Like any other job, Carpenters will usually work Monday to Friday as their standard work week. However, there are many instances where a carpenter may work weekends. A few of the main reasons can be seen below:
- Overtime – When there is a lot of work available, it is not uncommon for employers to offer overtime. In many cases, this will be at a higher rate. For example, time and a half, or even double time.
Obviously, working the whole weekend at double time can be tempting, as it would nearly double your entire weekly wage.
- Private jobs – It is quite common for carpenters to work for an employer, and then have private work on the side. If they work a normal 5-day work week, private jobs will usually be done at weekends. Often, these jobs will be priced much higher than their normal hourly rate.
- Shopfitting and refurbs – This type of work, and other similar jobs, will often be carried out during unsociable hours. It is not uncommon for shopfitters to be working long days (10 – 12 hours), and quite often seven days per week.
This is because the work has to be completed fast, in order for the stores to reopen. Whilst these workers will put in a lot of hours. Once the job is complete, they will often have some time off before the next job starts.
- Some companies work Saturdays – Whilst this is not standard across the industry, it is not unusual for some companies to work Saturdays. Often this will be half day. For example 8am – 1pm. Assuming they work a standard 8-hour workday Monday – Friday, this would bump their weekly hours to 45.
Rules for carpenters working on weekends
There are some rules for the construction industry and working weekends and this can certainly affect carpenters.
The rules are based on hours when noisy work is permitted. These rules can vary in different areas and are usually decided by the local council. As a general rule, noisy work is permitted during the following hours:
- Monday to Friday – 7AM – 6PM
- Saturday – 8AM – 1PM
- Sunday and bank holidays – Noisy work is not permitted
These rules are not set in stone and the hours may vary slightly from one council to another.
Also, these rules are assuming work is carried out in a residential area, where it would disturb people. For work that doesn’t disrupt the general public, you are free to work any hours you want.
As an example, for a shopfitter, working in a store that is closed on a Sunday, and nowhere near residential buildings, there would be no real restrictions.
Also, if you are doing private work in someone’s home, good manners can go a long way. If you knock on neighbours’ doors, to let them know there will be some noise, this can usually avoid any complaints.
Work life balance
The great thing about doing extra carpentry work on a weekend, is the extra money. Plus, if you fill your weekends with overtime and private jobs, you also have no time to spend it. This can be really great for young people, who may be saving for important things, like a house deposits, a new baby, or even holidays and other personal spending.
A carpenter already makes pretty good money. On average, for the entire UK in 2022, a carpenter earns approximately £45k. This is for a basic salary, working between 38-45 hours per week. Working weekends can significantly boost this.
If your prepared to work hard, adding 50% to this is certainly doable. This would mean something significant, like a house deposit could be saved in as little as 1-2 years (providing you are good at saving).
However, working a seven-day week is not sustainable. After a while, most people will burn out. If you are young and the work is available, then by all means get stuck in. But, as you get older, and have more responsibilities, a better work life balance is usually preferred by most.
Older carpenters will still usually do some weekend work. However, when you have other family commitments and children, etc, you probably don’t want to be working the entire time. If you do, this will often mean you miss out on other important things.
For someone who is young, with little tying them down, weekend work can be a great way to make a good amount of extra money. Plus, you won’t be blowing it all down the pub at the weekend.
So as you can see, carpenters do often work on weekends. However, it is not a strict requirement, they work a standard week like most other industries.
The amount of weekend work available will also vary. Sometimes, there will be an abundance of overtime and private work. Whilst other times, there may be no extra work at all.
Certainly things like the economy, and time of year will have an effect. When money is tight, people are less likely to have private work done, and companies will often slow down. Also, construction tends to be quieter during the colder winter months.
For those who like to fill their weekends with private work, there is also the challenge to actually find these jobs, and to keep this type of work coming in. Carpentry, and the construction industry as a whole, does go through phases of being really busy and much quieter. How much you take advantage of the busy times, is entirely up to you, and usually a balance of extra work and a healthy amount of free time is the best solution.