carpentry businesses for sale.


You can make better decisions if you know more about your carpentry business before you begin. The power of knowledge lies in the ability to expand and make a business successful when you know a lot about it.

There is plenty of information available, but you have to find and use it. To make it easier to find, I have provided a link to a Google search result that provides a variety of publications related to a carpentry business. Using the information is up to you. I suggest visiting the link once a week or at least once a month to view the latest and most popular publications. Click here for the latest publications related to carpentry.

Trends and Statistics

Carpentry jobs follow the trends of the construction industry. In booming times, the need for carpenters is great. In lean times, the need is less so, but carpenters can focus on repair work, not just new builds. This means that even when the housing market slows down, work is still available in repairing and refurbishing buildings.

You can gain insights and tips about the carpentry industry by studying industry trends and statistics. Click Here for the Latest Google Search Results Related to Trends in the Carpentry Industry.

Industry Terminology

Knowing your industry terminology is important. However, picking up the terminology can wait until you’ve been in the industry for a while. Check out glossaries to get a head start. Search Results Related to Terminology in the Carpentry Industry.


Your choice of supplies will have a significant impact on your success. A poor choice of supplies could harm your business. See the Latest Google Search Results for Carpentry Business Supplies.

Carpentry Associations

It can be beneficial to join an association. Many offer publications and news that can be useful. You can network with other professionals at many of their events.

Click Here To View Associations Related to the Carpentry Industry. Check out our page for tips and insights on Joining a Trade Association.

Top Carpentry Businesses

If you study other companies, you’ll be able to see what the market offers, as well as pricing and other factors. It’s possible that you’ll find something that’s missing in your business or come up with a unique idea. Search Google for the Top Carpentry Businesses.

Marketing Tips

Every business must market its products and services. You can market your own business by trying one technique at a time, testing, and doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Have a Look at the Latest Articles for Marketing a Carpentry Business.

Carpentry Tips

Whether you are experienced or not in the industry, it doesn’t hurt to check out the latest tips related to carpentry. Have a Look at the search results for tips related to carpentry.


A book can also help you gain a better understanding of your industry. View the Most Recent Google Search Results for Carpentry Business Books.


Being knowledgeable and skilled will increase your chances of success. Check out the latest carpentry courses. Google’s Search Results Related to training for a Carpentry Business.


Google News is an excellent resource for finding carpentry-related stories covered by the media. See Google’s News Search Results Related to the Carpentry Industry.

Videos on YouTube

You can find videos on YouTube that provide you with tips and insights to expand your knowledge in your industry.

See the Most Recent Videos Related to a Carpentry Business.