The jobs a carpenter carries out on a daily basis, will vary based on several factors. These will include the type of job they are working on, and the stage the job is currently at.
As a trade, Carpentry covers a lot of different jobs. These are generally split into 2 main categories, first fix and second fix.
If they are doing first fix work, this would be things like:
- Installing floor joists
- Fitting roof timbers
- Building stud walls
- Fitting door casings
If a job is currently in the second fix stage, they will be doing more of the neat visible work. Such as:
- Hanging doors and fitting door furniture
- Skirting and architrave
- Installing kitchens
Both first fix and second fix have a wide variety of different jobs. Therefore, every day will vary slightly for a carpenter, depending on the specific jobs they are doing.
Things a carpenter will do every day
Whilst the jobs a carpenter does each day may vary, the structure of their day, will usually be quite similar. As a general rule, a carpenter working on a building site, will start work between 7-8am.
Construction as a whole, tends to start earlier than standard 9-5 work. However, they will often finish earlier as well.
Once on site, a carpenter will set out the area they are working in. This will involve making sure the area is clean and free from any obstructions.
They will unload any tools needed for the day’s work and also any materials that are required.
Often work will be carrying on from the previous day, so they may already have everything planned for the day ahead. However, if this is a new job, they may need to consult technical drawings and/or liaise with other trades and site managers prior to work starting.
Throughout the day, a carpenter will work on the current project and will also maintain and clean the workspace. This keeps the area organised and also makes it a safer area to work.
On most jobs, you are using potentially dangerous power tools, such as chop saws, nail guns and extremely sharp hand tools. If there is a lot of mess, offcuts and debris, trips and accidents are far more likely.
Also, for a carpenter working in a customer’s home, a clean workspace also shows a level of professionalism, and helps you to maintain a good reputation. A homeowner is far more likely to recommend a carpenter, who not only does a good job, but is also neat and tidy.
In an ideal situation, the carpenters will have an apprentice or a labourer that can carry out these less skilled duties.
Skills used by a carpenter on a daily basis
No matter what job a carpenter is doing, there are several skills that they will use on a regular basis. The main ones can be seen below:
- Organisation – As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, then plan to fail”. This is very true in carpentry, and many jobs will require a level of planning before you start work. This will avoid any mistakes caused by rushing in and starting without any preparation.
This could involve the tools you need, pre-ordering materials, working out how the work will affect other trades, etc.
- Problem solving – Carpentry is not a paint-by-numbers trade, and often you will need to do the same job in a slightly different way.
A good carpenter will be able to modify the way they do certain jobs, to fit different circumstances. Not every job is the same, and often you will need to rely on past experience and skill, to come up with out of the box solutions.
- Maths – Carpenters will use mathematics on a daily basis. This could involve basic measuring, cutting, planning, and creating material lists. As well as more complex maths, to find things like angles and roof pitches, etc.
- Reasonable fitness and physical strength – Tools and materials constantly need moving, and new deliveries that arrive need unloading. Also, the work itself is often quite physical.
All of this is hard work, which means a carpenter can use a lot of energy in a day.
One of the best things about carpentry is the variety of work they do on a daily basis. Whilst you will do a lot of the same jobs over and over, you will regularly be doing different jobs as a project progresses.
Throughout an entire building project, this can include simple first fix work, such as installing floor joists, and building stud walls. All the way to more high-end finishing work, such as kitchens, bespoke staircases, and installing fitted furniture.
As you can see, it is quite difficult to say exactly what carpenters do on a daily basis. This is mainly because it can vary so much. But hopefully this article gives you a better idea of what is involved when you work in this profession.